Arizona Wildcats men's basketball

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Arizona Wildcats men's basketball
2016–17 Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team
University of Arizona Block A.svg
University University of Arizona
All-time record 1,760–924 (.656)
Conference Pac–12
Location Tucson, AZ
Head coach Sean Miller (8th year)
Arena McKale Center
(Capacity: 14,655)
Nickname Wildcats
Colors Cardinal and Navy Blue[1]
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
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, 2014, 2015
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1951, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1976, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015
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, 2014, 2015, 2016
*vacated by NCAA[2][3]
Conference tournament champions
Pac-10/12: 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2015
Conference regular season champions
BIAA: 1932, 1933, 1936, 1940, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953
WAC: 1976
Pac-10/12: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2014, 2015

The Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team is the intercollegiate men's basketball program representing the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, United States. They compete in the Pac-12 Conference of NCAA Division I and 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"[4] because the school has produced successful guards like Steve Kerr, Damon Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Jason Gardner, Jerryd Bayless, and T. J. McConnell, among others.

From 1985 to 2009, the Arizona basketball team reached the NCAA Division I Tournament for 25 consecutive years, two years shy of North Carolina's record with 27.[5][6][7] Despite having their 1999 & 2008 appearances later vacated by the NCAA, the media still cites Arizona's streak, and simply notes the changes.[8][9] The Wildcats have reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament on four occasions (1988, 1994, 1997, and 2001). They have also made two appearances in the National Championship (won over Kentucky Wildcats in 1997, lost to Duke Blue Devils in 2001). In Pac-10 play, former head coach Lute Olson currently holds the record for most wins as a Pac-10 coach with 327.[10] In addition, the team has won 14 Pac-10/12 regular season titles and five Pac-10/12 tournament championships.[10] Arizona also holds the distinction of recording five out of the seven 17–1 Pac-10 seasons (one-loss seasons).[10] No team has gone undefeated since the formation of the Pac-10/12. Arizona has spent 37 weeks at No. 1 in the AP Poll, which is eighth-most all-time; 143 weeks in the Top 5, seventh all-time; 280 weeks in the Top 10, sixth all-time; and 482 weeks in the Top 25, ninth all-time.

The history of Wildcats basketball[edit]

Early history (1904–1925)[edit]

The 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.[11]

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.[11] McKale took things to a new level, posting a 9–0 record his first season as a basketball coach.[11] Moreover, McKale elevated the program to intercollegiate play.[11] 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.[11] The McKale Memorial Center, the main arena for Arizona basketball, is named in his honor.[11]

Fred Enke era[edit]

From 1925 to 1961, the program was under the stewardship of Fred Enke, UA's longest tenured coach.[12] 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.[12]

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.[12] In 1962, Arizona joined the Western Athletic Conference as a founding member after the Border Conference disbanded.[12]

Fred Snowden era[edit]

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.[13][14] 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.[12] 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.[11]

Known for his high-octane offense and remembered as a trailblazer, Fred "The Fox" Snowden brought excitement to Arizona basketball during his 10-year tenure as the program's head coach. Snowden, who led the Wildcats from 1972–82, was the first African-American head basketball coach at an NCAA Division I institution, amassing a 167–108 mark. The 1973 Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, his career winning percentage of .607 has been topped by only three UA coaches since 1924. Nicknamed "The Fox" due to his cool demeanor, Snowden led Arizona to three postseason berths, including the 1975 National Commissioners’ Invitational Tournament and the 1976 and 1977 NCAA Tournaments. His best season came in 1976, when the Wildcats went 24–9, won the Western Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA West Regional Final. The Brewton, Ala., native was the head coach who led Arizona into the Pac-10 in the 1978–79 season, guiding the program for its first four seasons in the Conference. Snowden also oversaw the transition into the McKale Center after its opening in 1973. He was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. Prior to his role at Arizona, Snowden was an assistant coach at Michigan. He also served on the coaching staff of his high school, Northwestern High School in Detroit, Mich., where he coached for five years after attending Wayne State University from 1954–58. Snowden died in 1994 at the age of 57.

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.[11]

Lute Olson era[edit]

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..."[11]

All-American Sean Elliott won several national college basketball awards and set the school's scoring record while helping lead the Wildcats to the Final Four in 1988.

Under Olson, Arizona quickly rose to national prominence. Arizona won its first Pac-10 title in 1986, only three years after his arrival.[11] 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.[11] 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.[11] 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.[11]

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 accomplished by another team.

The year following the Championship season, 1998, Arizona returned all 5 starters (Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, Miles Simon, Bennett Davison, and A. J. Bramlett[15]) 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. While being considered the favorite to win the title, which would have been Coach Olsen's 2nd and tied him with Coach Mike Krzyzewski, his opponent, the Blue Devils claimed a ten-point victory in the game. This is the last game Coach Olsen ever coached in the Final Four and is considered by fans of the program to be his most bitter defeat. A championship would have vaulted him into hallowed ground among coaches, being one of few with multiple titles. Instead he remains tied with many coaches who have a single championship ring to their name. Meanwhile, his opponent in that game now is alone in second place among college coaches with five championship rings, behind only John Wooden's ten. It should be noted that all five of Krzyzewski's titles came in the 64 team field era while zero of Wooden's did. Still Coach Olsen earned the respect of his contemporary, Coach K said in the post game interview that "Arizona had a great team and an amazing season and was worthy of winning the championship, lets give a hand to Coach Olsen and his team." The comment drew rousing applause from the audience in attendance and made Coach Olsen proud, even in defeat, to be honored as an equal by Coach Krzyzewski who many claim is the best coach in college history.

In his later years at UA, Olson fielded competitive teams with extremely talented point guards. Continuing the reputation and nickname "Point Guard U,"[4] recent standouts include Jason Gardner, Salim Stoudamire, Mustafa Shakur, Jerryd Bayless and Nic Wise. Arizona would win Olson'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.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18] However, on October 23, 2008, he unexpectedly announced his retirement from the program (by way of an announcement from Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood).[19] A few days later, Olson's personal physician held a press conference and explained that the retirement was strongly advised due to health concerns.[20][21]

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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] 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.[24] (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[edit]

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.[25] 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.[26] 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."[27] 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.[27] Within three months of joining the program, Miller compiled a strong five-player recruiting class that ranked 13th nationally in 2009.[28] After going 16–15 and missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years during Miller's initial 2009–10 campaign.

In his second season as the head coach at Arizona, the Cats finished the season with 30–8, 14–4 Pac-12 play, behind the play of sophomore Pac-10 Player of the Year Derrick Williams.[29] It would be the Wildcats' first outright Pac-10 regular season title (its 12th overall), 4th 30+ win season (1st overall) and Elite Eight appearance (8th 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.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32] 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.[32] 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.[32] Arizona's run at the Final Four would fall 2 points short, losing to 3-seed (and eventual national champion) Connecticut 65–63.

