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Arizona Hosts Kansas State in Preseason NIT Opener
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/15/1999
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Wildcats vs. Wildcats: The Arizona Wildcats (0-0/No. 9 AP; No. 9 USA Today/ESPN) open the 1999-2000 campaign on Tuesday, Nov. 16, hosting the Kansas State Wildcats (0-0) in the first round of the Preseason NIT. Tip-off is set for 8:35 p.m. (MST) in the 14,489-seat McKale Center and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Arizona has won the Preseason NIT the last two times it has played in it (1995 & 1990) and this year marks the UA's third appearance in the tourney (it lost a first round game in 1986 at UNLV). In what will be Arizona head coach Lute Olson's 800th career game, the Cats will look to improve on its 32-game home winning streak, a mark that is the fourth-longest active streak in the country. The winner of the UA/KSU game will face the winner of the Hofstra at New Mexico State tilt, which will also be played on Tuesday night. Should Arizona beat KSU, it will host the second round match-up on Friday, Nov. 19, at 9:30 p.m. (MST).

Television & Radio for Tuesday: The Preseason NIT contest will be televised on ESPN2... Bob Carpenter will do the play-by-play and Jimmy Dykes handles the color commentary... The game can also be heard on KNST radio in Tucson (790 AM) and on each of the 11 other Arizona Wildcat Network affiliates across the Southwest. Brian Jeffries and Joe Nehls once again handle the radio coverage of UA basketball.

Series History: This will be the 13th all-time meeting between Arizona and Kansas State, but just the second in the past 18 years... KSU owns an 8-4 advantage in the series... The teams last played each other on Dec. 30, 1997, with Arizona winning 125-87... The game was held in Tucson and was the championship game of the Bank One Fiesta Bowl Classic... It was the game when Arizona, the defending NCAA champion, opened up the second half with a 27-0 run over the course of the first 7:13... Only three members of this year's UA team played in that game -- Eugene Edgerson, Josh Pastner and Justin Wessel... Prior to that contest, the last meeting was on Dec. 9, 1981 a 63-55 Kansas State home win in Manhattan... Arizona owns a 4-2 advantage over Kansas State in games played in Tucson.

UA's Probable Starting Lineup:  1998-99 Stats
                        Ht., Wt.     Yr-Exp. PPG     RPG     APG/BPG
F 21 Michael Wright     6-7, 238     So.-1L  13.9     8.8     0.4 bpg
F 44 Richard Jefferson  6-7, 222     So.-1L  11.3     4.8     2.9 apg
C 3  Loren Woods        7-1, 230     Jr.-TR                    ---
G 0  Gilbert Arenas     6-3, 191     Fr.-HS                    
G 22 Jason Gardner      5-10, 178    Fr.-HS                     

Arizona in Openers: The Wildcats' all-time record in season openers is 66-19 and they have won their last four in a row -- last season at the Black Coaches Association Classic against Tennessee... Prior to that, it was in 1997 as the nation's No. 1 team against Morgan State, at the 1996 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic against North Carolina and the year before versus Long Beach State in the Preseason NIT... The last loss in a season opener was a 72-70 decision to Minnesota at the Great Alaska Shootout -- a game that opened the 1994-95 campaign... Under head coach Lute Olson, Arizona has a mark of 13-3 in season openers. This season marks the sixth year in a row in which Arizona's opener has been televised by either ESPN or ESPN2...The UA has won its last six home openers in a row... During the Lute Olson era, the Wildcats are 14-2 in home openers... The last loss was on Dec. 6, 1992 to Arkansas (86-80) and that defeat is one of just two non-conference home losses Arizona has experienced in the past 12 years... Besides that defeat, the only other loss in a home opener for a Lute Olson-coached Wildcat team was in 1986 to Utah (68-67).

WILDCAT CALENDAR
Tues., Nov. 16 - Preseason NIT vs. Kansas State, 8:35 p.m., McKale Center/ESPN2

Fri., Nov. 19 - Possible Second Round Preseason NIT game if UA beats Kansas State; Cats would host winner of Hofstra/New Mexico State; 9:30 p.m./ESPN2

Wed/Fri., Nov. 24/26 - Preseason NIT Semi-Finals and Finals; New York City; Madison Square Garden; ESPN televises

Wed., Dec. 1 - Home game versus Brigham Young; 9 p.m. Fox Sports Net televises

Arizona's Preseason NIT History: The Wildcats have an all-time record of 8-1 in the Preseason NIT and have won the title in two of the three years they have played in it...

