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Arizona Wildcats men's basketball

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Title: Arizona Wildcats men's basketball  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pacific-12 Conference Men's Basketball Hall of Honor, Pacific-12 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year, California Mr. Basketball, 2014 NBA draft, 2002–03 NCAA Division I men's basketball season
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Arizona Wildcats men's basketball

Arizona Wildcats
2014–15 Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team
Arizona Wildcats athletic logo
University University of Arizona
All-time record 1705–907 (.653)
Conference Pac-12
Location Tucson, AZ
Head coach Sean Miller (6th year)
Arena McKale Center
(Capacity: 14,655)
Nickname Wildcats

Cardinal and Navy

Home jersey
Team colours
Away jersey
Team colours
Alternate jersey
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
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1951, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1976, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014
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
*vacated by NCAA[1][2]
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)
1976 (WAC)
1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2011 (Pac-10)
2014 (Pac-12)

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 (previously known as Pac-10) 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"[3] because the school has produced successful guards like Steve Kerr, Damon Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves, Mike Bibby, Miles Simon, Jason Terry, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Gardner, Jerryd Bayless, among 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.[4][5][6] Despite a 1999 appearance later vacated by the NCAA, the media still cites Arizona's streak, and simply notes the change.[7][8] 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.[9] In addition, the team has won 13 Pac-10/12 regular season titles and 4 Pac-10 tournament titles.[9] Arizona also holds the distinction of recording 5 out of the 7 17–1 Pac-10 seasons (one-loss seasons).[9] 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.


Early years

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.[10]

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.[10] McKale took things to a new level, posting a 9–0 record his first season as a basketball coach.[10] Moreover, McKale elevated the program to intercollegiate play.[10] 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.[10] The McKale Memorial Center, the main arena for Arizona basketball, is named in his honor.[10]

From 1925 to 1961, the program was under the stewardship of Fred Enke, UA's longest tenured coach.[11] 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.[11]

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.[11] In 1962, Arizona joined the Western Athletic Conference as a founding member after the Border Conference disbanded.[11]

In 1972, 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.[10]

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.[10]

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..."[10]

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

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[14]) 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,"[3] 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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17] However, on October 23, 2008, he unexpectedly announced his retirement from the program (by way of an announcement from Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood).[18] A few days later, Olson's personal physician held a press conference and explained that the retirement was strongly advised due to health concerns.[19][20]

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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[23] (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.[24] 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.[25] 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."[26] 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.[26] Within three months of joining the program, Miller compiled a strong five-player recruiting class that ranked 13th nationally in 2009.[27]

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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31] 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.[31] 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.[31] 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 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. After losses to California, Arizona State, and Oregon, Arizona won their 13th regular season Pac-10/12 title (26th overall) in Sean Miller's fifth year as coach.

Arizona reached the Elite Eight in 2014, but would fall to Wisconsin.


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.[32]

Arizona also has intense rivalries with the in-state Arizona State Sun Devils, as well as out-of-state rivalries, including Kansas Jayhawks, Duke and more recently San Diego State.

Coaching records

Results by season (2009–present)

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 8–0
Arizona: 137–48 (.741) 63–27 (.700)
Total: 137–48 (.741)

      National 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

Head Coach Years Win-Loss Pct.
Orin 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
Bruce Larson 1961–1972 136–148 .479
Fred Snowden 1972–1982 167–108 .607
Ben Lindsey 1982–1983 4–24 .143
Lute Olson 1983–2007 589–188 .758
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 137–48 .741
Totals 1705–907 .653

* 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.

Coaching awards

John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award

Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award

  • Lute Olson – 2001[34]

Pac-10/12 Coach of the Year

  • Lute Olson – 1986, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2003[34]
  • Sean Miller – 2011, 2014


Retired jerseys

Student-Athlete jerseys are retired but not individual player numbers.[35]

Arizona Wildcats men's basketball retired jerseys
No. Player Pos. Career
10 Mike Bibby PG 1997-98
22 Jason Gardner PG 1999-03
25 Steve Kerr G 1984-88
32 Sean Elliott SF 1986-89

Individual awards

John R Wooden Award National Player of the Year[36]

National Players of the Year[36]

The following players were named player of the year by at least one major publication:

