Arizona Wildcats men's basketball
|University||University of Arizona|
|Head coach||Sean Miller (5th year)|
Cardinal and Navy
|NCAA Tournament champions|
|NCAA Tournament runner up|
|NCAA Tournament Final Four|
|1988, 1994, 1997, 2001|
|NCAA Tournament Elite Eight|
|1976, 1988, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2011|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1951, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1951, 1976, 1977, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999*, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013
*vacated by NCAA
|Conference tournament champions|
|1988, 1989, 1990, 2002 (Pac-10)|
|Conference regular season champions|
|1932, 1933, 1936, 1940, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953 (BIAA)
1986, 1988, 1989,1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2011 (Pac-10)
The Arizona Wildcats basketball team is the intercollegiate men's basketball program representing the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The team competes in the Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12) of NCAA Division I. They are currently coached by Sean Miller.
Arizona has a long and rich basketball history. The program came to national prominence under the tutelage of former head coach Lute Olson, who since 1983 has established the program as among America's elite in college basketball. One writer referred to UA as "Point Guard U" because the school has produced successful guards like Steve Kerr, Damon Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves, Jason Terry, Gilbert Arenas, Mike Bibby, Jerryd Bayless and others.
From 1985 to 2009, the Arizona basketball team reached the NCAA Tournament for 25 consecutive years, two years shy of North Carolina's record of 27. Despite a 1999 appearance later vacated by the NCAA, the media still cites Arizona's streak, and simply note the change. The Wildcats have reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament on four occasions (1988, 1994, 1997, and 2001). In 1997, Arizona defeated the University of Kentucky, the defending national champions, to win the NCAA National Championship. In Pac-10 play, former head coach Lute Olson currently holds the record for most wins as a Pac-10 coach at 327. In addition, the team has won 12 Pac-10 regular season titles and 4 Pac-10 tournament titles. Arizona also holds the distinction of recording 5 out of the 7 17–1 Pac-10 seasons (one-loss seasons). No team has gone undefeated since the formation of the Pac-10. Arizona has spent 110 weeks in the top 5 which is 10th all-time, 226 weeks in the top 10 which is 8th all-time and 423 weeks in the top 25 which is 10th all-time. Arizona has intense rivalries with the in-state Arizona State Sun Devils, and the out-of-state UCLA Bruins and Kansas Jayhawks.
- 1 History
- 2 Coaching records
- 3 Players
- 4 Post season
- 5 Current team
- 6 Game day traditions
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
University of Arizona fielded its first men's basketball team in 1904–05. Orin Albert Kates coached the team and drew opponents from local YMCAs. The first game Arizona played ended in a 40–32 victory over the Morenci YMCA.
In 1914, Arizona's first famous coach, James Fred "Pop" McKale was lured away from a teaching and coaching job at Tucson High School to take over as Athletic Director and coach basketball, football, baseball and track. McKale took things to a new level, posting a 9–0 record his first season as a basketball coach. Moreover, McKale elevated the program to intercollegiate play. While basketball was his least favorite of the many sports he coached while at UA, He chalked up three undefeated seasons and a career-winning average of .803, which has never been bested by a UA coach who has held the post for at least three years. The McKale Memorial Center, the main arena for Arizona basketball, is named in his honor.
From 1925 to 1961, the program was under the stewardship of Fred Enke, UA's longest tenured coach. Coach Fred A. Enke was responsible for the early successes of Wildcat basketball. Enke amassed 509 wins in his tenure on the UA sidelines and still ranks as the second-winningest coach in school history, winning more than 60 percent of his games. Enke also led the Cats to the first four postseason appearances (3 N.I.T./1 NCAA) in school history and in 1950–51 competed in both the N.I.T. and NCAA postseason tournaments. Finally, he was the first coach to lead Arizona to a national ranking. Two of his teams (1950, 1951) finished the season ranked in the top 15.
Under Enke, UA competed in the now defunct Border Conference. Under Enke's direction, Arizona won 12 conference championships, including a span in which the Cats won or shared seven consecutive Border Conference titles (1942–51). No Border Conference team won as many league games (231) or overall contests (398) during its membership. In 1962, Arizona joined the Western Athletic Conference as a founding member after the Border Conference disbanded.
