No. 1 Arizona lost to No. 2 Alabama 73-68 in the championship of the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (NIWBT) held on Saturday in Whitewater, Wisconsin. This is the deepest run for the Wildcats in the history of the program.
Arizona led 55-48 with 8:44 left but Alabama took a 63-62 lead with 4:12 left. Alabama led 69-64 with 1:50 left but Ben Thornton scored with 1:05 left to cut the lead down to 69-68. Arizona had the ball down by one point with 49.7 seconds left but a missed shot gave the ball back to Alabama on the rebound with 30.3 seconds left.
Ignacio Ortega made two free throws to make it 71-68 Alabama. Arizona had two tries at a 3-pointer but Alabama got the last rebound with 5.1 seconds left and two more free throws from Ortega gave Alabama a 73-68 victory.
The No. 1 @UAZAdaptive Arizona Men's Wheelchair team to take on No. 2 Alabama Saturday for the national championship. Plenty of national awards earned by the Wildcats @AZATHLETICS @damien_alameda @PaulCicala @JasonBarrTV @DavidKellyKVOA @MichaelJLev https://t.co/2rviU5o0kF https://t.co/7bNWNzJmvA pic.twitter.com/X704UDAgDP
— Andy Morales (@AndyMorales8) March 18, 2023
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Named one of “Arizona’s Heart & Sol” by KOLD and Casino del Sol, Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and a 2019 AZ Education News recognition. He was a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling and his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is a Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. He earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater and he was recognized by City Councilman Richard Fimbres. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org