While Arizona sophomore Center Kaleb Tarczewski was trying to help his team get to the final four, his closest family and friends were back home hoping this wouldn't be his final game of the season. The kid from a town of 13,000 was living his dream in an arena of 18,000.
"It's pretty incredible for my son to come out of Claremont, New Hampshire and get recruited that heavily," Kaleb's father, Erick Tarczewski, said. "Now getting a chance to have that experience on the NCAA Tournament level, it's incredible."
"That's as big as it gets and you've got to follow him on his dream," Kaleb's former high school teammate Zach Melcher said. "That's his dream. We've got the community supporting him."
Kaleb spent two seasons at Stevens High School in Claremont before transferring to a prep school in Massachusetts. His former teammates and coaches say they knew even back then he was special.
"After 8th grade he (Kaleb) grew to be 6'8," Kaleb's high school coach Wade McAllister said. "He always could play and run and had the drive. He was easy to coach and a good teammate."
Despite 12 points from Tarczewski, Arizona would fall to Wisconsin in a thriller, 64 to 63. Maybe a loss on the scoreboard, but Kaleb's contingent felt like winners.
"Kaleb knows he means a lot to this town," Melcher said.
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