The Arizona Wildcats (No. 1 seed) advanced to the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament Thursday with a hard-fought 70-64 win over the San Diego State Aztecs (No. 4).
Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon finished with 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting with six rebounds and two blocks in 39 minutes.
Gordon, a 6-foot-9 forward, is projected to be a top-10 pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
The Lakers (24-47) currently have the sixth-worst record in the league. If that doesn’t change by the end of the season, the Lakers will either jump to a top-three pick through the draft lottery -- or pick in the sixth-to-ninth range.
Gordon may fall in that latter range, although a run to a national title might be enough to entice a top-five team.
Arizona will play the Wisconsin Badgers (No. 2) on Saturday.
Most of the top NBA prospects were eliminated in earlier rounds of the tournament, including Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, Duke’s Jabari Parker, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis and Creighton’s Doug McDermott.
UCLA (No. 4) was also knocked out on Thursday -- along with possible first-round picks Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and Zach LaVine -- with a loss to the Florida Gators (No. 1).
The Kentucky Wildcats (No. 8) play on Friday with a potential top-five prospect in Julius Randle facing the Louisville Cardinals (No. 4). Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein may also end up a lottery pick. Wildcat guard James Young and Cardinal forward Montrezl Harrell may be top-20 picks.
Other first-round prospects playing on Friday include Michigan State’s Gary Harris and Adreian Payne, along with Michigan’s Nik Stauskas.