For his third season, Arizona's 2011 recruiting class was ranked 7th, notably signing Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner. Arizona secured three players in the top nine of the ESPNU 100, with all four newly signed players within the top 36. This has cemented Arizona as the No. 1 signing class nationally, surpassing Kentucky who held the No. 1 spot 2010 and 2011.[33][34][35] The Wildcats missed the postseason for the second time, reached to the NIT Tournament before falling to Bucknell to finish the season 23–12 overall, 12–6 in Pac-12.

In his fourth season, Miller guided to its second top-5 ranking in the AP poll(the first coming in weeks 7–10 of the 2012–2013 season[36]), Arizona reached the Sweet 16 in 2013 falling to Ohio State, finished the season with 27–8, 12–6 in Pac-12.

In his fifth season with the most talent Coach Miller has had since arriving in Tucson. On December 9, 2013, Arizona became the #1 ranked Team in the Country for the 6th time in school history, after a 9–0 start with wins over traditional national powerhouses Duke and UNLV. The Wildcats followed this up by securing a key come-from-behind victory on the road at Michigan on December 14 and led the Wildcats to their second outright Pac-12 Regular Season Title (its 13th overall, 26th regular season overall) in Sean Miller's fifth year as the head coach. Arizona reached the second unbeaten home record at (18–0), Coach Miller again named the second Pac-10/12 coach of the year, 5th 30+ wins season (2nd overall), 2nd Elite Eight appearance (9th overall) in 2014. But in the 2014 NCAA tournament, the Wildcats would fall to Wisconsin in overtime, they finish the season with 33–5, 15–3 in Pac-12.

Miller is currently in his sixth season as the Arizona Wildcats basketball head coach. After Gonzaga's home loss to BYU on February 28, 2015, Arizona claimed the longest active home winning streak in D-I men's college basketball (38th home win at 2nd all-time, 82nd home win at 5th all-time). Arizona defeated #13 Utah in Salt Lake City the same day, winning its share of the Pac-12 regular season title. After three losses to Pac-12 archrival Arizona State, Oregon State and UNLV, Arizona won their third Pac-12 regular season championship title (2nd straight year, its 14th overall, 27th overall). Arizona reached the third unbeaten home record at (17–0). The Wildcats completes their sixth ever 30+ win (3rd overall) and won their first Pac-12 Tournament title (5th overall) since 2002. In the 2015 NCAA tournament, the Wildcats fell to the Wisconsin Badgers in Elite Eight, 85–78, and finished the season 34–4, 16–2 in the Pac-12.[37]


Traditional rivalries[edit]


Team Arizona Record First Meeting Latest Result Home Record Away Record Neutral Record Notes
Arizona State 148–82 Dec 13, 1913 (Arizona 41–17) Jan 12, 2017 (TBA) 86–29 61–53 1–1 Arizona–Arizona State
UCLA 41–54 Feb 19, 1923 (UCLA 43–30) Jan 21, 2017 (TBA) 24–15 13–33 3–7 Arizona–UCLA

Since becoming a University in December 5, 1958 ASU trails Arizona 54–68. Since both schools joined the Pac-10 conference in the 1978–79 season Arizona leads ASU 54–26. Since Lute Olson took over as head coach for the 1983–84 season Arizona leads ASU 53–15. In 2010 Arizona State beat Arizona at home for the third straight time in the McKale Center, the first time this feat had been achieved by the Sun Devils since the 1981–82 season; Arizona has a 36–10 Record at Mckale Center. On February 7, 2015 Arizona State upset the #6 Ranked Wildcats for the second straight year in Tempe, Arizona Leads ASU 24–20 at Wells Fargo Arena.

Before the arrival of Lute Olson at Arizona, the Bruins had won 21 of 23 games against the Wildcats. UCLA had been seen as the dominant college basketball program in the west, with few teams able to challenge UCLA for the throne beyond a few wins. The rivalry did not gather steam until Lute Olson's arrival in 1984, who compiled a 28–23 record against the Bruins during his tenure as Arizona's head coach. Since then, the two schools competed for the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) Championship every year, with the two teams winning 22 out of the 30 conference titles, and 8 of 17 conference tournament titles. Arizona clinched their first conference title in 1986, when they won on the road at UCLA in Olsen's third season.[39][40] The UCLA-Arizona basketball rivalry is still seen as the match up of the two premier teams in the conference.[41] Also, the performance of the two schools influences the national opinion of the conference. California Coach Mike Montgomery has stated, "...If those two are not good, the conference is not perceived as being good. People don't give credit to the schools across the board in the league."

Other major rivals[edit]

Team Arizona Record First Meeting Latest Result Home Record Away Record Neutral Record
Colorado 14–12 Dec 2, 1960 (Colorado 82–72) Jan. 7, 2017 (TBA) 7–2 3–8 4–1
BYU 20–19 Dec 1, 1951 (BYU 68–62) Dec 11, 2010 (BYU 87–65) 15–4 4–14 1–1
Duke 5–4 Dec 16, 1961 (Duke 78–47) Nov 29, 2013 (Arizona 72–66) 2–0 0–1 3–3
Gonzaga 6–2 Nov. 29, 2000 (Arizona 101–87) Dec. 3, 2016 (Gonzaga 69-62) 2–0 1–0 3–2
Illinois 8–6 Dec 27, 1966 (Illinois 93–77) Dec 8, 2007 (Arizona 78–72 OT) 3–0 0–3 5–3
Kansas 4–8 Dec 31, 1979 (Kansas 78–60) Nov 27, 2010 (Kansas 87–79) 1–2 1–2 2–4
Michigan 8–2 Dec 30, 1957 (Michigan 88–76) Dec 13, 2014 (Arizona 80–53) 2–1 1–1 5–0
Michigan State 5–2 Jan 2, 1947 (Arizona 45–43) Nov. 11, 2016 (Arizona 65-63) 2–0 1–1 2–1
North Carolina 3–4 Dec 28, 1948 (North Carolina 60–49) Jan 27, 2007 (North Carolina 92–64) 0–1 0–1 3–1
San Diego State 24–7 Dec 27, 1945 (Arizona 46–44) Nov 26, 2014 (Arizona 61–59) 14–2 7–5 3–0
Texas Tech 24–28 Jan 15, 1934 (Texas Tech 33–29) Dec 3, 2013 (Arizona 79–58) 17–9 5–18 2–1
UNLV 8–12 Dec 28, 1972 (UNLV 65–64) Dec 19, 2015 (Arizona 82–70) 6–2 1–8 1–2
Utah 30–29 Dec 21, 1953 (Utah 65–57) Jan. 5, 2017 (TBA) 17–8 10–20 3–1
UTEP 61–30 Feb 2, 1920 (Arizona 24–15) Dec 19, 2014 (Arizona 60–55) 37–8 23–22 1–0
Wisconsin 2–5 Dec 3, 1962 (Arizona 51–46) March 28, 2015 (Wisconsin 85–78) 0–0 1–0 1–5

Since the mid-1980s, Arizona has also had a basketball rivalry with UCLA, as the two schools competed for the Pac-10 Championship every year. Since 1985 the two teams have combined to win 21 out of the 29 conference titles. The UCLA-Arizona basketball rivalry still is seen as the match up of the two premier teams in the conference. Also, the performance of the two schools influences the national opinion of the conference.[42]

Arizona also has intense rivalries with the in-state Arizona State.