Pac-10 Player of the Year[36]

Pac-10/12 Freshman of the Year[36]

Frank Hessler Award Pac-10 All-Newcomer of the Year[36]

  • 2000 – Loren Woods

Men's NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player[37]

  • 1997– Miles Simon


First team All-American

  • 1988 – Sean Elliott
  • 1989 – Sean Elliott
  • 1995 – Damon Stoudamire
  • 1998 – Mike Bibby
  • 1998 – Miles Simon
  • 1999 – Jason Terry

Wildcats in the NBA

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 67 selections in that span. This number grew when Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger were selected in the 2009 NBA Draft.[38]

Name Round Overall Pick Year Team
Morris Udall 1948 Denver Nuggets (NBL)
Lincoln Richmond 1948 Ft. 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

Source: Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide [39]

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
Andre Iguodala 2002–04 NBA All-Rookie Team
Richard Jefferson 1998-01 United States – 2004 Summer Olympics – Bronze medal
Steve Kerr 1983–88 NBA Champion (5), 17 NBA seasons, TNT NBA Analyst, Head Coach, Golden State Warriors
Kenny Lofton 1985–89 MLB All-star (6), Gold Glove Award (4), 17 MLB seasons
Eric Money 1972-74 456. Slam the 500 Greatest NBA Players of All-Time
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
Mo Udall 1941–42, 46–48 Former member U.S. Congress (30 years)
Luke Walton 1998-03 NBA Champion (2)
Leon Wood 1979–80 United States – 1984 Summer Olympics – Gold medal, 7 NBA seasons

Source: Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide [39]

McDonald's All-Americans

  • 1984 – Craig McMillan
  • 1985 – Sean Elliott
  • 1987 – Brian Williams
  • 1988 – Chris Mills
  • 1990 – Khalid Reeves
  • 1991 – Ben Davis
  • 1996 – Mike Bibby
  • 1996 – Loren Woods
  • 1998 – Richard Jefferson
  • 1999 – Jason Gardner
  • 2002 – Hassan Adams
  • 2003 – Mustafa Shakur
  • 2004 – Jawann McClellan
  • 2006 – Chase Budinger
  • 2007 – Jerryd Bayless
  • 2012 – Brandon Ashley
  • 2012 – Grant Jerrett
  • 2013 – Aaron Gordon
  • 2014 – Stanley Johnson

McDonald's All-American Game MVPs

Source: Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide [39]

Post season

Pac-10/12 Tournament

UA has won the Pac-10/12 Tournament a record four times, including three straight times from 1988–90.[40] The Wildcats have played in the tournament final a record eight times.[40] UA also has a record 5 tournament MVPs.[40] Salim Stoudamire is 1 of only 2 players to win the MVP from a losing squad.[40]
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, 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 Staples Center Los Angeles, California Carlon Brown, Colorado
2014 UCLA 75-71 Arizona MGM Grand Las Vegas, Nevada Kyle Anderson, UCLA

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)[40]

National Championships

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 Four history

1988–Semifinalist 1994–Semifinalist 1997–Champion 2001–Finalist

NCAA Tournament

The University of Arizona has made 31 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.[4][5][41] Their combined record is 51–30, including a 1997 National Championship and 4 final fours (1988, 1994, 1997, 2001) .[42] 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.[43] In addition, the 1997 Arizona team is the only team to date to beat three #1 seeds to win the national championship.

