NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament West Regional-Arizona vs Clemson

LOS ANGELES -- Clemson guard Dillon Hunter isn't afraid to admit the play of his older brother Chase Hunter often brings him to tears. In the Tigers' monumental 77-72 win over No. 2 seed Arizona on Thursday in the Sweet 16, it was the younger Hunter brother who made his older brother proud by converting one of the biggest shots in Clemson basketball history.

Dillon Hunter, a second-year guard who averages a mere 2.4 points made the biggest shot of his life — a layup with nine seconds left — to seal Clemson's first Elite Eight appearance since 1980. Perhaps the most nervous and excited fan watching in the stands was their mom, Brandi — a former college basketball player herself. She starred at Georgia in the late 1990s and was part of two Final Four teams in 1995 and 1996.

"It was everything for me," Chase Hunter told CBS Sports. "Growing up, we would play each other one-on-one outside. There were some arguments here and there, but now that we are on the same team, to see him hit that layup with my mom in the stands — we were just smiling at each other. That was a big moment for our family."

Chase Hunter finished with a game-high 18 points and hit another massive shot the possession before — an and-1 with 25 seconds left that stretched the lead to five and put massive pressure on Arizona.

"We are always with each other," Dillon Hunter said. "Seeing him just thrive on the court, it's special man. Sometimes I come to tears just looking at him go crazy. It was a special moment seeing my mom and family in the stands. ... he just chest-bumped me (after that shot) he was excited."

The scoring before that moment wasn't so easy for Clemson. Arizona held Clemson without a field goal for nearly six minutes before star big man PJ Hall ended the drought with 1:43 remaining. Clemson led by as many as 13 points in the opening half before Arizona mounted a comeback to take a brief lead with 14:32 left.

Every time the Wildcats went on a run in front of a mostly Arizona-heavy crowd, Clemson responded. The Tigers held Arizona's third-ranked scoring offense (87.6 ppg) to 72 points. They did it by controlling the tempo and surviving a couple of heavyweight blows from the Pac-12 juggernaut.

It's the reason why they're advancing and Arizona is going home.

"We talked about it at halftime," Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. "Guys, they're going to make another run or two. And we've used the phrase 'we're built for this, we can handle this.' We have confidence in our team. We've won some big-time road games this year. We've played a very challenging schedule -- again, my point that the ACC is much better than everybody maybe assumes is bearing fruit again. And I just think the league prepares us for these kinds of games. And I've got an older team. These guys have seen a lot, done a lot and experienced success. And so just really happy that they were able to withstand it, and we executed some things really well down the stretch."

The Tigers held the Wildcats to five made 3-pointers on 5-of-28 shooting. They were able to slow down one of the fastest offenses in the country behind a balanced scoring attack. Hall finished with 17 points, versatile big man Ian Schieffelin added 14, and Chauncey Wiggins hit two 3-pointers to set up a date with No. 4 seed Alabama in the West Regional Final on Saturday at 8:49 p.m. ET after the Crimson Tide defeated No. 1 seed North Carolina 89-86 in Friday's other West Regional Semifinal 

Clemson defeated Alabama 85-77 on the road in the ACC/SEC Challenge earlier this season. Less than a year after just missing out on the NCAA Tournament entirely, the Tigers are one win away vs. a team they have already beaten this season from their first Final Four in program history.