Aas well as out-of-state rivalries, including Kansas, Duke, San Diego State and Gonzaga.

Coaching records[edit]

Results by season (2009–present)[edit]

For the entire season-by-season results, see List of Arizona Wildcats men's basketball seasons.

Under Sean Miller;

Season Coach Overall Conference Standing Postseason
2009–10 Arizona 16–15 10–8 4th
2010–11 Arizona 30–8 14–4 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2011–12 Arizona 23–12 12–6 4th NIT First Round
2012–13 Arizona 27–8 12–6 T–2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2013–14 Arizona 33–5 15–3 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2014–15 Arizona 34–4 16–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2015–16 Arizona 25–9 12–6 NCAA First Round
2016–17 Arizona 6–2 0–0
Arizona: 194–63 (.755) 91–35 (.722)
Total: 194–63 (.755)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Career coaching records[edit]


Coach Years Record Overall win
Conference tournament
Orion A. Kates 1904–1906 1–0 1.000
No coach 1906–1911 10–6 .625
Frank L. Kleeberger 1911–1912 2–2 .500
Raymond Quigley 1912–1914 10–4 .714
Pop McKale 1914–1921 49–12 .803
James Pierce 1921–1922 10–2 .833
Basil Stanley 1922–1924 31–6 .838
Walter Davis 1924–1925 7–4 .636
Fred Enke 1925–1961 509–324 .611 10
Bruce Larson 1961–1972 136–148 .479
Fred Snowden 1972–1982 167–108 .607 1
Ben Lindsey 1982–1983 4–24 .143
Lute Olson 1983–2007 589–188 .758 11 4 1
Jim Rosborough^ 2000–2001 3–2 .600
Kevin O'Neill+ 2007–2008 19–15 .559
Russ Pennell 2008–2009 21–14 .600
Sean Miller 2009–present 194–63 .755 3 1
Totals 1904–present 1,760–924 .656 25 5 1

* 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.

Wildcats of note[edit]

Retired jerseys[edit]

Student-Athlete jerseys are retired but not individual player numbers.[44]




John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award

Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award[45]

  • Lute Olson – 2001

National Coach of the Year

WAC Coach of the Year

Pac-12 Coach of the Year[45]

  • Lute Olson – 1986
  • Lute Olson – 1988
  • Lute Olson – 1989
  • Lute Olson – 1993
  • Lute Olson – 1994
  • Lute Olson – 1998
  • Lute Olson – 2003
  • Sean Miller – 2011
  • Sean Miller – 2014


John R. Wooden Award[46]

National Player of the Year[46]

Pac-12 Player of the Year[46]

Pac-12 Freshman of the Year[46]

NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player [47]

Pac-12 Tournament MVP's

Frank Hessler Award[46]

Julius Erving Award

McDonald's All-American Game MVP's

Jordan Brand Classic MVP's

All-Americans Players[edit]


First team All-Americans

McDonald's All-Americans

First Team All-Pac-12

Jordan Brand Classic All-Americans

  • 2015 – Allonzo Trier (West)

Second Team All-Pac-12

Third Team All-Pac-12

Pac-12 All Freshman Team

Source: Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide[48]

Wildcats in the NBA[edit]

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 69 selections in that span.

Name Round Overall Pick Year Team
Morris Udall 1948 Denver Nuggets (NBL)
Lincoln Richmond 1948 Fort Wayne Pistons
Leon Blevins 7 79 1950 Indianapolis Olympians
Leo Johnson 5 44 1951 Ft. Wayne Pistons
Roger Johnson 1952 Milwaukee Hawks
Ernie McCray 17 95 1960 Cincinnati Royals
Warren Rustand 4 31 1965 San Francisco Warriors
Bill Davis 12 160 1968 Phoenix Suns
Michael Foster 1970 Indiana Pacers (ABA)
Tom Lee 9 147 1971 Philadelphia 76ers
Eddie Myers 10 160 1971 Baltimore Bullets (Miami Floridians (ABA))
Bill Warner 11 170 1971 Buffalo Braves (New York Nets (ABA))
Bruce Anderson 7 101 1972 Detroit Pistons
Eric Money 2 33 1974 Detroit Pistons New Jersey Nets Philadelphia 76ers(Denver Nuggets (ABA))
Coniel Norman 3 37 1974 Philadelphia 76ers (Denver Nuggets (ABA))
Al Fleming 2 30 1976 Phoenix Suns
James Rappis 5 77 1976 Milwaukee Bucks
Bob Elliott 2 42 1977 Philadelphia 76ers
Herman Harris 2 43 1977 Philadelphia 76ers
Jerome Gladney 8 164 1977 San Antonio Spurs
Phil Taylor 10 198 1978 Denver Nuggets
Larry Demic 1 9 1979 New York Knicks
Joe Nehls 7 152 1980 Houston Rockets
Ron Davis 4 79 1981 Washington Bullets
Robbie Dosty 6 148 1981 Golden State Warriors
Frank Smith 8 177 1983 Portland Trail Blazers
Leon Wood 1 10 1984 Philadelphia 76ers
Pete Williams 4 89 1985 Denver Nuggets
Eddie Smith 7 158 1985 Denver Nuggets
Tom Tolbert 2 34 1988 Charlotte Hornets
Steve Kerr 2 50 1988 Phoenix Suns
Sean Elliott 1 3 1989 San Antonio Spurs
Anthony Cook 1 24 1989 Phoenix Suns
Jud Buechler 2 38 1990 Seattle SuperSonics
Brian Williams 1 10 1991 Orlando Magic
Sean Rooks 2 30 1992 Dallas Mavericks
Chris Mills 1 22 1993 Cleveland Cavaliers
Ed Stokes 2 35 1993 Miami Heat
Khalid Reeves 1 12 1994 Miami Heat
Damon Stoudamire 1 7 1995 Toronto Raptors
Joseph Blair 2 35 1996 Seattle SuperSonics
Ben Davis 2 43 1996 Phoenix Suns
Reggie Geary 2 56 1996 Cleveland Cavaliers
Mike Bibby 1 2 1998 Vancouver Grizzlies
Michael Dickerson 1 14 1998 Houston Rockets
Miles Simon 2 42 1998 Orlando Magic
Jason Terry 1 10 1999 Atlanta Hawks
A. J. Bramlett 2 39 1999 Cleveland Cavaliers
Richard Jefferson 1 13 2001 Houston Rockets
Gilbert Arenas 2 31 2001 Golden State Warriors
Michael Wright 2 39 2001 New York Knicks
Loren Woods 2 46 2001 Minnesota Timberwolves
Luke Walton 2 32 2003 Los Angeles Lakers
Andre Iguodala 1 9 2004 Philadelphia 76ers
Channing Frye 1 8 2005 New York Knicks
Salim Stoudamire 2 31 2005 Atlanta Hawks
Hassan Adams 2 54 2006 New Jersey Nets
Marcus Williams 2 33 2007 San Antonio Spurs
Jerryd Bayless 1 11 2008 Indiana Pacers
Jordan Hill 1 8 2009 New York Knicks
Chase Budinger 2 44 2009 Detroit Pistons
Derrick Williams 1 2 2011 Minnesota Timberwolves
Solomon Hill 1 23 2013 Indiana Pacers
Grant Jerrett 2 40 2013 Portland Trail Blazers
Aaron Gordon 1 4 2014 Orlando Magic
Nick Johnson 2 42 2014 Houston Rockets
Stanley Johnson 1 8 2015 Detroit Pistons
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 1 23 2015 Portland Trail Blazers
T.J. McConnell ... ... 2015 Philadelphia 76ers

