SALT LAKE CITY — Arizona Wildcats backup guard Jordin Mayes has scored at least eight points in a game only four times this season. Three of those occasions have occurred in March.
“Man, his favorite month is March,” said Arizona senior Kevin Parrom.
“He plays in March. I don’t know what happened at the beginning of the year, but I know Mayes is going to come through in March.”
Mayes scored eight points in Arizona’s 74-51 victory against Harvard on Saturday, hitting a 3-pointer and twice scoring on drives to the basket. He played 19 minutes — his fourth-highest total of the season — needed more after Parrom fouled out with 12:48 to play.
Mayes also had three assists, two on lob passes to guard Mark Lyons.
“He’s stepped up in the last month,” coach Sean Miller said of Mayes. “But today he played a really strong game on offense and defense.”
Arizona senior guard Mark Lyons, as an immediate-eligible graduate transfer from Xavier, is the first player in NCAA Tournament to play in back-to-back Sweet 16s for different schools.
Lyons scored 50 points in two tournament games in Salt Lake City, saying there is an advantage to being out of conference play.
“It’s tough when you go against teams a couple of times and they are keying on you, and they know your team’s philosophies because they’ve played against you so many time. Now, it’s all new faces. People scout, but they don’t know our plays that well and I can get to the spots I want to.”
Harvard point guard Siyani Chambers ran into Kevin Parrom’s elbow early in the second half and chipped a front tooth.
Chambers was pushing the ball past midcourt and was trying to pass to Christian Webster. Parrom was trying to make a play on the ball … and then the players collided.
“I tried to throw it to him, went up in the air, came down and before I knew it my tooth was out,” Chamber said.
Officials looked at replays to determine if there was flagrant foul, but there was no foul at all. It was just incidental contact.
“They always go to the monitor when it deals with me,” Parrom said. “I asked him if he was doing OK. It was nothing intentional. I was just trying to jump up and get the pass.”
Parrom sustained a minor cut to his elbow on the play.
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT
Miller’s postseason bonus jumped from $25,000 to $75,000 by reaching the Sweet 16. Here’s his potential bonus moving forward: $125,000 for advancing to the Elite Eight; $300,000 for advancing to the Final Four; $675,000 for winning the national championship.
THEY SAID IT
– “We came into this tournament, cornered, hungry and ready to do something.” — Arizona coach Sean Miller.
– “Film didn’t give them as much credit as they deserved. They were tremendous on defense, their rotations, their size. Their length was a problem tonight. They played a great game and they played great defense.” — Harvard point guard Siyani Chambers, on Arizona.
CHANGING HIS TUNE
ESPN analyst Dick Vitale picked Belmont to upset Arizona on Thursday, but now he’s singing the praises of the Cats and the Pac-12:
Pac-12 looking good again. Arizona and Oregon both rolling. Stock up, baby! Where is that east coast bias?
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) March 24, 2013