In 1972, Fred Snowden was hired as the head basketball coach, making Arizona the second Division I school and the first major program to hire an African American head coach. Known as "The Fox," Snowden brought the excitement back to Wildcat basketball during his 10 years on the Arizona sideline, averaging more than 80 points per game in six of his 10 years and topping the 100-point barrier 27 times. Snowden led Arizona to the NCAA tournament twice, in 1976 and 1977, getting as far as the Elite Eight in 1976 before losing to UCLA 82–66, a game after defeating UNLV in a Sweet Sixteen matchup. During the 1976 tournament he also logged Arizona's first and only tournament wins until Lute Olson's hiring, beating John Thompson's Georgetown team 83–76. Snowden's 1976 team also won the school's only WAC championship title on a buzzer-beater by Gilbert Myles verses New Mexico, with the help of the spectacular play of Bob Elliott, Jim Rappis, and Al Fleming. In 1978, Coach Snowden helped transition the basketball program over to the newly formed Pac-10. Snowden could not sustain success in the Pac-10, however, finishing no higher than 4th place in the conference. His 9–18 final season led UA to look for a replacement.
Athletic Director Dave Strack brought in Ben Lindsey to replace Fred Snowden in 1983, and on the surface, it seemed like a reasonable move. Lindsey had junior college expertise, having had a successful career at Grand Canyon University, where he won two national titles. What resulted, however, was nothing short of disaster. The 1983 team finished with the worst season in school history at 4–24, with only one Pac-10 win.
Lute Olson era
Newly hired UA Athletic director Cedric Dempsey fired Lindsey after only one season and hired University of Iowa coach Lute Olson as his successor. UA needed a coach with a history of quickly turning around programs, which Olson had done previously at Iowa. “I knew we had a tremendous amount of work to do,” Olson recalled in a recent interview with Tucson Lifestyle. “The program was in shambles at that point, after the terrible year before..."
Under Olson, Arizona quickly rose to national prominence. Arizona won its first Pac-10 title in 1986, only three years after his arrival. That season set up an amazing 1987–88 season, which included taking the Great Alaska Shootout championship, the Valley Bank Fiesta Bowl Classic championship and the Pac-10 championship. Under players Steve Kerr, Kenny Lofton and Sean Elliott, Arizona spent much of the season ranked #1 and made their first (and Olson's second) Final Four. While Arizona lost in the Final Four round, their play put the program on the map and launched Arizona's reign as a perennial Pac-10 and NCAA tournament contender. Sean Elliott was awarded the John R. Wooden Award on the season and would set the PAC-10 scoring record.
In 1997, Arizona defeated the University of Kentucky, the defending national champions, to win the NCAA National Championship. Prior to winning the championship in 1997, Arizona stormed back from 10-point deficits in the Southeast Regional First Round and Second Round against #13 South Alabama and #12 College of Charleston, respectively winning 65–57 and 73–69. The Southeast Regional Semifinal pitted against overall #1 Kansas (34–1) which had defeated Arizona the year before in the 1996 West Regional Semifinal. However, Arizona came out fast and stunned the Jayhawks 85–82, then prevailed in overtime against Providence 96–92 in the Elite Eight to clinch a berth in the Final Four. Arizona then beat #1 seed North Carolina 66–58 in the Final Four, which turned out to be Dean Smith's last game as a coach. Arizona also accomplished the unprecedented feat of beating three number one seeds in the 1997 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. This feat has never been done before or since up to this date 2013.
The year following the Championship season, 1998, Arizona returned all 5 starters (Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, Miles Simon, Bennett Davison, and A. J. Bramlett) and were poised to make another run after receiving the #1 overall seed in the West, but were upset by Utah in the Elite 8.
In 1999, all 5 starters were lost to graduation or early entry to the NBA draft and Arizona's hopes of continuing its streak of consecutives trip to the NCAA tournament was in jeopardy until senior point guard Jason Terry (the 6th man the previous two seasons) elevated his game (receiving National Player of the Year honors) and continued the school's amazing streak.