1986    Lost at UNLV            92-87           First Round
1990    Beat Austin Peay        122-80          First Round
        Beat E. Tenn. State     88-79           Second Round
        Beat Notre Dame         91-61           Semi-Finals
        Beat Arkansas           89-77           Finals
1995    Beat Long Beach State   91-57           First Round
        Won at Arkansas         83-73           Second Round
        Beat Michigan           86-79           Semi-Finals
        Beat Georgetown         91-81           Finals

The Rest of the Preseason NIT Schedule: Besides Arizona and Kansas State, there are four other games scheduled for Tuesday night... Besides the Hofstra/New Mexico State game, Notre Dame is at Ohio State (ESPN2/6:30 p.m.); Davidson is at Siena and Arkansas State is at Utah... On Wednesday night, the rest of the first round match-ups include Pennsylvania is at Kentucky (ESPN/7 p.m. MST); San Francisco at Maryland and Fordham travels to Tulane. A complete bracket is attached to this release.

The Cats' Last Action: Arizona played its final exhibition game of the year on Sunday and downed the California West All Stars, 83-86, in McKale Center. In beating a team that had posted wins over New Mexico, Arizona State and Utah in recent days, UA had all five starters score in double figures and were led by the three players who scored 18 points each -- Richard Jefferson, Loren Woods and Jason Gardner... Woods had a double-double by adding 13 rebounds, while 12 of Jefferson's 18 points came in the second half... Gilbert Arenas had a good all-around game with 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals... The five UA starters accounted for all but seven of the team's points (Luke Walton had seven off the bench)... Michael Wright scored 14 to go with eight boards and four assists.

The Last Arizona-Kansas State Meeting: In recording the aforementioned 125-87 victory over Kansas State on Dec. 30, 1997, the UA Wildcats came out of the lockeroom at halftime with a 58-44 lead, and then proceeded to score 27 straight points before Kansas State got on the scoreboard. The 27-0 run was over the course of the first 7:13 of the second half and KSU finally got on the board with a free throw and its first field goal didn't happen until the 12:40 mark. Arizona was led by the 28-point performance of Michael Dickerson, who was 10-of-12 from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds. Mike Bibby chipped in with 19 points and 10 assists, while Miles Simon added 17 points and five assists. As a team, the Wildcats established their best field goal percentage in their past 64 games, shooting .612 from the floor (41-of-67) and from the 3PT line, the UA shot .563 (9-16)... All 12 Arizona players who saw time got on the scoreboard... The 125 points are the third-most in school history and at the time, established a McKale Center record, which was surpassed later that season when the UA scored 127 against Arizona State... The 69 points Arizona scored in the second half were two shy of the UA record for points in a half.

Coach O: Lute Olson (Augsburg '56) begins his 17th season as the head coach at Arizona and his 27th overall as a head coach... This season will see him reach of number of milestones in what has become a Hall of Fame type coaching career... He has a career record of 587-212 (.735), while his mark in Tucson stands at 395-120 (.767) and he has made Arizona one the dominant programs in the country... He needs just 13 more wins for career win No. 600, which would make him one of just 33 coaches in NCAA history to win 600 or more games... With five more wins, he will reach 400 for his Arizona career (these numbers may differ from what the NCAA coaching totals list, because as opposed to the Pac-10 Conference, the NCAA does not count forfeits as wins on head coaching records, as the case is with two UA losses to Cal in 1995 and 1996, which were later changed to wins... the same holds true with a game when Olson was at Iowa, when there was a forfeit by Wisconsin in 1983 that changed a loss into a win)... During his 16-year tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have won one national championship (1997), gone to three Final Fours (1988, 1994, 1997), won eight Pac-10 Conference titles and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 15 years in a row, which is the second longest streak in NCAA history (North Carolina, 25)... He has been named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year six times (1986, 88, 89, 93, 94, 98) and directed the program to the nation's best winning percentage over the past 12 years... His Pac-10 record stands at 223-65 (.774) and he is one of just six coaches in league history to win 200 or more conference games... He has the second-best conference winning percentage in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only John Wooden (.810/304-74)... Prior to coming to Arizona, he was at Iowa for nine years where he owned a 168-90 mark and before that, he was at Long Beach State for one season (1973-74), where he went 24-2... In his collegiate career, he has produced 35 NBA Draft picks, including 20 at Arizona 15 alone on the 1990s... He has led Arizona to 12 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 21 overall in his career... Under Olson, the Cats have gone 243-25 during his career in McKale Center and have won 172 of their last 182 home games.