Source: Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide[48]

Wildcats in the NBA
NBA Draft Selections
Total selected: 69
Lottery Picks in Draft: 14
1st round: 40
No. 1 Picks: 0
Notable Achievements
Olympic Gold Medal Winners: 2 (Wood '84, Iguodala '12)
NBA Champions: 9 players a total of 17 times, 2 Coaches a total of 2 times
Naismith Basketball-Hall-of-Famers: 0

Notable former Arizona Wildcats[edit]

Name Seasons as Wildcat Post-Wildcat accomplishment
Gilbert Arenas 1999–01 3 Time NBA All-Star, NBA Most Improved Player Award
Mike Bibby 1996–98 NBA All-Rookie First Team
Jud Buechler 1986–90 3 NBA Champion, 11 NBA seasons
Bison Dele (Brian Williams) 1989–90 NBA Champion, 7 NBA seasons
Sean Elliott 1985–89 2 Time NBA All-Star, NBA Champion, 12 NBA seasons
Channing Frye 2001–05 NBA Champion, NBA All-Rookie First Team, 12 NBA seasons
Andre Iguodala 2002–04 NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP, NBA All-Star, NBA All-Defensive First Team, NBA All-Defensive Second Team, NBA All-Rookie First Team, NBA Rookie Challenge MVP
Richard Jefferson 1998–01 NBA Champion, NBA All-Rookie Second Team, United States2004 Summer Olympics – Bronze Medal, 17 NBA Seasons
Steve Kerr 1983–88 5 Time NBA Champion as Player, NBA Champion as Coach, 2016 NBA Coach of the Year, 2015 NBA All-Star Game Head Coach, Current Head Coach of the Golden State Warriors
Kenny Lofton 1985–89 6 Time MLB All Star, 4 Time Gold Glove Award, 17 MLB seasons
Eric Money 1972–74 456. Slam the 500 Greatest NBA Players of All-Time
Damon Stoudamire 1991–95 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, NBA All-Rookie First Team, 13 NBA seasons
Jason Terry 1995–99 NBA Champion, NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, NBA All-Rookie Second Team, 18 NBA seasons
Mo Udall 1941–42, 46–48 Former member U.S. Congress (30 years)
Leon Wood 1979–80 United States – 1984 Summer Olympics – Gold medal, 7 NBA seasons

Source: Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide[48]

Coaching staffs in NBA/NCAA[edit]

Current Arizona Wildcats in NBA[edit]

Name NBA team Seasons as Wildcat Post-Wildcat accomplishment
Channing Frye Cleveland Cavaliers 2001–05 NBA All-Rookie first team, NBA Champion
Andre Iguodala Golden State Warriors 2002–04 NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP, United States – 2012 Summer Olympics – Gold medal, NBA All-Rookie Team, NBA All-star, NBA All-Defensive Team (2)
Richard Jefferson Cleveland Cavaliers 1998–01 United States – 2004 Summer Olympics – Bronze medal, NBA Champion
Jason Terry Milwaukee Bucks 1995–99 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, NBA Champion (with Dallas Mavericks)
Jerryd Bayless Milwaukee Bucks 2007–08
Jordan Hill Los Angeles Lakers 2006–09
Chase Budinger Minnesota Timberwolves 2006–09
Derrick Williams New York Knicks 2009–11
Solomon Hill Indiana Pacers 2009–13
Aaron Gordon Orlando Magic 2013–14
Stanley Johnson Detroit Pistons 2014–15
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Brooklyn Nets 2013–15
T. J. McConnell Philadelphia 76ers 2013–15

Source: Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide[48]

Wildcats with NBA Championships[edit]

A Total of 18 NBA championships have been won by 9 former Wildcats

Player (College Years) Finals Year Team
Steve Kerr (1983–88)
Jud Buechler (1986–90)
Bison Dele (1988–91)
Sean Elliott (1984–89)
Luke Walton (1999–03)
Jason Terry (1995–99)
Andre Iguodala (2002–04)
Richard Jefferson (1999–2001)
Channing Frye (2001–2005)

Note:*Coach or Assistant coach

Postseason results[edit]

Regular Season Conference Championships[edit]

Though the automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament is given to the conference tournament winner, the Pac–12 declares the team with the best record in the regular season the "official" conference champion.

Season Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1931–32 Fred Enke 18–2 18–2
1932–33 Fred Enke 19–5 7–3
1935–36 Fred Enke 16–7 11–5
1939–40 Fred Enke 15–10 12–4
1942–43 Fred Enke 22–2 16–2
1945–46 Fred Enke 25–5 14–3
1946–47 Fred Enke 21–3 14–2
1947–48 Fred Enke 19–10 12–4
1948–49 Fred Enke 17–11 13–3
1949–50 Fred Enke 26–5 14–2
1950–51 Fred Enke 24–6 15–1
1952–53 Fred Enke 13–11 11–3
1975–76 Fred Snowden 24–9 11–3
1985–86 Lute Olson 23–9 14–4
1987–88 Lute Olson 35–3 17–1
1988–89 Lute Olson 29–4 17–1
1989–90 Lute Olson 25–7 15–3
1990–91 Lute Olson 28–7 14–4
1992–93 Lute Olson 24–4 17–1
1993–94 Lute Olson 29–6 14–4
1997–98 Lute Olson 30–5 17–1
1999–2000 Lute Olson 27–7 15–3
2002–03 Lute Olson 28–4 17–1
2004–05 Lute Olson 30–7 15–3
2010–11 Sean Miller 30–8 14–4
2013–14 Sean Miller 33–5 15–3
2014–15 Sean Miller 34–4 16–2
Conference Championships 27

Pac-12 Tournament Championship[edit]