2001 was one of the most challenging and rewarding years for the program. Lute Olson’s wife Bobbi, well known to players and fans alike as a steadfast presence on the sidelines, lost her battle with cancer. The team, which had been a preseason pick by many to win the national title had to play without Olson for three weeks while Olson was on bereavement leave. The Cats vowed to dedicate their season to Bobbi. With guard Jason Gardner, center Loren Woods and forward Michael Wright — each an All-American — leading the way, the Cats trounced their opponents, beating Oregon 104–65, devastating USC 105–61, and charging through the Final Four. They took down Eastern Illinois, Butler, Mississippi, Illinois, and Michigan State, only to be stopped by Duke in the title game.
In his later years at UA, Olson fielded competitive teams with extremely talented point guards. Continuing the reputation and nickname "Point Guard U," recent standouts include Jason Gardner, Salim Stoudamire, Mustafa Shakur, Jerryd Bayless and Nic Wise. Arizona would win Lute's last Pac-10 title during the 2004–2005 season under the spectacular play of seniors Salim Stoudamire and center Channing Frye. That team also made it to the Elite 8 and the verge of the Final Four before blowing a 15-point lead with four minutes to play and losing in overtime, 90–89, to the No. 1 seed and eventual national runner-up, University of Illinois.
Olson took an unexplained leave of absence at the beginning of the 2007–2008 season. Assistant coach Kevin O'Neill took over interim head coaching duties for the Arizona Wildcats. At that time, Olson announced that he intended to be back for the 2008–09 season and finish out his contract, which was scheduled to end in 2011. His departure was criticized by some members of the media. They also questioned how he and the UA athletic department handled his return and the verbal succession agreement with coach O'Neill. However, on October 23, 2008, he unexpectedly announced his retirement from the program (by way of an announcement from Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood). A few days later, Olson's personal physician held a press conference and explained that the retirement was strongly advised due to health concerns.
After Lute Olson's abrupt retirement, Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood appointed assistant coach Russ Pennell as the interim head coach for the 2008–2009 season 23 days before the start of the season. The appointment came after Mike Dunlap, the associate head coach brought in to replace Kevin O'Neill, turned down the job. Under Pennell, the Cats finished 19–13 in the regular season, including a non-conference win over Kansas and a 7-game win streak with wins over UCLA and Washington. Despite a 19–13 finish to the season, Arizona was controversially selected as one of the last teams into the field of 65 as a 12th seed in the Midwest region, extending its NCAA consecutive tournament appearances to 25 years. The Cats made it to the Sweet 16 (regional semi-finals) with wins over 5-seed Utah and 13-seed Cleveland State, before falling to overall 1-seed, Louisville. Despite Pennell's post-season success, he was not retained, as Arizona announced before his hiring they would hold a national coaching search after the season ended. (On April 9, 2009, Pennell was hired as head coach of the men's basketball team at Division II Grand Canyon University, a member of the Pacific West Conference.)
After the end of the season, various coaching names were considered to succeed Lute Olson on a permanent basis. Arizona was perceived to have interest in Gonzaga's Mark Few, Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon and then-Memphis coach John Calipari (before he accepted the vacant position at Kentucky) to take the job. Arizona even brought USC's Tim Floyd on campus for an interview and while Arizona claims no formal offer was ever presented, Floyd ultimately turned down the job publicly.
Sean Miller era
Arizona hired Sean Miller from Xavier University to fill the head coaching position. He initially turned the job down before changing his mind and accepting the job on Apr. 6, 2009 despite having never visited the Arizona campus. Miller was formally introduced as the 13th head men's basketball coach at Arizona at a press conference on April 7, 2009 at McKale Center. At the press conference, Miller acknowledged Lute Olson's impact on the Arizona program by addressing Olson personally: "One of the reasons I sit here today is because of the great legacy you built." Miller also promised U of A fans that they would enjoy the style of both offense and defense he would bring to Wildcat basketball. Miller's salary is $1.6 million per year; he will receive an additional $400,000 per season from Nike and media contracts during a five-year deal, as well as a $1 million signing bonus and other amenities such as season tickets to other Wildcat sporting events and the use of a private jet. Within three months of joining the program, Miller compiled a strong five-player recruiting class that ranked 13th nationally in 2009.
