March 18, 2011
Date: Sunday, March 20, 2011
Time: 5:10 p.m. CDT
Location: BOK Center (17,996), Tulsa, Okla.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: TNT (Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craig Sager)
GAME DATA: No. 5 seed Arizona (28-7, 14-4 Pac-10) advances to the third round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament's West Region against No. 4 seed Texas (28-7, 13-3 Big 12) Sunday at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. ... Not counting vacated appearances, this is UA's 27th NCAA Tournament appearance overall and the program has a 44-25 (.638) record in NCAA Tournament action ... Arizona's advancement to the Round of 32 marks the 16th time the Wildcats have won its tournament opener since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985, and the first time in back-to-back seasons since 2005 and 2006 ... This is Arizona's 18th appearance in the West Region - the most of any Tournament regional - and 27 of UA's 44 NCAA Tournament victories have come while playing in the West.
THE RANKINGS: UA has been ranked for seven consecutive weeks and currently is No. 17 in the March 14 Associated Press and No. 15 in the March 7 ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls. UA's seven straight weeks in both national polls is the longest for a Pac-10 club in 2010-11.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . is in his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 164-69 (.704) and 44-22 (.667) at Arizona ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the last three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 15 trips to the postseason in his 18 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (9 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 7-4 (.636) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, all 17 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team and was a member of his alma mater's all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 42, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 0-0 vs. Texas as a head coach.
LAST TIME OUT: Derrick Williams posted his 12th double-double of the season, but it was his blocked shot with two seconds to go that proved to be most memorable in Arizona's 77-75 win Friday over Memphis in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Williams (22 points/10r rebounds) and teammate Lamont Jones combined for 18 points in the second half as UA rallied from a 63-58 deficit with 9:06 to go an then needed the game-saving block to hold on to what was a five-point lead with as few as 23 ticks remaining.
THE SERIES: Today's game marks the 11th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding an 8-2 series advantage. UA has won eight straight in the series, including the last, 91-83 in New York City on Dec. 9, 2003, in the Jimmy V Classic. For more series information, please see page 41 in the UA media guide. Texas and Arizona have never met in NCAA Tournament play.
LAST MEETING: Arizona 91, Texas 83, Dec. 9, 2003: Propelled by a 16-6 run to open the second half, Arizona raced to a 91-83 win over Texas in the Jimmy V Classic. UA hit 9-of-its-first-11 shots to open the half and limited Texas to 3-of-14 shooting in the same span. The Cats, who shot 55 percent in the second half, posted its best shooting night of the year and held the Longhorns to 19 points below their season scoring average. Hassan Adams posted a career-high 30 points and 10 rebounds, while Andre Iguodala registered the seventh triple-double in school history with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
DEJA VU: Basketball has a strange way of evening things out, as was evident in Friday's two-point win. The final score and scenario were eerily similar to Arizona's last game, a 77-75 (ot) loss to Washington in the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles. In that March 12 game, Arizona held a four-point lead with 26 seconds to go in regulation before a barrage of UW treys forced overtime and the eventual outcome. This time Arizona was forced to make the game's decisive play - a blocked shot by Derrick Williams - and come out with a win. The win gave the Wildcats a 7-2 record in games decided by five points or less.
DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN: Most teams look for their leader to be a difference maker on the offensive end, but Arizona's Derrick Williams has saved the Wildcats twice this season with late-game blocked shots. In addition to Friday's heroics, the 6-foot-8 forward also blocked a shot by Washington's Darnell Gant with two seconds to go in an 87-86 UA win on Feb. 19 in Tucson. Williams, who leads Arizona with 25 blocked shots in 35 games (0.7 bpg), obviously makes his blocks count.
SLUGGISH AT THE START: Perhaps its was the bright lights of the NCAA Tournament, but whatever the reason, Arizona was sluggish at the start of Friday's game. The Wildcats connected on just one of its first nine field goal attempts to go with three turnovers in the first seven minutes of the ball game. UA trailed 21-16 at the 10-minute mark of the opening half, marking just the ninth time this season that Arizona trailed at that point of a game this year (team is 6-3). Further, Arizona trailed by as many as 10 points in the game (21-11/11:48 1st), but managed to hold a 41-38 lead at the half. Arizona is 26-2 this season when holding the halftime lead.