Kansas State Notes: This is the KSU's second appearance in the Preseason NIT... The first was at the start of the 1994-95 campaign when they traveled to Alabama to play the Crimson Tide... In what was Tom Asbury's first game as the KSU head coach, the Wildcats lost 79-48... Last season, KSU finished the season 20-13 and played in the post season NIT for the second straight year, where it lost its first round game at home to TCU... It finished 7-9 in the Big 12 and tied for seventh... Three starters and six letterwinners return from that squad... The team dropped both of its exhibition games this season, losing to the California East All Stars (79-78) and the NBC Thunder (75-59)... After those defeated, KSU has now lost seven straight exhibition games... Senior guard Cortez Groves is the team's top returning scorer after averaging 9.9 ppg last year... He was a member of the Big 12's All Newcomer Team... The Wildcats led the nation in FG% defense last year, holding the opposition to a field goal percentage of 37.1% from the floor... Kansas State is coached by Tom Asbury (Wyoming, 68), who is in his sixth season with the Wildcats... He has a record of 76-69 with KSU... Heading into his 13th year as a head coach, he has a career mark of 201-128... Prior to coaching at Kansas State, he was the head coach at Pepperdine for six seasons... Sophomore guard Josh Kimm and Arizona forward Justin Wessel were prep teammates at Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Against the Big 12: Arizona has an all-time record of 53-62 against teams from the Big 12 Conference... Last season, the Wildcats went 2-1 against schools from the league, beating Texas and Iowa State, while losing to Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament... Since the Big 12 was formed for the 1996-97 season, however, Arizona owns an 8-3 mark versus the league.

UA Injury Report: Rick Anderson did not play against the California All Stars due to a slight muscle pull in his back he suffered in practice on Friday... He missed a few practices earlier in the week with strep throat and lost around 10 pounds... He will be ready to go on Tuesday night... Lamont Frazier also did not play against the California All Stars... He has undergone more medical testing and as a result, did not practice with the team late last week... It is anticipated that this will be the last restriction that will be imposed on Frazier as a result of his present medical condition... He will be ready to go for Kansas State... Luke Recker, who is redshirting this season as a transfer, has been medically cleared to return to full basketball participation after having been involved in rehabilitation, conditioning and limited practice situations since the start of practice on Oct. 16, due to the broken wrist he sustained in a car wreck this summer... He was examined by team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jon Wang and all restrictions were removed on Nov. 9... He will continue his rehab, but not be restricted from participation in any basketball activities.

Pac-10 Prognostications: The Wildcats have been picked to win the 1999-2000 Pac-10 Conference title, according to a poll of media members who regularly cover the league... The poll showed Arizona getting 32 of the possible 36 first-place votes, edging No. 2 UCLA, who received three first place votes and No. 3 Stanford, which garnered one first place vote... Following the top-three were Oregon, Oregon State, California, USC, Arizona State, Washington and Washington State. This poll has correctly picked the Pac-10 Champion for five years in a row and Arizona has now been the preseason No. 1 pick six times since the poll was started back in 1989.

The UA's record of 320-74 over the course of the past 12 years gives it the nation's best winning percentage during that span (.812).

Douglas To Transfer: Wildcat sophomore guard Ruben Douglas was granted his request for a release from his scholarship at the University of Arizona by the UA coaching staff on Nov. 14. He will continue his course work at the UA for the rest of the fall semester with the intent to transfer after that period. Douglas, a 6-foot-4-inch guard from Altadena, Calif. (Bellarmine-Jefferson High School), was one of three returning starters for the Wildcats this season. Last year as a freshman, he started in 14 games at the off-guard position and averaged 8.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 Freshman Team selection as well.

Captains Elected: Senior Josh Pastner and junior Loren Woods were selected captains for this year's team in voting that was done by their teammates last week.

Both Major Preseason Polls Released: The Associated Press (media) and USA Today/ESPN (coaches) released their preseason men's basketball Top-25 last week... Arizona is the No. 9 pick in both sets of rankings... It's the seventh time that the Wildcats have been among top-10 in the preseason polls... Arizona was the No. 1 pick in 1997-98, No. 3 in 1990-91, No. 5 in 1991-92, No. 5 in 1994-95, No. 6 in 1989-90 and No. 10 in 1992-93.

