Kansas had been No. 1 for almost all last season when Arizona upset the Jayhawks in the Southeast Regional finals and then went on to win the national championship.
This time, Kansas pulled out to a big lead and then held off a furious comeback in the second half, one that didn't end until Mike Bibby's three-point attempt just before the buzzer veered off the rim.
LaFrentz scored six of his career-high 32 points in the final two minutes and freshman Kenny Gregory rebounded his own miss and hit a layup with five seconds left to preserve the victory in the frenzied atmosphere of the United Center.
LaFrentz hit two free throws with 27 seconds left to give Kansas (7-0) an 88-84 lead. But Jason Terry, who helped lead Arizona's comeback from a 20-point, second-half deficit, hit a three-pointer with 14 seconds left to make it 88-87.
After the Jayhawks got the ball in bounds and down court, Gregory scored for a three-point lead.
Arizona rushed the ball up court and Bibby's long ``three'' misfired.
Paul Pierce, who hurt his right ankle midway through the second half but returned to the game, scored 17 points for Kansas (7-0).
Bibby had 22 points, Michael Dickerson 17 and A.J. Bramlett 15 for Arizona (4-2).
Tonight's doubleheader features Louisville vs. North Carolina and Kentucky vs. Purdue.
CINCY: FORWARD REINSTATED The NCAA restored the eligibility of Cincinnati senior forward Ruben Patterson, but said he must sit out 14 games for accepting illegal benefits. The school will appeal.
AGENT: CUTS TIES John Lounsbury, a sports agent who provided Connecticut players Ricky Moore and Kirk King with airline tickets in violation of NCAA rules, agreed not to be an agent for student-athletes for the next five years.
TENNESSEE: CENTER OUT Tennessee sophomore center Charles Hathaway is being treated at a Knoxville hospital for a blood clot in his shoulder.