March 22, 2009


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MIAMI (AP) -The new role as long shots seems to suit the Arizona Wildcats fine.

Seeded only 12th, the NCAA tournament perennials took an early 14-point lead Sunday and advanced to the round of 16 by beating upstart Cleveland State 71-57.

The Wildcats (21-13) are appearing in the tournament for the 25th year in a row, two shy of the record. But they've never been seeded so low and drew criticism as undeserving of a berth.

Now they're bound for the final 16 for the 12th time since 1988.

Nic Wise scored 21 points to lead four double-figure scorers for the Wildcats, who earned a trip the Midwest Regional semifinal in Indianapolis.

Bracket-busting Cleveland State, seeded 13th, finished 26-11.