Counting Classes: The 1999-2000 Arizona basketball roster is relatively young... From top-to-bottom, it is comprised of just two seniors, of which only one will play, due to Eugene Edgerson's redshirt season (Josh Pastner, who has played just 77 minutes in his three year career is the lone "playing" senior)... After that, there are five juniors two of whom have never played in a game for the Cats (Wake Forest transfer Loren Woods & junior college transfer Lamont Frazier) and one who can't play this season because he is a transfer (Luke Recker)... Then there are three sophomores, one redshirt freshman and four true freshman.

Who's Back: Heading the group of two returning starters and seven letterwinners is last year's Freshman All-American and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Michael Wright. A 6-foot-7, 238-pound sophomore from Chicago, Ill. (Farragut Academy), he has received preseason acclaim as being one the top power forwards in the country for 1999-2000. He is the team's leading returning scorer (13.9 ppg) and rebounder (8.8 rpg) after posting the best rebounding average by a freshman in Pac-10 history last season. The other returning starter from last year is sophomore Richard Jefferson (F, 6-7, 222, Phoenix, Ariz.)... (Ruben Douglas was a third returning starter, but he was granted his request to be released from his scholarship at the UA on Nov. 14). Jefferson was an All-Pac-10 Freshman team performer last season after averaging 11.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 2.9 apg. Among the other returning letterwinners are Justin Wessel (F, 6-8 , 225, Jr., Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Rick Anderson (F, 6-8 , 221, So., Long Beach, Calif.), John Ash (G, 5-10, 177, Jr., Tucson, Ariz.) and probably the most valuable player in the country who has averaged 2.8 minutes per game during his three-year career, Josh Pastner (G, 5-11, 182, Kingwood, Texas).

University of Arizona 1999-2000 Preseason Rankings
The Sporting News - 5th Basketball News - 7th Blue Ribbon College Yearbook - 7th AP - 9th ESPN/USA Today - 9th Sports Illustrated - 9th Street & Smith's - 9th Sport Magazine - 9th Playboy - 11th ESPN.com - 13th Basketball Times - 13th Lindy's College Sports - 18th

Picked to finish first in the Pac-10 - The Sporting News Picked to finish first in the Pac-10 - Basketball News Picked to finish first in the Pac-10 - Athlon Sports Picked to finish first in the Pac-10 - Street & Smith's Picked to finish first in the Pac-10 - Sport Magazine

The Sporting News No. 3 Frontcourt in the Country Lindy's College Basketball No. 5 Frontcourt in the Country Street & Smith's No. 2 Frontcourt in the Country

Individual Rankings
Michael Wright
* The Sporting News No. 2 Power Forward in the Country 
* The Sporting News Pac-10 All-Conference First Team
* Pac-10's Best NBA Prospect - The Sporting News
* Street & Smith's No. 3 Power Forward in the Country
* Street & Smith's All-Pac-10 Team
* Basketball News All-Pac-10 First Team
* Basketball News No. 6 "Banger" in the Country
* Athlon Sports All-Pac-10 First Team
* Lindy's No. 8 Power Forward in the Country 
* "All Class of 2002" (Sophomores Who May Be Raw But Have Serious Skills),
Sport Magazine
Loren Woods
* The Sporting News No. 6 Center in the Country
* The Sporting News Pac-10 All-Conference Team
* The Sporting News Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year 
* Athlon Sports All-Pac-10 Second Team
* Athlon Sports Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year 
* Lindy's No. 8 Center in the Country 
* "All-Witness Protection" (Impact Transfers Whose Time is Now), Sport
Magazine
Richard Jefferson
* Athlon Sports All-Pac-10 Third Team
* Lindy's No. 14 Small Forward in the Country 
Jason Gardner
* Basketball News Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year
* Street & Smith's Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year

A Redshirt Year: Another face that is returning this season, but will not be playing is Eugene Edgerson... He will redshirt this season so he can complete his degree requirement in his education major... In order to accomplish his goal of getting his degree and teaching certificate from the UA in four years, he will student teach during the 2000 spring semester, while fulfilling other requirements this fall... Depending on his teaching schedule, he will still practice with the team but will miss Wednesday practices during the fall semester.