UA has won the Pac-12 Tournament a record five times, including three straight times from 1988–90.[49] The Wildcats have played in the tournament final a record eight times.[49] UA also has a record 7 tournament MVP's.[49] Salim Stoudamire is 1 of only 2 players to win the MVP from a losing squad.[49]

Year Champion Score Runner-Up Arena City Tournament MVP
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 & Matt Muehlebach, Arizona
2002 Arizona 81–71 USC Staples Center Los Angeles Luke Walton, Arizona
2015 Arizona 80–52 Oregon MGM Grand Garden Arena Las Vegas Brandon Ashley, Arizona

Source: 2007–08 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Guide pages 50–60 (PDF copy available at 2007–08 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Guide)[49]

National Championships[edit]

Year Coach Opponent Score Record
1997 Lute Olson Kentucky Wildcats 84–79 OT 25–9
National Championships 1
1997 NCAA Tournament Results
Round Opponent Score
Round #1 #13 South Alabama 65–57
Round #2 #12 College of Charleston 73–69
Sweet 16 #1 Kansas 85–82
Elite 8 #10 Providence 96–92 (OT)
Final 4 #1 North Carolina 66–58
Championship #1 Kentucky 84–79 (OT)

Final Fours history[edit]

The Arizona Wildcats have been to four Final Fours, which is tied for 10th all time among Division I schools. 

1988–Semifinalist 1994–Semifinalist 1997–Champion 2001–Finalist
Season Coach Region Regional Final Result Final Four Site Semifinal Result Championship Game Result
1987–88 Lute Olson Seattle Arizona 70,
North Carolina 52
Kansas City, Missouri Oklahoma 86, Arizona 78 N/A  
1993–94 Lute Olson Los Angeles Arizona 92, Missouri 72 Charlotte, North Carolina Arkansas 91, Arizona 82 N/A
1996–1997 Lute Olson Birmingham, Alabama Arizona 96, Providence 92 OT Indianapolis Arizona 66, North Carolina 58 Arizona 84, Kentucky 79 OT
2000–01 Lute Olson San Antonio Arizona 87, Illinois 81 Minneapolis Arizona 80, Michigan State 61 Duke 82, Arizona 72
Total Final Four Appearances 4

NCAA Tournament[edit]

The University of Arizona has made 33 NCAA Tournament appearances, beginning with the first in 1951 and were the National Champions in 1997. 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.[5][6][50] Their combined record is 54–32 (.628), including one national championship (1997) and 4 Final Fours (1988, 1994, 1997, 2001).[51] Arizona is also one of only seven #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.[52] In addition, the 1997 Arizona team is the only team to date to beat three #1 seeds to win the national championship.

NCAA Tournament results[edit]