Year Record Seed Round Opponent Result/Score
1951 24-6 Sweet Sixteen Kansas State L 59–61
1976 24-9 Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
W 83–76
W 114–109
L 66–82
1977 21-6 Round of 32 Southern Illinois L 77–81
1985 21-10 #10 Round of 64 Alabama L 41–50
1986 23-9 #9 Round of 64 Auburn L 73–63
1987 18-12 #10 Round of 64 UTEP L 91–98
1988 35-3 #1 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#16 Cornell
#8 Seton Hall
#5 Iowa
#2 North Carolina
#1 Oklahoma
W 90–50
W 84–55
W 99–79
W 70–52
L 78–86
1989 29-4 #1 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
#16 Robert Morris
#9 Clemson
W 94–60
W 94–68
L 67–68
1990 25-7 #2 Round of 64
Round of 32
#15 South Florida
#7 Alabama
W 79–67
L 55–77
1991 28-7 #2 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
#15 St. Francis-PA
#10 BYU
#3 Seton Hall
W 93–80
W 76–61
L 77–81
1992 24-7 #3 Round of 64 East Tennessee State L 80–87
1993 24-4 #2 Round of 64 Santa Clara L 61–64
1994 29-6 #2 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#15 Loyola-MD
#7 Virginia
#3 Louisville
#1 Missouri
#1 Arkansas
W 81–55
W 71–58
W 82–70
W 92–72
L 82–91
1995 24–7 #5 Round of 64 #12 Miami-OH L 61–72
1996 27-6 #3 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
#14 Valparaiso
#6 Iowa
#2 Kansas
W 90–51
W 87–73
L 80–83
1997 25-9 #4 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Champions
#13 South Alabama
#12 College of Charleston
#1 Kansas
#10 Providence
#1 North Carolina
#1 Kentucky
W 65–57
W 73–69
W 85–82 (OT)
W 96–92 (OT)
W 66–58
W 84– 79 (OT)
1998 30-5 #1 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#16 Nicholls State
#9 Illinois State
#4 Maryland
#3 Utah
W 99–60
W 82–49
W 87–79
L 51–76
1999 22-7 #4 Round of 64 #13 Oklahoma L 60–61
2000 27-7 #1 Round of 64
Round of 32
#16 Jackson State
#8 Wisconsin
W 71–47
L 59–66
2001 28-8 #2 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
NCAA Runner-Up
#15 Eastern Illinois
#10 Butler
#3 Ole Miss
#2 Illinois
#1 Michigan State
#1 Duke
W 101–76
W 73–52
W 66–56
W 87–81
W 80–61
L 72–82
2002 24-10 #3 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
#14 UC-Santa Barbara
#11 Wyoming
#2 Oklahoma
W 86–81
W 68–80
L 67–88
2003 28-4 #1 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#16 Vermont
#9 Gonzaga
#5 Notre Dame
#2 Kansas
W 80–51
W 96–95 (2OT)
W 88–71
L 75–78
2004 20-10 #9 Round of 64 #8 Seton Hall L 76–80
2005 30-7 #3 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#14 Utah State
#11 UAB
#2 Oklahoma State
#1 Illinois
W 66–53
W 85–63
W 79–78
L 89–90 (OT)
2006 20-13 #8 Round of 64
Round of 32
#9 Wisconsin
#1 Villanova
W 94–75
L 78–82
2007 20-11 #8 Round of 64 #9 Purdue L 63–72
2008 19-15 #10 Round of 64 #7 West Virginia L 65–75
2009 21–14 #12 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
#5 Utah
#13 Cleveland State
#1 Louisville
W 84–71
W 81–57
L 64–103
2011 30-8 #5 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#12 Memphis
#4 Texas
#1 Duke
#3 Connecticut
W 77–75
W 70–69
W 93–77
L 63–65
2013 27-8 #6 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
#11 Belmont
#14 Harvard
#3 Ohio State
W 81–64
W 74–51
L 70–73
2014 33-5 #1 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#16 Weber State
#8 Gonzaga
#4 San Diego State
#2 Wisconsin
W 68–59
W 84–61
W 70–64
L 63–64 (OT)
NCAA Tournament Seeding History (seeding began in 1979)
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

NIT results

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

By the numbers

  • National titles – 1
  • Final Fours – 4
  • Elite Eights – 10
  • Sweet Sixteens = 16
  • Conference titles – 26
  • Conference tournament titles = 4
  • Undefeated conference seasons- 2
  • Undefeated seasons- 2
  • 20-win seasons – 28
  • 30-win seasons – 5
  • Winning seasons – 1609
  • .500 or better – 73
  • NCAA tourney bids – 31
  • All-Americans (1st team) — 27
  • All-conference (1st team) — 118
  • NBA players (all-time) — List of Arizona Wildcats in the NBA
  • Most NBA MVP winners — None
  • Draft picks (1st round) — 67
  • Current NBA players — List of Arizona Wildcats in the NBA
  • Olympians – 2
  • Naismith Hall-of-Fame – None
  • McDonald's All-Americans – 29
  • Retired numbers – None

Record vs. Pac-12 opponents

The Arizona Wildcats lead the all-time series vs. eight other Pac-12 opponents, trailing only UCLA. Two series are tied.