WORTH NOTING: At one point of Friday's game Arizona trailed Memphis, 21-11 (11:48/1st), but still managed to come back and earn the win. It is the second time this season that Arizona erased a double-digit deficit and won, and Friday's effort was UA's second-biggest erasure of the year. It was topped only by a 12-point comeback in the win over Northern Arizona on Dec. 19 (20-8/10:17 1st).
MISCUES MATTER: Arizona committed 14 turnovers in Friday's win - five more than the club was averaging in its previous six games - but managed to win the all-important turnover battle, 15-14. Additionally, Arizona managed to convert those 15 Memphis turnovers into a 27-21 advantage in turnover points in what turned out to be a two-point win. When Arizona commits fewer turnovers than the opposition, it has an 18-3 record this season.
BACK TO THE LINE: Led by Derrick Williams (9-of-9) and Lamont Jones (7-of-8), Arizona connected on 26-of-31 (.839) free throws Friday against Memphis and outscored the Tigers, 26-17 from the line. The simple fact that Arizona was able to get to the line 31 times was a good sign for a team that has had 30 or more attempts just once in the previous 11 games. It's the ninth time this season that Arizona has attempted 30 or more free throws in a contest, a good number for a team that averages 24.0 FT attempts per game. Additionally, here are two more free throw notes: Williams' spotless effort from the line makes him the second Arizona to player to make at least nine free throws in an NCAA Tournament game without a miss (Nic Wise, 10-for-10, vs. Cleveland State, 3/22/09, Miami, Fla., 2R). Jones converted a season-high seven free throws Friday, matching a total he posted twice this season, the last time coming on Feb. 5 at California.
KNOCKING THEM DOWN AND CLIMBING ON UP: Derrick Williams moved into eighth place on the Arizona career free throw attempts list in less than two full seasons with 530, passing both Miles Simon (524) and Al Fleming (522) during the game against Memphis. The sophomore forward has now converted 382 free throws in his career (.721), and is just six makes behind Salim Stoudamire (388) for 10the place on the UA career FTs made list. A good day could move him as high as seventh on the list, as Sean Rooks currently occupies that spot with 392 successful tries from the stripe.
BIG SHOTS: Arizona managed just five three-point field goals in Friday's win, nearly three treys below its season per-game average of 7.9. Despite the meager number of treys, the Wildcats did manage to make them count, as three of them proved rather meaningful. Jamelle Horne knocked one it at 12:23 to go in the second to stop an 13-2 Memphis run, Derrick Williams sank another with 3:51 to go to give the Cats a 68-65 lead, and Lamont Jones sank a third with 1:36 to go to give Arizona a 71-68 lead. Interestingly, no Wildcat made more than one three-pointer in the contest.
A PERFECT DEBUT: In his first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, freshman guard Jordin Mayes may have saved the Cats with a spotless performance vs. Memphis. The 6-foot-2 native of Los Angeles hit 2-of-2 shots, including a trey, and all three free throws en route to eight points. For good measure, Mayes grabbed an offensive board and passed out an assist (with no turnovers) in 14 minutes of action. In his last three games, Mayes is averaging 7.3 points, while shooting 7-of-10 (.700) from the field.
OFF TARGET: Arizona acumen seems to have gone a bit awry in the postseason, as the Cats have connected on just 45.0 percent (100-of-222) of its field goal attempts including its three Pac-10 Tournament games. In fact, Arizona, a team that has outshot 17 of 35 opponents on the season, has been outshot by the opposition in each of its last four games, a figure that equals the longest such streak of the season. In the last four games, UA foes are shooting 48.5 percent (110-of-227) from the floor.
FILL IT IN: Sophomore Kevin Parrom put forth a nice all-around effort Friday, totaling nine points (3-of-4 FG), two boards and an assist in 18 minutes vs. Memphis. Additionally, the 6-foot-6 native of the Bronx, N.Y., equaled a career high with three steals. On the season, Parrom averages 7.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, while shooting .511 (95-of-185) from the field.
UP NEXT: With a win, Arizona advances to the NCAA West Region semifinals, Thursday, March 24, in Anaheim, Calif. A loss sends the team home for the offseason.