Opponent Result Score Site City Round
2016 – 6 Seed
#11 Wichita State L 55–65 Dunkin' Donuts Center Providence, Rhode Island First Round
2015 – 2 Seed – "Elite 8"
#15 Texas Southern W 93–72 Moda Center Portland, Oregon Second Round
#10 Ohio State W 73–58 Moda Center Portland, Oregon Third Round
#6 Xavier W 68–60 Staples Center Los Angeles Regional Semifinals
#1 Wisconsin L 78–85 Staples Center Los Angeles Regional Finals
2014 – 1 Seed – "Elite 8"
#16 Weber State W 68–59 Viejas Arena San Diego Second Round
#8 Gonzaga W 84–61 Viejas Arena San Diego Third Round
#4 San Diego State W 70–64 Honda Center Anaheim, California Regional Semifinals
#2 Wisconsin L 63–64 OT Honda Center Anaheim, California Regional Finals
2013 – 3 Seed – "Sweet 16"
#11 Belmont W 81–64 Vivint Smart Home Arena Salt Lake City Second Round
#14 Harvard W 74–51 Vivint Smart Home Arena Salt Lake City Third Round
#2 Ohio State L 70–73 Staples Center Los Angeles Regional Semifinals
2011 – 5 Seed "Elite 8"
#12 Memphis W 77–75 BOK Center Tulsa, Oklahoma Second Round
#4 Texas W 70–69 BOK Center Tulsa, Oklahoma Third Round
#1 Duke W 93–77 Honda Center Anaheim, California Regional Semifinals
#3 Connecticut L 63–65 Honda Center Anaheim, California Regional Finals
2009 – 12 Seed – "Sweet 16"
#5 Utah W 84–71 American Airlines Arena Miami First Round
#13 Cleveland State W 81–57 American Airlines Arena Miami Second Round
#1 Louisville L 64–103 Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis Regional Semifinals
2008 – 10 Seed
#7 West Virginia L 65–75 Verizon Center Washington, D.C. First Round
2007 – 8 Seed
#9 Purdue L 63–72 Smoothie King Center New Orleans, Louisiana First Round
2006 – 8 Seed
#9 Wisconsin W 94–75 Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia First Round
#1 Villanova L 78–82 Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia Second Round
2005 – 3 Seed – "Elite 8"
#14 Utah State W 66–53 Taco Bell Arena Boise, Idaho First Round
#11 UAB W 85–63 Taco Bell Arena Boise, Idaho Second Round
#2 Oklahoma State W 79–78 Allstate Arena Rosemont, Illinois Regional Semifinals
#1 Illinois L 89–90 OT Allstate Arena Rosemont, Illinois Regional Finals
2004 – 9 Seed
#8 Seton Hall L 76–80 PNC Arena Raleigh, North Carolina First Round
2003 – 1 Seed – "Elite 8"
#16 Vermont W 80–51 Vivint Smart Home Arena Salt Lake City First Round
#9 Gonzaga W 96–95 2OT Vivint Smart Home Arena Salt Lake City Second Round
#5 Notre Dame W 88–71 Honda Center Anaheim, California Regional Semifinals
#2 Kansas L 75–78 Honda Center Anaheim, California Regional Finals
2002 – 3 Seed – "Sweet 16"
#14 UC-Santa Barbara W 86–81 WisePies Arena Albuquerque, New Mexico First Round
#11 Wyoming W 80–68 WisePies Arena Albuquerque, New Mexico Second Round
#2 Oklahoma L 67–88 SAP Center San Jose, California Regional Semifinals
2001 – 2 Seed – "National Runner-Up"
#15 Eastern Illinois W 101–76 Kemper Arena Kansas City, Missouri First Round
#10 Butler W 73–52 Kemper Arena Kansas City, Missouri Second Round
#3 Ole Miss W 66–56 Alamodome San Antonio Regional Semifinals
#1 Illinois W 87–81 Alamodome San Antonio Regional Finals
#1 Michigan State W 80–61 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Minneapolis National Semifinals
#1 Duke L 72–82 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Minneapolis National Championship Game
2000 – 1 Seed
#16 Jackson State W 71–47 Jon M. Huntsman Center Salt Lake City First Round
#8 Wisconsin L 59–66 Jon M. Huntsman Center Salt Lake City Second Round
1999 – 4 Seed
#13 Oklahoma L 60–61 Bradley Center Milwaukee First Round
1998 – 1 Seed – "Elite 8"
#16 Nicholls State W 99–60 Sleep Train Arena Sacramento, California First Round
#9 Illinois State W 82–49 Sleep Train Arena Sacramento, California Second Round
#4 Maryland W 87–79 Honda Center Anaheim, California Regional Semifinals
#3 Utah L 51–76 Honda Center Anaheim, California Regional Finals
1997 – 4 Seed – "NATIONAL CHAMPIONS"
#13 South Alabama W 65–57 Memphis Pyramid Memphis, Tennessee First Round
#12 College of Charleston W 73–69 Memphis Pyramid Memphis, Tennessee Second Round
#1 Kansas W 85–82 2OT BJCC Arena Birmingham, Alabama Regional Semifinals
#10 Providence W 96–92 2OT BJCC Arena Birmingham, Alabama Regional Finals
#1 North Carolina W 65–58 RCA Dome Indianapolis National Semifinals
#1 Kentucky W 84–79 OT RCA Dome Indianapolis National Championship Game
1996 – 3 Seed – "Sweet 16"
#14 Valparaíso W 90–51 Wells Fargo Arena Tempe, Arizona First Round
#6 Iowa W 87–73 Wells Fargo Arena Tempe, Arizona Second Round
#2 Kansas L 80–83 McNichols Sports Arena Denver Regional Semifinals
1995 – 5 seed
#12 Miami-OH L 82–91 UD Arena Dayton, Ohio First Round
1994 – 2 Seed – "Final Four"
#15 Loyola-MD W 81–55 Sleep Train Arena Sacramento, California First Round
#7 Virginia W 71–58 Sleep Train Arena Sacramento, California Second Round
#3 Louisville W 82–70 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena Los Angeles Regional Semifinals
#1 Missouri W 92–72 Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena Los Angeles Regional Finals
#1 Arkansas L 82–91 Charlotte Coliseum Charlotte, North Carolina National Semifinal
1993 2 seed
#15 Santa Clara L 61–64 Jon M. Huntsman Center Salt Lake City First Round
1992 3 seed
#14 East Tennessee State L 80–87 Omni Coliseum Atlanta First Round
1991 – 2 Seed – "Sweet 16"
#15 St. Francis-PA W 93–80 Jon M. Huntsman Center Salt Lake City First Round
#10 BYU W 76–61 Jon M. Huntsman Center Salt Lake City Second Round
#3 Seton Hall L 69–84 Kingdome Seattle Regional Semifinals
1990 – 2 Seed
#15 South Florida W 79–67 Long Beach Arena Long Beach, California First Round
#7 Alabama L 55–77 Long Beach Arena Long Beach, California Second Round
1989 – 1 Seed – "Sweet 16"
#16 Robert Morris W 94–60 Taco Bell Arena Boise, Idaho First Round
#9 Clemson W 94–68 Taco Bell Arena Boise, Idaho Second Round
#4 UNLV L 67–68 McNichols Sports Arena Denver Regional Semfinals
1988 – 1 Seed – "Final Four"
#16 Cornell W 90–50 Pauley Pavilion Los Angeles First Round
#8 Seton Hall W 84–55 Pauley Pavilion Los Angeles Second Round
#5 Iowa W 99–79 Kingdome Seattle Regional Semifinals
#2 North Carolina W 70–52 Kingdome Seattle Regional Finals
#1 Oklahoma L 78–86 Kemper Arena Kansas City, Missouri National Semifinal
1987 – 10 Seed
#7 UTEP L 91–98 McKale Center Tucson, Arizona First Round
1986 – 9 Seed
#8 Auburn L 63–73 Long Beach Arena Long Beach, California First Round
1985 – 10 Seed
#7 Alabama L 41–50 WisePies Arena Albuquerque, New Mexico First Round
Southern Illinois L 77–81 Omaha Civic Auditorium Omaha, Nebraska First Round
1976 – Elite 8
Georgetown W 83–76 Wells Fargo Arena Tempe, Arizona First Round
UNLV W 114–109 Pauley Pavilion Los Angeles Regional Semifinals
UCLA L 66–82 Pauley Pavilion Los Angeles Regional Finals
Kansas State L 59–61 Municipal Auditorium Kansas City, Missouri First Round
NCAA Tournament Seeding History[edit]
Year Tournament
1985 10 1st Round
1986 9 1st Round
1987 10 1st Round
1988 1 Final Four
1989 1 Sweet Sixteen
1990 2 2nd Round
1991 2 Sweet Sixteen
1992 3 1st Round
1993 2 1st Round
1994 2 Final Four
1995 5 1st Round
1996 3 Sweet Sixteen
1997 4 Champions
1998 1 Elite Eight
1999 4 1st Round
2000 1 2nd Round
2001 2 Runner-Up
2002 3 Sweet Sixteen
2003 1 Elite Eight
2004 9 1st Round
2005 3 Elite Eight
2006 8 2nd Round
2007 8 1st Round
2008 10 1st Round
2009 12 Sweet Sixteen
2011 5 Elite Eight
2013 6 Sweet Sixteen
2014 1 Elite Eight
2015 2 Elite Eight
2016 6 1st Round


The Arizona Wildcats have appeared in the four National Invitation Tournaments (NIT). Arizona's combined record is 0–4.

NIT results[edit]

Year Round Opponent Result/Score
1946 First Round Kentucky L 53–77
1950 First Round La Salle L 66–72
1951 First Round Dayton L 68–74
2012 First Round Bucknell L 54–65

Current roster[edit]

2016–17 Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight Year Previous school Home town
G 0 Jackson-Cartwright, ParkerParker Jackson-Cartwright 5 ft 11 in (1.8 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Jr Sierra Canyon School Los Angeles, CA
G 1 Alkins, RawleRawle Alkins 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Fr Word of God Christian Brooklyn, NY
G 2 Simmons, KobiKobi Simmons 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Fr St. Francis HS Atlanta, GA
G 3 Smith, DylanDylan Smith Current redshirt 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 170 lb (77 kg) So UNC Asheville Mobile, AL
G 5 Allen, KadeemKadeem Allen 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 205 lb (93 kg) RS Sr Hutchinson C.C. Wilmington, NC
F 10 Markkanen, LauriLauri Markkanen 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Fr Helsinki Basketball Academy Jyväskylä, FI
C 14 Ristić, DušanDušan Ristić 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 245 lb (111 kg) Jr Sunrise Christian Academy Novi Sad, RS
G 20 Denny, TalbottTalbott Denny Injured 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 215 lb (98 kg) RS Sr Lipscomb Tucson, AZ
C 21 Comanche, ChanceChance Comanche 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 215 lb (98 kg) So Beverly Hills HS Beverly Hills, CA
F 24 Smith, RayRay Smith Injured 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 220 lb (100 kg) RS Fr Las Vegas HS Las Vegas, NV
F 25 Pinder, KeanuKeanu Pinder 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Jr Hutchinson C.C. Perth, AU
G 35 Trier, AllonzoAllonzo Trier 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 205 lb (93 kg) So Findlay Prep Seattle, WA
G 50 Trillo, TylerTyler Trillo (W) 5 ft 11 in (1.8 m) 170 lb (77 kg) RS So Roger Williams Southbury, CT
G 51 Cruz, PauloPaulo Cruz (W) 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 210 lb (95 kg) So Francis Parker School San Diego, CA
F 55 Desjardins, JakeJake Desjardins (W) 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Fr Coronado HS Henderson, NV
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on