The (Kind Of) New Faces: There are eight players on this season's roster who have never played in a game for the Wildcats before, although two of them were with the program last year and sat out either as a transfer or with a redshirt season. The transfer is junior center Loren Woods (7-1, 251, St. Louis, Mo.), who came to Arizona from Wake Forest. The former McDonald's All-American had to sit out last year, but is eligible to play in 1999-00 and will establish his presence right away. He did practice with the Cats in 1998-99, so he has a good knowledge of the system. The redshirt is Luke Walton (F, 6-8, 228, Fr., San Diego, Calif.). He missed last season with a medical redshirt after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot. He was healthy towards the end of last year and was able to practice with the team at the end of February and coaches were impressed with his progress.

The New Guys: The six fresh faces on the team are a talented group... There are two transfers and four true freshmen... Junior college guard Lamont Frazier (6-3, 182, Jr.) comes to Tucson from Lon Morris Junior College in Jacksonville, Texas and is originally from Los Angeles... His has missed some practices so far due to a recurrent medical condition, but returned to practice on Oct. 28 -- his first time on the floor with the team since Oct. 17... The second high-profile transfer in two years to come to Arizona is Indiana transfer Luke Recker (G/F, 6-6, 190, Jr., Auburn, Ind.)... Just as the case was with Loren Woods last season, he must sit out this season as a result of NCAA transfer rules, but will be allowed to practice with the team... As a result of the broken left wrist he suffered in a car wreck back in early July, he was held out of some drills in practice to avoid contact, but received full clearance to practice last week... The four true freshmen on the squad include McDonald's All-American Jason Gardner (G, 5-10, 178, Indianapolis, Ind.), Gilbert Arenas (G, 6-3, 191, North Hollywood, Calif.), Robertas Javtokas it's pronounced YAHV-toe-kus (C, 6-10, 229, Siauliai, Lithuania) and walk-on Michael Schwertley (F, 6-5, 214, Phoenix, Ariz.).

Pac-10 Team of the Decade???: Arizona has the most wins of any Pac-10 team in the 1990s (256) and was won five Pac-10 Conference crowns and tied for one other... UCLA is second with four conference titles this decade... Arizona's winning percentage of .793 in the 1990s is the third-best in the country, trailing only Kansas (.827) and Kentucky (.817)... For conference games only, Arizona record of 140-40 in the best in the league, with UCLA at No. 2 with a 134-47 mark... The Cats have been to the NCAA Tournament each year this decade and won it all in 1997... There have been 18 All-Pac-10 first team selections from Arizona and four Pac-10 Players of the Year... Arizona has not recorded a double-digit loss total since 1986-87... The Wildcats' seven All-Americans during the 1990s trails only Duke's 10... UA and North Carolina are tied for second-most All-Americans in the 1990s.

The Coach's Show: Once again this season, KNST will air the Lute Olson Coach's Show, hosted by Brian Jeffries... Due to Arizona travel conflicts during the non-conference season, the show will air just once prior to Pac-10 play... The first show is on Monday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. It is broadcast live from Bob's at 6350 East Tanque Verde Road... The show will then be aired for the television portion of the Lute Olson Show, showing on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 10:30 p.m. on UPN channel 18... The next Lute Olson Show after this will be on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 6 p.m. and the TV show will be shown Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 10:30 p.m.

Where Are You From?: California is the state that can claim the most members of this year's Wildcats, as four players are from "The Golden State " (Rick Anderson, Gilbert Arenas, Lamont Frazier and Luke Walton)... There are three from Arizona (John Ash, Richard Jefferson & Michael Schwertley) and two from Indiana (Jason Gardner, Luke Recker)... The rest of the roster contains six players from different states and countries, as the case is with Robertas Javtokas, who is from Siauliai, Lithuania... His city is pronounced SHAW-lay.

The Golden Arches: This season's roster has four former McDonald's All-Americans Jason Gardner, Richard Jefferson, Luke Recker and Loren Woods.

2000 NCAA West Region First/Second Rounds in McKale Center: The University of Arizona will host the first and second rounds of the 2000 NCAA Tournament West Region this March 16 & 18 in McKale Center. Tickets are currently on sale for each of the three sessions and cost $90. Ticket orders can be made at the McKale Center ticket office or by calling 520-621-CATS (2287). Media credential applications will be ready in January. Contact media coordinator Tom Duddleston with any questions (520-621-4163).

