NEW ORLEANS (March 16)--Arizona did its media thing on open practice day Thursday, and made final preparations with a shoot-around this morning at the New Orleans Arena for its evening match here with Purdue in NCAA Midwest Region first-round action of the Men's Basketball Championships.
The Cats, 20-10 overall and the region's No. 8 seed, face the Boilermakers (21-11, Seed No. 9) in a game to tipoff on CBS-Sports at 6:20 p.m. Central Daylight Time (4:20 p.m. in Tucson).
UA practiced at mid-day Thursday in some harsh reality at local Saint Augustine High School, a neighborhood that still bore some leftover symptoms from Hurricane Katrina's devastating impact on the Gulf coast in late August 2005. The team had its NCAA news conference and open practice later in the afternoon at the New Orleans arena, and then ate dinner at its hotel in the downtown area not far from the French Quarter.
UA is making its 23rd consecutive foray into NCAA play, the nation's best active streak. Purdue makes its 21st appearance overall and and first since 2003. If the Cats win, they will play the winner of tonight's second game, No. 1 seed Florida vs. No. 16 seed Jackson State, in a game at a time to be specified on Sunday afternoon.
|UA practiced Thursday at Saint Augustine High School's upstairs gym|