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Men's Basketball Game Notes, 1/27/2007
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/27/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Game 20:? No. 17 Arizona (14-5) vs. No. 4 North Carolina (18-2)

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Date:? Saturday, Jan. 27, 2007????????????????????????????? Time:? 11 a.m. MST

Location:? Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.

Radio:? Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)???????? TV: ?CBS (Verne Lundquist/Billy Packer)

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Game Data:? No. 17 Arizona (14-5, 5-4 Pac-10) steps out of conference play for the final time Saturday to host No. 4 North Carolina (18-2, 5-1 ACC) in McKale Center ... The Tar Heels are the first top-five opponent to visit McKale Center since fourth-ranked Stanford on Jan. 10, 2004, and the first non-conference foe to do so since fifth-ranked Michigan State on Dec. 11, 1999 ... This morning’s game is one of only two this weekend featuring two nationally ranked teams and both feature Pac-10 teams ?- the other is tonight’s No. 7 Oregon at No. 20 Washington State affair.

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The Rankings:? After losing two games last week, Arizona slipped to No. 17 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and to No. 19 the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.? The Wildcats have been ranked in each poll to date this season.

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Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 24th season at Arizona and his 34th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 775-274 (.739) and 583-182 (.762) at Arizona ... He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2002 ... Olson became the 16th coach in basketball history to tally 1,000 career victories (covering all levels) on Dec. 11, 2004 ... Olson recorded his 775th collegiate victory on Jan. 24, 2007, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (321) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.766/321-98) and second-most league championships won (11) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only UCLA’s John Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles)? ... During his 24-year tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have won one national championship (1997), played in the national championship game (2001), participated in four Final Fours (1988, 1994, 1997, 2001), won 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for 22 consecutive seasons, which is the longest active and second-longest streak in NCAA history (North Carolina, 27) ... He also led Iowa to the 1980 Final Four ... Olson has been named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year seven times (1986, ?'88, ?'89, ?'93, ?'94, ?'98, 2003), the Big Ten Coach of the Year twice (1979 & ?'81) and directed the UA program to the nation’s second-best winning percentage over the past 19 years (499-131/.792) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 19 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 28 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 28 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 343-36 (.905) in McKale Center and have won 271 of its last 291 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 3-2 against North Carolina.

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Last Time Out:? Arizona got what it needed most ?- a win ?- and received enough solid performances to feel good about the effort in a 71-47 win Thursday vs. Arizona State.? Four players finished in double figures, the team shot 50 percent from the floor and limited Arizona State to a season-low 47 points.? Arizona used a 17-6 run to close the first with an 11-point lead then methodically pushed the lead to as many as the final tally.? Chase Budinger led all players with game-high totals of 21 points and 10 boards.

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Scouting North Carolina:? The Tar Heels (18-2, 5-1 ACC) enter today’s game riding a three-game win streak following Wednesday’s 88-60 win at Wake Forest.? As a team, UNC averages 87.6 points per game, shoots 50.4 percent (637-of-1,263) from the field and posts a +10.6 per game rebound margin.? Defensively, UNC allows 65.4 points per game and a .399 field goal percentage.? Three Tar Heels average in double figures, led by Tyler Hansbrough’s 18.5 points per game figure.? He also leads the club with an 8.1 rebounds per game mark.

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The Series:? Today’s game is the seventh meeting of the two schools with the series knotted at three wins apiece. UA has won two of the last three meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 28, 1948, but Carolina prevailed in the last, 86-69, in Chapel Hill, on Jan. 28, 2006. Last season’s tilt was the first in the series to be played on campus as the previous five meetings had been at neutral sites. All-time, Arizona is 0-0 in series games played in Tucson, 0-1 in Chapel Hill, and 3-2 in neutral-site games. Please see page 100 in the UA media guide for more series information.

