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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, March 24, 2013 6:15 am

Lyons makes 3rd trip to Sweet 16 with 2nd team

By EDDIE PELLSAP National Writer

Mark Lyons is making his first trip to the second weekend of the tournament with Arizona, though he'll hardly feel out of place there.

He's been there three times before.

Lyons, who matched his career high with 27 points in Arizona's 74-51 win over Harvard, was recruited to Xavier by its then-coach Sean Miller. He was enrolled there from 2008 through last season, when the Musketeers were a second-week fixture in the tournament.

Lyons transferred to Arizona this season to close out his college career with Miller.

"It's a great feeling," Lyons said. "I'm playing for my original coach who recruited me, playing with a bunch of guys who believe in me. We've been coming together as a team. It's great to be back in the Sweet 16 and trying to advance."

Lyons was a partial qualifier during Miller's final year at Xavier, 2008-09, so while he didn't play in their Sweet 16 appearance, he was an everyday fixture on the team. The Musketeers went back in 2010, then again in 2012. Now, the Wildcats are in for 2013.

"I think it's remarkable," Miller said. "It shows you how talented he is and it also shows you, the bigger game can really bring out the best in him."