After going 16–15 and missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years during Miller's initial 2009–10 campaign, the Cats would return to form by winning the regular season Pac-10 title in his second year as coach behind the play of sophomore Pac-10 Player of the Year Derrick Williams. It would be the Wildcats' first outright Pac-10 regular season title (its 12th overall), 30-win season (4th overall) and Elite Eight appearance (9th overall) since the 2004–2005 season. In addition, Miller led the Wildcats to their first unbeaten home record (17–0) in 14 years and was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. This was the first time an Arizona coach received this honor since Lute Olson in 2003. The 17 wins without a loss at home is tied for the second most in school history. Miller would add to the season's success by guiding the Cats to their first Elite Eight appearance since the 2004–2005 Season as a 5-seed. In the second round, Arizona secured a 2-point victory over 12th seeded Memphis (coached by former Wildcat (and member of the 1997 national title team) Josh Pastner) with a blocked shot in the final seconds by Derrick Williams. Arizona would follow with another close game—a controversial one-point win against 4-seed Texas. In the Sweet-16 match-up, Arizona found itself pitted against top-seeded Duke, the first time since the 2001 title game that the two schools had met. Duke would extend an early lead, but 25 points from Derrick Williams kept the Cats in the game and down by 6 points at the half. In the second half, Williams' teammates picked up the slack, dominating the Blue Devils by scoring 55 second-half points and routing the defending champs 93–77. Arizona's run at the Final Four would fall 2 points short, losing to 3-seed (and eventual national champion) Connecticut 65–63.
Arizona reached the Sweet 16 in 2013 falling to Ohio State, but would return the following season with the most talent Coach Miller has had since arriving in Tucson. On December 9th, 2013, Arizona became the #1 ranked Team in the Country for the 6th time in cchool history, after a 9-0 start with wins over traditional national powerhouses Duke and UNLV; the Wildcats followed up by securing a key come-from-behind victory on the road at Michigan on December 14th.
Arizona yearly records
|1904–1905||Orin A. Kates||1–0|
|1905–1906||Orin A. Kates||Intra Squad|
|1911–1912||Frank L. Kleeberger||2–2|
|Border Conference (1931–1961)|
|1945–1946||Fred Enke||25–5||14–3||1st||NIT 1st Round (0–1)|
|1949–1950||Fred Enke||26–5||14–2||1st||NIT 1st Round (0–1)|
|1950–1951||Fred Enke||24–6||15–1||1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen (0–1)
NIT 1st Round (0–1)
|Western Athletic Conference (1962–1978)|
|1975–1976||Fred Snowden||24–9||11–3||1st||NCAA Elite Eight (2–1)|
|1976–1977||Fred Snowden||21–6||10–4||2nd||NCAA 1st Round (0–1)|
|Pacific-10 Conference (1978–2011)|
|1984–1985||Lute Olson||21–10||12–6||T-3rd||NCAA 1st Round (0–1)|
|1985–1986||Lute Olson||23–9||14–4||1st||NCAA 1st Round (0–1)|
|1986–1987||Lute Olson||18–12||13–5||2nd||NCAA 1st Round (0–1)|
|1987–1988||Lute Olson||35–3||17–1||1st||NCAA Final Four (4–1)|
|1988–1989||Lute Olson||29–4||17–1||1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
|1989–1990||Lute Olson||25–7||15–3||T-1st||NCAA 2nd Round (1–1)|
|1990–1991||Lute Olson||28–7||14–4||1st||NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
|1991–1992||Lute Olson||24–7||13–5||3rd||NCAA 1st Round (0–1)|
|1992–1993||Lute Olson||24–4||17–1||1st||NCAA 1st Round (0–1)|
|1993–1994||Lute Olson||29–6||14–4||1st||NCAA Final Four (4–1)|
|1994–1995||Lute Olson||24–7||14–4||2nd||NCAA 1st Round (0–1)|
|1995–1996||Lute Olson||27–6||14–4||2nd||NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