Opponent Wins Losses Pct. Streak
Arizona St. 145 81 .642 Arizona State 1
Cal 56 30 .651 Arizona 1
Colorado 11 10 .550 Arizona 3
Oregon 46 26 .639 Oregon 1
Oregon St. 58 20 .744 Arizona 7
Stanford 56 30 .651 Arizona 7
UCLA 38 53 .418 UCLA 1
USC 62 41 .602 Arizona 1
Utah 28 27 .509 Arizona 10
Washington 47 28 .627 Arizona 3
Wash. St. 58 16 .784 Arizona 7

Game day traditions

Arizona's home games include many traditions involving the 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.[44][45][46]
  • 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.[47]

See also


  1. ^ Schools To Return Tournament $
  2. ^ NCAA Record Book
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ a b Witz, Billy (11 March 2010). "Arizona’s N.C.A.A. Streak Quietly Ends". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Everson, Dave (26 January 2009). "An Appreciation of Arizona's NCAA Streak". Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  8. ^ Lundblad, Jeremy (18 March 2009). "2009 NCAA tournament: By the numbers". Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  9. ^ a b c "Arizona Team Page". 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ Thomas Jr., Robert (1994-01-19). "Fred Snowden, Basketball Coach and Black Pioneer, Is Dead at 57". Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  13. ^ Kelley, James (2003-11-21). "UA legend Snowden paved way for black coaches". Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Arizona 89, Illinois 90". Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  16. ^ Katz, Andy (2008-03-10). "Olson to coach Arizona next season". Archived from the original on 13 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  17. ^ "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. 
  18. ^ 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. 
  19. ^ Rivera, Steve (2008-10-28). "Olson's stroke led to depression and, ultimately, retirement". Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ "Wildcats earn 25th straight NCAA tourney bid". 2009-03-15. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  23. ^ a b Thamel, Pete (2009-03-22). "Arizona Ends Cleveland State’s Charmed Run". Archived from the original on 24 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  24. ^ Katz, Andy (2009-04-06). "Xavier's Miller accepts Arizona job". "". 
  25. ^ Katz, Andy (2009-04-06). "Xavier's Miller accepts Arizona job". Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ Winn, Luke (2009-10-12). "Like Olson, Miller off to good start at Arizona with recruiting fortune". Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  28. ^ "Derrick Williams leads Arizona to outright Pac-10 title". 2011-03-05. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  29. ^ Finley, Patrick (2011-03-06). Home-court dominance' reigns"'". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  30. ^ "Derrick Williams' late 3-point play helps Arizona knock out Texas". 2011-03-20. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  31. ^ a b c "Derrick Williams, Arizona crush Duke's hopes to repeat as champions". 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  32. ^ 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."
  33. ^ "Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide History and Records pp. 147". Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  34. ^ a b c "Arizona Team Page". 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  35. ^ "Retirement of jerseys" at Wildcats website
  36. ^ a b c d e "Honors Section 2". 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  37. ^ "Final Four Most Outstanding Players". Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  38. ^ "Nine Pac-10 Players Selected In 2009 NBA Draft". Pacific-10 Conference. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2009. 
  39. ^ a b c "Arizona 2008–09 Media Guide History and Records pp. 147". Archived from the original on 13 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  40. ^ 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. 
  41. ^ "2009 NCAA Men's final four records". Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  42. ^ "All-time NCAA tourney win-loss records". Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  43. ^ "Santa Clara, Seeded 15th, Beats Arizona". 1993-03-19. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  44. ^ Pascoe, Bruce (27 January 2011). "UCLA game thread". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  45. ^ Hansen, Greg (23 December 2010). "UA's top fan sidelined". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  46. ^ Ooh Aah Man at McKale vs ASU 1/15/11 on YouTube
  47. ^ Pascoe, Bruce. "Cats, Rebels Renew Rivalry". Retrieved 8 October 2014. 

External links

  • Arizona Athletics web site
  • Players who attended Arizona
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