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Last Meeting:? North Carolina 86, Arizona 69, Jan. 28, 2006:? North Carolina broke open a tie game by scoring the last eight points of the first half and then used 58.1 percent shooting in the second half to put it away in the 17-point win.? The Tar Heels connected on 18-of-31 field goal attempts after the break to stretch its lead to as many as 20 points in posting its third-highest point total of the season.? Mustafa Shakur led the Wildcats with 18 points.

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Against the ACC:? Arizona holds an 18-14 (.563) cumulative record against schools that currently make up the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cats have played five games against ACC foes over the past two-plus seasons, including three against Virginia and one vs. Wake Forest.

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Against Ranked Teams:? Arizona is 2-2 against nationally ranked opponents this season and is 117-144 (.448) all-time vs. ranked opposition, including a 47-32 (.595) record in McKale Center.? Under Lute Olson, Arizona is 102-75 (.576) against nationally ranked foes, including a 37-16 (.698) mark in McKale Center.

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Playing the Four slot:? Arizona faces a tall order in fourth-ranked North Carolina, at least based on its history against similarly ranked teams.? In its history, Arizona is 6-13 (.316) against the No. 4 team in the country.? That equals the most losses (also vs. No. 6) for Arizona against any rankings slot.? However, UA is 4-1 against the No. 4 team in the country dating back to March 1997.? See page 148 in the UA media guide for more series information.

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A Milestone:? Wednesday’s win was the 775th career victory for Lute Olson on the NCAA Division I level.? Only 12 coaches in NCAA history (covering all levels) have won as many games.? Now in his 34th year as a college head coach, Olson has a career record of 775-274 (.739).? Today’s game vs. UNC is the 1,050th game of Olson’s collegiate coaching career and the 1,431st in his 49-year career covering all levels.

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Perhaps It Starts With Defense:? Arizona snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday with a defensive effort that limited Arizona State to just 17 field goals, 47 total points and 34.7 percent shooting (17-of-49).? All told, ASU’s 17 FGs, 49 field goal attempts, 21 second half points and 47 total points were all Arizona opponent lows for the 2006-07 season.

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We’ll Throw this out for Discussion:? Arizona enters today’s game with North Carolina riding a 29-game non-conference homecourt win streak, which according to research provided by ESPN currently is the fourth longest streak in the country.? The steak dates back to a 107-68 win over Western Kentucky on Nov. 23, 2002.? UA’s last non-conference loss in McKale Center happened Jan. 26, 2002, in a 100-98 overtime defeat to Connecticut.? Duke (51), Sam Houston State (35) and Air Force (31) are the only teams nationally that currently carry longer streaks than the Wildcats.

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So that’s What It Feels Like:? Arizona shot 50 percent from the field Wednesday (25-of-50), marking the first time the team has accomplished that feat in six games.? In it’s previous five games, UA connected on 42.8 percent (127-of-297) of its field goal attempts, including only 22.6 percent (19-of-84) from behind the arc.? On the year, Arizona is 9-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field.

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Board Work:? Arizona posted a 34-24 rebound advantage in Wednesday’s victory, marking the sixth straight game in which the Cats have outrebounded the opposition.? It was also the fifth time this year that the Wildcats had posted a rebound margin of 10 or more, and the first since Dec. 17.

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Turnovers:? The Wildcats took care of the ball against the Sun Devils Wednesday, equaling a season low with nine turnovers.? It was the second time this season (vs. Samford) that the Cats kept the miscues to less than 10.? Turnovers tell quite a story for the Wildcats, as the squad is 9-1 this year when committing fewer turnovers than the opposition.? Incidentally, Arizona held a 15-3 advantage Wednesday in points off turnovers.

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He’ll Be Back:? Marcus Williams served a one-game suspension Wednesday for unspecified violations of team policy.? The 6-foot-7 sophomore forward will be back in the lineup Saturday against the Tar Heels.? Arizona’s leading scorer, Williams currently averages 18.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.? Wednesday’s game was the first game he had missed in his UA career.