Arizona Basketball cumulative all-time statistics[edit]

Years of basketball 112
First season 1904–05
Head coaches (all-time) 17
All Games
All-time record 1,760-924 (.656)
Home record 936–189 (.832)
20+ win seasons 37
30+ win seasons 6
35+ win seasons 1
Conference Games
Conference Record 770–370 (.765)
Conference Regular Season Championships 27
Conference Tournament Championships 5
NCAA Tournament
NCAA Appearances 32
NCAA Tournament wins 105
Sweet Sixteens 18
Elite Eights 11
Final Fours 4
Championship Games 2
Championships 1
Accurate as of 4/6/2015
  • All Time Wins: 1,759 (NCAA rank #13)
  • All Time Winning Percentage: .656 (NCAA rank #9)
  • NCAA Championships: 1 (NCAA rank #6)
  • NCAA Championship Game Appearances: 2 (NCAA rank #1)
  • NCAA Tournament Runner Up- 1 (NCAA rank #2)
  • NCAA Final Four Appearances: 4 (NCAA rank #21)
  • NCAA Final Four Games Played: 6 (NCAA rank #3)
  • NCAA Final Four Wins: 3 (NCAA rank #2)
  • NCAA Final Four Winning Percentage: .500 (NCAA rank #8)
  • NCAA Elite-8 Appearances: 11 (NCAA rank #1)
  • NCAA Sweet-16 Appearances: 18 (NCAA rank #1)
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances: 32 (NCAA rank #1)
  • NCAA Tournament Games Played: 85 (NCAA rank #1)
  • NCAA Tournament Wins: 54 (NCAA rank #1)
  • NCAA Tournament Winning Percentage: .635 (NCAA rank #4)
  • Total Postseason Tournament Appearances (NCAA and NIT): 35 (NCAA rank #1)
  • #1 Seeds in the NCAA Tournament: 6 times (NCAA ranked #1)
  • NBA Draft Picks: 69 (NCAA rank #1)
  • All-Americans: 28 chosens 78 times (NCAA rank #1)
  • First Team Consensus All-Americans: 7 (NCAA rank #2)
  • Number of Weeks Ranked All Time in the Top-25 of the AP Poll- 0
  • Number of Times Defeating the #1 Ranked Team in the Country- 0
  • AP Poll Top-20/25 Weeks Ranked All Time: 479 (NCAA rank #2)
  • AP Poll Top-10 Weeks Ranked All Time: 277 (NCAA rank #1)
  • AP Poll Top-5 Weeks Ranked All Time: 143 (NCAA rank #1)
  • AP Poll #1 Weeks Ranked All Time: 37 (NCAA rank #3)
  • Total 5-Win Seasons: 101 (NCAA rank #1)
  • Total 10-Win Seasons: 87 (NCAA rank #1)
  • Total 15-Win Seasons: 58 (NCAA rank #1)
  • Total 20-Win Seasons: 37 (NCAA rank #1)
  • Total 25-Win Seasons: 16 (NCAA rank #2)
  • Total 30-Win Seasons: 6 (NCAA rank #1)
  • Total 35-Win Seasons: 1 (NCAA rank #1)
  • Total Winning Seasons: 60 (NCAA rank #2)
  • Total Non-Losing Seasons (.500 or better): 84 (NCAA rank #2)
  • Total Undefeated Seasons: 0 (NCAA rank #2)
  • Conference Regular Season Championships: 27 (NCAA rank #2)
  • Conference Tournament Championships: 5 (NCAA rank #1)
  • National Attendance Titles: 0 (NCAA rank #1)
  • Pac-12 Regular Season Titles: 32 (NCAA ranked #1)
  • Pac-12 Tournament Titles: 5 (NCAA ranked #1)

Arizona can also lay claim to several individual achievements for both players and coaches:

  • 9 players winning NBA Championships a total of 17 times
  • 3 players named NBA All-Star a total of 6 times
  • 1 Olympic Gold Medal winner
  • 0 Naismith Hall-of-Fame members
  • 4 players named National Player-of-the-Year
  • 0 players named National Freshman-of-the-Year
  • 1 head coach named National Coach-of-the Year a total of 2 times
  • 2 head coaches named Pac-12 Coach-of-the-Year a total of 9 times
  • 138 players named All-Conference a total of 231 times
  • 82 players named to the All-Conference Tournament Team a total of 118 times
  • 7 players named Conference Player-of-the-Year a total of 8 times
  • 8 players named Conference Freshman-of-the-Year
  • 31 players named to the All-Conference Freshman Team
  • 6 players named Conference Tournament MVP a total of 7 times
  • 0 players named NCAA All-Final Four a total of 21 times
  • 0 players named NCAA All-Regional a total of 62 times
  • 1 players named NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player a total of 1 time
  • 4 players named NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player a total of 4 times
  • 29 players named McDonald's All-American
  • 2 players named McDonald's All-American MVP
  • 6 times being ranked #1 in the season opening AP Poll
  • 6 times being ranked #1 in the season opening UPI/Coaches' Poll
  • 6 times a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament

Arizona also holds several other NCAA records and various additional accomplishments:

  • Arizona has 1 NCAA Championships (1997), no undefeated seasons, 29 Fiesta Bowl Classic Championships (1974, 1975, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012), a league best 14 Pac-12 Regular Season Championships, and a league best 5 Pac-12 Tournament Championships.
  • Arizona plays in the nation's largest basketball arena (McKale Center, capacity: 14,655), and has both the nation's largest radio and television affiliate networks.
  • Arizona has played before the largest regulation basketball game crowd in history (14,655), the largest Final Four game crowd in history (79,444), the largest NCAA Championship Game crowd in history (79,238), and the largest total Final Four game crowd (both games) in history (646,531).
  • Arizona is the first team to be live-broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.

Home Court Winning Streaks[edit]

Rank Wins Years Coach
1 81^ 1945–51 Fred Enke
2 71 1987–92 Lute Olson
3 49 2013–16 Sean Miller
4 38 1975–78 Fred Snowden
5 37 1997–99 Lute Olson

^Played at Bear Down Gym

Record vs. Pac-12 opponents[edit]

The Arizona Wildcats lead the all-time series vs. ten other Pac-12 opponents, trailing only UCLA.[53]

Opponent Wins Losses Pct. Streak
Arizona St. 148 82 (.643) Arizona 2
Cal 60 31 (.659) Arizona 1
Colorado 14 12 (.538) Arizona 1
Oregon 49 28 (.636) Oregon 2
Oregon St. 60 21 (.741) Arizona 1
Stanford 61 29 (.678) Arizona 13
UCLA 41 54 (.432) Arizona 1
USC 64 42 (.604) Arizona 1
Utah 30 29 (.508) Utah 1
Washington 50 28 (.641) Arizona 6
Washington State 61 16 (.792) Arizona 9
  • Note all-time series includes non-conference matchups.