|1996–1997||Lute Olson||25–9||11–7||5th||NCAA Champions (6–0)|
|1997–1998||Lute Olson||30–5||17–1||1st||NCAA Elite Eight (3–1)|
|1998–1999||Lute Olson||22–7||13–5||2nd||NCAA 1st Round (0–1)†|
|1999–2000||Lute Olson||27–7||15–3||T-1st||NCAA 2nd Round (1–1)|
|2000–2001||Lute Olson/Jim Rosborough||28–8†||15–3||2nd||NCAA Runner-Up (5–1)|
|2001–2002||Lute Olson||24–10||12–6||T-2nd||NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
|2002–2003||Lute Olson||28–4||17–1||1st||NCAA Elite Eight (3–1)|
|2003–2004||Lute Olson||20–10||11–7||3rd||NCAA 1st Round (0–1)|
|2004–2005||Lute Olson||30–7||15–3||1st||NCAA Elite Eight (3–1)|
|2005–2006||Lute Olson||20–13||11–7||T-4th||NCAA 2nd Round (1–1)|
|2006–2007||Lute Olson||20–11||11–7||T-3rd||NCAA 1st Round (0–1)|
|2007–2008||Kevin O'Neill||19–15§||8–10||7th||NCAA 1st Round (0–1)|
|2008–2009||Russ Pennell||21–14||9–9||T-5th||NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
|2010–2011||Sean Miller||30–8||14–4||1st||NCAA Elite Eight (3–1)|
|Pacific-12 Conference (2011–present)|
|2011–2012||Sean Miller||23–12||12–6||4th||NIT First Round (0–1)|
|2012–2013||Sean Miller||27–8||12–6||T-2nd||NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
National champion Conference regular season champion Conference tournament champion
*Due to travel restrictions during World War II, no official Border Conference championship was awarded in 1943–44 or 1944–45.
†Appearance vacated by the NCAA after it was discovered that point guard Jason Terry accepted money from agents his junior and senior year.
‡During Olson's leave of absence the team went 3–2, 3–1 in Pac-10 Play. These totals are not reflected in Olson's season record (25–6, 12–2 Pac-10)
§All 19 wins vacated by the NCAA for recruitment violations.
Career coaching records
|Orin A. Kates||1904–1906||1–0*||1.000|
|Frank L. Kleeberger||1911–1912||2–2||.500|
|Jim Rosborough ^||2000–2001||3–2||.600|
* Only intrasquad games were played in 1905–06.
^ Rosborough served as head coach for five games during the 2000–01 campaign while Olson took a leave of absence. Arizona was 28–8 overall and 15–3 in Pac-10 play that season.
+ O’Neill served as interim head coach while Olson missed the season due to a leave of absence.
- Lute Olson – 2001
Pac-10 Coach of the Year
Student-Athlete jerseys are retired but not individual player numbers.
|Arizona Wildcats men's basketball retired jerseys|
- 1989 – Sean Elliott
National Players of the Year
The following players were named player of the year by at least one major publication:
- 1989 – Sean Elliott (Associated Press, Wooden Award, National Association of Basketball Coaches)
- 1997 – Mike Bibby (Basketball Weekly)
- 1999 – Jason Terry (Sports Illustrated,Basketball Times, CBS/Chevrolet)
- 2000 – Jason Gardner (Basketball Times, Basketball News, US Basketball Writer's Association)
- 2003 – Jason Gardner (Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award)
- 1988 – Sean Elliott
- 1989 – Sean Elliott
- 1993 – Chris Mills
- 1995 – Damon Stoudamire
- 1998 – Mike Bibby
- 1999 – Jason Terry
- 2011 – Derrick Williams
Pac-10 Freshman of the Year
- 1986 – Sean Elliott
- 1997 – Mike Bibby
- 1999 – Michael Wright
- 2002 – Salim Stoudamire
- 2007 – Chase Budinger
- 2010 – Derrick Williams
Frank Hessler Award Pac-10 All-Newcomer of the Year
- 2000 – Loren Woods
Men's NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player
- 1997– Miles Simon
- 1951 – Roger Johnson
- 1976 – Bob Elliott
- 1977 – Bob Elliott
- 1988 – Sean Elliott (Consensus)
- 1988 – Steve Kerr
- 1989 – Sean Elliott (Consensus)
- 1992 – Sean Rooks
- 1993 – Chris Mills
- 1994 – Khalid Reeves (Consensus)
- 1995 – Damon Stoudamire (Consensus)
- 1997 – Michael Dickerson
- 1998 – Mike Bibby (Consensus)
- 1998 – Michael Dickerson
- 1998 – Miles Simon (Consensus)