Cat Scratches: Under Lute Olson, the Wildcats have gone 32-6 in the month of November... Arizona will take the nation's fourth-longest home winning streak into the season... The UA has won 32 consecutive home games, trailing only Murray State (42), Duke (35) and Utah (35)... The Cats have won 172 of their past 182 home games... This will be the 12th season Arizona basketball has been sold out in McKale Center on a season-ticket basis... Only 10 pairs of mid-level tickets and 20 pairs of upper level tickets were not renewed for this year... Check out The Sporting News this week for a cover photo of Loren Woods and Lute Olson... It pertains to a story that deals with the influx of transfers in college basketball... Michael Wright's jersey will appear in ESPN Magazine's college basketball preview, along with other jerseys of the top players in the country... The design will be a take-off of the Blair Witch Project movie, which portrays the nation's "scariest players"... Please note that Jason Gardner's birthdate is Nov. 14, not Nov. 4, as the personal section in his bio states... Dating back to the start of the 1997-98 season, Arizona has been ranked in the top-10 in 31 of 37 polling periods... Since the start of the 1997 NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats own a record of 58-12... Overall, Arizona has been ranked in the regular season Top-25 rankings for 199 straight weeks... Dating back to the start of the 1997 NCAA Tournament, Arizona owns a record of 58-12.

Then There Were Four: Just four players on this year's roster remain from Arizona's 1997 NCAA Championship team Eugene Edgerson, Justin Wessel, John Ash and Josh Pastner.

Who's Gone From 1998-99: Leading the losses from last season are 1998-99 seniors Jason Terry and A.J. Bramlett... Terry was named the National Player of the Year in three circles last season and was the Pac-10 Player of the Year after becoming the first player to lead the league in scoring (21.9 ppg), assists (5.5) and steals (2.8) in the same season since Gary Payton of Oregon State did it in 1989-90... He was No. 10 in the NBA Draft and went to the Atlanta Hawks... Bramlett was an All-Pac-10 selection last season after averaging 14.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg... He was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers... Both Terry and Bramlett were members of four Arizona teams that went 103-28 (55-4 at home), winning a national title, a Pac-10 crown and they went 11-3 in the NCAA Tournament... Jason Stewart was the third senior last year, while freshman guard Traves Wilson transferred in the off-season, and so did Ruben Douglas, who made his decision to do so last Sunday. Arizona's NCAA History: Last year marked the 18th time Arizona has made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament and it was the 15th invite under head coach Lute Olson... UA's current string of 15 consecutive appearances in the NCAAs is the second longest streak in NCAA history, trailing only North Carolina's 25 straight invites (UNC's is a current streak as well)... Last season was the 20th time in the last 21 years that Olson has taken a team to the NCAAs... He has directed Arizona to 15 tourneys and a 24-14 record -- and when he was the coach at Iowa, he coached five Hawkeye squads to the NCAAs... With 20 career appearances in the NCAA Tournament, he is tied for fourth on the NCAA's all-time tournament appearance list for head coaches with Adolph Rupp and John Thompson... Over the course of their last 20 NCAA games, the Wildcats own a record of 15-5... In the last five years, Arizona has played in 21 tournament games... Arizona's all-time record in the NCAA Tournament is now 26-17... The Wildcats have been to three Final Fours -- 1988, 1994 & 1997... Arizona has advanced to the Sweet 16 seven times in the last 12 years.

Arizona Basketball On TV This Year: Each of Arizona's 29 regular season games will be televised on either Fox Sports Net, ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, CBS or KWBA. The Wildcats appear on Fox Sports Net 20 times, ESPN twice, ESPN2 twice, CBS once, ABC once and on Tucson's KWBA five times. Should Arizona advance to the Preseason NIT's second round, semi-finals and final, it would make one more showing on ESPN2 and have two more ESPN games.

20-Win Campaigns: With its record of 22-7 last season, it marked the 12th consecutive season that Arizona won 20 or games... Further, it was the 14th time in Lute Olson's 16 years as UA head coach that the Cats have reached the 20-win plateau... It marked the 21st time in Olson's career that he has directed a team to 20 or more victories, making him just the eighth head coach in NCAA history to reach 20 wins in 21 or more seasons (Dean Smith-30; Jerry Tarkanian-26; Adolph Rupp-23; Bobby Knight-22; Denny Crum-21; Jim Boeheim-21; John Chaney-21).

Home Sweet Home: As previously mentioned, Arizona closed the year with a 32-game home winning streak in tact... The streak includes all 14 home games last season, all 15 in 1997-98 and the final three of the 1996-97 campaign... The last loss was a 66-64 defeat to UCLA on Feb. 13, 1997... Further, Arizona has won 43 of its last 44 home

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