Home courts[edit]

Bear Down Gym (1926–1973)[edit]

McKale Center (1973–present)[edit]

Game day traditions[edit]

Arizona's home games include many traditions involving The Pride of Arizona pep band and the Zona Zoo.

  • 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.[54][55][56]
  • 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.
  • The team hosts an annual "White Out" game. All fans are encouraged to wear white T-shirts. The most recent white out game was on December 7, 2013, versus UNLV. This was the fourth consecutive season to include a white out game.[57]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Brand - University of Arizona". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  2. ^ "Schools To Return Tournament $". 29 June 2000. 
  3. ^ NCAA Record Book
  4. ^ a b Colemen, Van (2007-05-22). "Nation's No. 3 Junior Commits to Point Guard U". Archived from the original on 16 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  5. ^ a b Witz, Billy (11 March 2010). "Arizona's N.C.A.A. Streak Quietly Ends". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  6. ^ a b Eisenberg, Jeff (11 March 2010). "Arizona's NCAA tourney streak ends with little fanfare". Archived from the original on 15 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  7. ^ Pascoe, Bruce (12 March 2010). "PAC-10 TOURNAMENT: UCLA 75, ARIZONA 69 Improbable bid to extend stellar NCAA run ends". Archived from the original on 15 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  8. ^ Everson, Dave (26 January 2009). "An Appreciation of Arizona's NCAA Streak". Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  9. ^ Lundblad, Jeremy (18 March 2009). "2009 NCAA tournament: By the numbers". Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  10. ^ a b c "Arizona Team Page". 2007-10-26. Archived from the original on October 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Barker, Scott (2003-11-01). "From Pop to Lute: 100 years of Wildcat Hoops". Arizona Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide History and Records pp. 155–164". Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  13. ^ Thomas Jr., Robert (1994-01-19). "Fred Snowden, Basketball Coach and Black Pioneer, Is Dead at 57". Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  14. ^ Kelley, James (2003-11-21). "UA legend Snowden paved way for black coaches". Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  15. ^ "Arizona Wildcat Central Basketball – 1997 Championship NCAA". Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. 
  16. ^ "Arizona 89, Illinois 90". Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  17. ^ Katz, Andy (2008-03-10). "Olson to coach Arizona next season". Archived from the original on 13 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  18. ^ "In first meeting with media, Olson says O'Neill won't remain on Arizona staff". 2008-04-02. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  19. ^ Finley, Patrick (2008-10-23). "LUTE OLSON: 'I leave with a great sense of pride'". Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  20. ^ Rivera, Steve (2008-10-28). "Olson's stroke led to depression and, ultimately, retirement". Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  21. ^ Finley, Patrick (2008-10-29). "Coach had stroke within last year (with video)". Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  22. ^ Katz, Andy (2008-10-25). "Dunlap rebuffs Arizona offer; Pennell to replace Olson". Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
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  24. ^ a b Thamel, Pete (2009-03-22). "Arizona Ends Cleveland State's Charmed Run". Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  25. ^ Katz, Andy (2009-04-06). "Xavier's Miller accepts Arizona job". "". 
  26. ^ Katz, Andy (2009-04-06). "Xavier's Miller accepts Arizona job". Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  27. ^ a b Finley, Patrick (2009-04-07). "Arizona Wildcats Basketball: 'Honored' Miller gets $1 million signing bonus". Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  28. ^ Winn, Luke (2009-10-12). "Like Olson, Miller off to good start at Arizona with recruiting fortune". Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  29. ^ "Derrick Williams leads Arizona to outright Pac-10 title". 2011-03-05. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  30. ^ Finley, Patrick (2011-03-06). "'Home-court dominance' reigns". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  31. ^ "Derrick Williams' late 3-point play helps Arizona knock out Texas". 2011-03-20. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  32. ^ a b c "Derrick Williams, Arizona crush Duke's hopes to repeat as champions". 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  33. ^ "Arizona coach Sean Miller is reconstructing a college basketball giant". ESPN. 
  34. ^ "2015 Basketball Class Rankings". ESPN. 
  35. ^ "2015 Basketball Class Rankings". ESPN. 
  36. ^ "NCAA College Basketball Polls, College Basketball Rankings, NCAA Basketball Polls". ESPN. 
  37. ^ Arizona Wildcats men's basketball#cite ref-25 Straight 22-0
  38. ^ "Arizona Media Guide 2015–16" (PDF).  External link in |work= (help)
  39. ^ Rivera, Steve (February 20, 2015). "Arizona-UCLA rivalry still burning hot as Pac-12 clubs set to face off". Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. 
  40. ^ Dodds, Tracy (March 4, 1986). "Arizona Climbs Over the Top at Pauley Pavilion : Wildcats Beat UCLA, 88–76, to Clinch a Share of Pacific 10 Championship". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. 
  41. ^ Yoon, Peter (January 23, 2013). "As usual, UCLA-Arizona is 'must-win' game". ESPN. Archived from the original on March 23, 2014. 
  42. ^ Foster, Chris – UCLA, Arizona need to raise Pac-12 level. Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2013. Quote: California Coach Mike Montgomery, "...If those two are not good, the conference is not perceived as being good. People don't give credit to the schools across the board in the league."
  43. ^ "Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide History and Records pp. 147". Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  44. ^ "Retirement of jerseys" at Wildcats website
  45. ^ a b c "Arizona Team Page". 2007-10-26. Archived from the original on October 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  46. ^ a b c d e "Honors Section 2". 2007-10-26. Archived from the original on October 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  47. ^ "Final Four Most Outstanding Players". Archived from the original on 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  48. ^ a b c d "Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide History and Records pp. 147". Archived from the original on March 22, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  49. ^ a b c d e "2007–08 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Guide". Archived from the original on 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  50. ^ "2009 NCAA Men's final four records" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  51. ^ "All-time NCAA tourney win-loss records". Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  52. ^ "Santa Clara, Seeded 15th, Beats Arizona". 1993-03-19. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  53. ^ "Arizona Media Guide 2015–16" (PDF).  External link in |work= (help)
  54. ^ Pascoe, Bruce (27 January 2011). "UCLA game thread". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  55. ^ Hansen, Greg (23 December 2010). "UA's top fan sidelined". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  56. ^ Ooh Aah Man at McKale vs ASU 1/15/11 on YouTube
  57. ^ Pascoe, Bruce. "Cats, Rebels Renew Rivalry". Retrieved 8 October 2014.  External link in |website= (help)

External links[edit]