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Double-doubles:? Chase Budinger’s game-high totals of 21 points and 10 rebounds marked his third double-double of the season for the freshman from Encinitas, Calif.? It was UA’s 13th double-double of the year, which is seven more than all of last season.? The Cats have had a player register a double-double in five straight games.

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Taking Advantage of Charity:? The Wildcats posted a 12-4 scoring advantage from the free throw line in Wednesday’s win to continue a season-long trend.? On average, Arizona outscores the opposition by 11.1 points per game (19.2-8.1) from the free throw line.? All told, Arizona has made 133 more free throws than the opposition has attempted, and takes advantage of the opportunity with a team FT percentage of .752 (366-of-487).

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Not Quite Wally Pipp:? Freshman forward Jordan Hill definitely took advantage of his first career start Wednesday (in place of Marcus Williams) by totaling season-best totals of 12 points and nine boards to go with two blocked shots.? The 6-foot-9 Atlanta native connected on 5-of-7 field goal attempts in 32 minutes to register his first career double-figure scoring game.? In 17 appearances, Hill is averaging 2.6 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 58.1 percent from the field.

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Excruciating:? Junior Jawann McClellan broke out of an 0-of-15 slump from three-point range Wednesday by connecting on 4-of-7 attempts from behind the arc.? After missing his first three-point attempt vs. ASU, McClellan broke the streak with a trey with 6:16 to go in the first half.? The 0-fer covered five games and a total of 232 minutes and 43 seconds of game action.? Prior to the slump, the 6-foot-3 guard from Houston, was shooting .500 (26-of-52) from three-point range.? That figure is now .405 (30-of-74).

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Scoring 80:? Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 160-19 (.894) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.? Arizona is 10-1 this season when scoring 80 or more points, a feat that has happened in 12 of 18 games this year.

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Always On the Run:? Early this season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity.? Here are the ones of note to date:

25-0 run over 7:45 vs. New Mexico State, Nov. 19 (UA went 11-of-16 during run: NMSU 0-of-10)

34-11 run over 9:00 vs. Northern Arizona, Nov. 15 (UA went 12-of-16 during run: NAU 3-of-16)

31-9 run over 7:54 vs. California, Dec. 28 (UA went 11-of-13 during the run; Cal 4-of-14)

28-9 run over 11:22 vs. Samford, Nov. 22 (SU went 3-of-16 with four turnovers during run)

20-2 run over 5:59 vs. Louisville, Dec. 5 (UL went 1-of-10; UA 7-of-8 during the run)

21-4 run over 8:08 vs. Illinois, Dec. 2, 2006 (UA 8-of-12 FGs during run)

24-8 run over 9:17 at San Diego State, Dec. 9, 2006 (SDSU 4-of-18 FG with five TO during run)

18-3 run over 4:15 at Virginia, Nov. 12 (UA went 6-of-8 during run: UVa 1-of-8)

23-8 run over 7:11 vs. UNLV, Nov. 28 (UNLV 3-of-7 with six turnovers during run)

15-0 run over 2:28 at Washington, Jan. 4 (McClellan 3-of-3 from three-point range, UA 6-of-6 FTs)

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Early Signees:? Coach Olson and his staff signed five student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period.? Jerryd Bayless (G, 6-3, 193) from Phoenix, Ariz., St. Mary’s High School; Jamelle Horne (F, 6-7, 205) from San Diego, Calif., San Diego High School;? Alex Jacobson (C, 7-1, 223) from Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei High School; Zane Johnson (F, 6-6, 200) from Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird High School; and Laval Lucas-Perry (G, 6-1, 191) from Grand Blanc, Mich., Powers Catholic High School, will join the squad next fall.

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Up Next:? Arizona opens the second half of the Pac-10 schedule by hosting No. 20 Washington State on Thursday, Feb. 1.? Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MST and can be seen on FSN Arizona.

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