- 1999 – Jason Terry (Consensus)
- 2000 – Loren Woods
- 2000 – Michael Wright
- 2001 – Loren Woods
- 2001 – Michael Wright
- 2002 – Jason Gardner
- 2002 – Luke Walton
- 2003 – Jason Gardner (Consensus)
- 2003 – Andre Iguodala
- 2005 – Salim Stoudamire (Consensus)
- 2009 – Jordan Hill
- 2011 – Derrick Williams (Consensus)
First team All-American
- 1988 – Sean Elliott
- 1989 – Sean Elliott
- 1995 – Damon Stoudamire
- 1998 – Mike Bibby
- 1998 – Miles Simon
- 1999 – Jason Terry
NBA Draft picks
13 NBA Championships have been won by Wildcats players. Since the NBA draft was shortened to two rounds in 1989, Arizona leads the nation with 31 selections in that span. This number grew when Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger were selected in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Source: Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide 
Notable Former Arizona Wildcats
|Name||Seasons as Wildcat||Post-Wildcat accomplishment|
|Gilbert Arenas||1999-01||NBA All-star (3)|
|Mike Bibby||1996–98||NBA All-Rookie first team|
|Jud Buechler||1986–90||NBA Champion (3), 11 NBA seasons|
|Bison Dele (Brian Williams)||1989–90||NBA Champion, 7 NBA seasons|
|Sean Elliott||1985–89||NBA All-star (2), NBA Champion (1), 12 NBA seasons|
|Channing Frye||2001–05||NBA All-Rookie Team, currently with Phoenix Suns|
|Andre Iguodala||2002–04||NBA All-Rookie Team, Currently with Golden State Warriors|
|Richard Jefferson||1998-01||United States – 2004 Summer Olympics – Bronze medal, Currently with Utah Jazz|
|Steve Kerr||1983–88||NBA Champion (5), 17 NBA seasons, TNT NBA Analyst|
|Kenny Lofton||1985–89||MLB All-star (6), Gold Glove Award (4), 17 MLB seasons|
|Josh Pastner||1996-00||Head Coach, University of Memphis men's basketball|
|Damon Stoudamire||1991–95||NBA Rookie of the Year, 16 NBA Seasons|
|Jason Terry||1995–99||NBA Sixth-man award, NBA Champion, currently with Brooklyn Nets|
|Mo Udall||1941–42, 46–48||Former member U.S. Congress (30 years)|
|Luke Walton||1998-03||NBA Champion (2), currently with Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Leon Wood||1979–80||United States – 1984 Summer Olympics – Gold medal, 7 NBA seasons|
Source: Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide 
UA has won the Pac-10/12 Tournament a record four times, including three straight times from 1988–90. The Wildcats have played in the tournament final six times. UA also has a record 5 tournament MVPs. Salim Stoudamire is 1 of only 2 players to win the MVP from a losing squad.
|1988||Arizona||93–67||Oregon State||McKale Center||Tucson, Arizona||Sean Elliott, Arizona|
|1989||Arizona||73–51||Stanford||Great Western Forum||Inglewood, California||Sean Elliott, Arizona|
|1990||Arizona||94–78||UCLA||University Activity Center||Tempe, Arizona||Jud Buechler, Arizona|
|2002||Arizona||81–71||USC||Staples Center||Los Angeles, California||Luke Walton, Arizona|
|2005||Washington||81–72||Arizona||Staples Center||Los Angeles, California||Salim Stoudamire, Arizona|
|2011||Washington||77–75(OT)||Arizona||Staples Center||Los Angeles, California||Isaiah Thomas, Washington|
|2012||Colorado||53–51||Arizona||MGM Garden Arena||Las Vegas, Nevada||Carlon Brown, Colorado|
The University of Arizona has made 30 NCAA tournament appearances, including a run of 25 consecutive years from 1985–2009, which is second only to the North Carolina Tar Heel's 27-year streak from 1975–2001. Their combined record is 43–26, including a 1997 National Championship and 4 final fours (1988, 1994, 1997, 2001) . Arizona is also one of only four #2 seeds to ever lose a first round game, losing 64–61 to #15 seed Santa Clara, led by future NBA star Steve Nash in 1993. In addition, the 1997 Arizona team is the only team to date to beat three #1 seeds to win the national championship.
NCAA Tournament Seeding History (seeding began in 1979)
|1985||10||1st Round (0–1)|
|1986||9||1st Round (0–1)|
|1987||10||1st Round (0–1)|
|1988||1||Final Four (4–1)|
|1989||1||Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
|1990||2||2nd Round (1–1)|
|1991||2||Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
|1992||3||1st Round (0–1)|
|1993||2||1st Round (0–1)|
|1994||2||Final Four (4–1)|
|1995||5||1st Round (0–1)|
|1996||3||Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
|1998||1||Elite Eight (3–1)|
|1999||4||1st Round (0–1)|
|2000||1||2nd Round (1–1)|
|2002||3||Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
|2003||1||Elite Eight (3–1)|
|2004||9||1st Round (0–1)|
|2005||3||Elite Eight (3–1)|
|2006||8||2nd Round (1–1)|
|2007||8||1st Round (0–1)|
|2008||10||1st Round (0–1)|
|2009||12||Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
|2011||5||Elite Eight (3–1)|
|2013||6||Sweet Sixteen (2–1)|
|2013–14 Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team|
Game day traditions
- Before every game, the band splits into four sections in the four sides of McKale Center. They play Bear Down Arizona in sequence before the band runs back to the student section in the north stands and plays all of Bear Down. The band also yells "Hi fans!" to the fans, who respond by yelling "Hi band!" and "Hi Sean!" to head coach Sean Miller, who responds by waving to the band. The band also yells "Hi Niya!" to Arizona women's basketball coach Niya Butts.
- While the opposing team's players are being introduced, the student section turns their backs to the court. As each player's name is announced, they will yell "Sucks!" In the interest of sportsmanship, though, the Athletic Department is attempting to phase this tradition out.
- At the start of each half, the entire crowd will stand until the other team scores a point. The fans will also claim rhythmically with the band as it plays a four-note refrain repeatedly until the ball is tipped or inbounded.
- During the first four minutes of each half, or until the first media timeout, the band and students have several chants.
- Every time an opposing player dribbles, the yell is "Boing!"
- Every time they pass, the yell is "Pass!"
- Every time they try to shoot, the yell is "Brick!"
- When an opposing player fouls an Arizona player, the band and students chant, while pointing at the opposing player, "You! You! You! You! You! You! You! You! You! On you, that's who!" If the foul occurs during a shot and the player makes the shot, the chant is instead "Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! No no no no! No no no no! No no no no! No no no no! Don't touch me!"
- If an opposing player accrues four fouls during the game, they will chant "Four!" four times while waving four fingers. If a player fouls out, the band plays the beat from "Another One Bites the Dust," concluding with the band and students yelling "Hey! We're gonna get you too!" They will then chant "Left! Right!" as the player walks back to the bench and yell "Sit down!" when the player sits.
- When opposing players are attempting foul shots, besides attempting to distract the player, the band and students have several chants, but the only constant one is yelled if the player misses their first shot of a two-shot foul, in which case they yell "Nice shot, buddy!"
- If Arizona is beating an opponent by a comfortable margin late in the game, the band and students will chant "Go start the bus!" repeatedly. If an opponent makes a big play, they will chant "It just doesn't matter!"
- Since the 1980s, the "Ooh Aah Man" Joe Cavaleri has made appearances at McKale to pump up the crowd. He starts by spelling out "A-R-I-Z-O-N-A!" with his body as the crowd chants along. He then directs the crowd in chanting "U of A!", first by each side of the arena, then by the north and south sides and east and west sides simultaneously then by the whole arena. His routine usually involves pulling off his shirt and pants to reveal another Arizona shirt and shorts underneath. Unfortunately, Cavaleri was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and has only made a few appearances during the 2010–2011 season.
- At the end of every home game (and every Arizona athletics event the band is present at) the band plays Arizona's alma mater, "All Hail, Arizona!" Students and fans link arms, sway as they sing and jump up and down while singing the last part of the song.
- NCAA Men's Division I Final Four appearances by coaches
- NCAA Men's Division I Final Four appearances by school
- NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament consecutive appearances
- Schools To Return Tournament $
- NCAA Record Book
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- Ooh Aah Man at McKale vs ASU 1/15/11 on YouTube