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Men's Basketball Game Notes vs. UCLA, 3/10/2006
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/10/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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No. 4 Seed  Arizona (19-11, 11-7) at Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament Semifinals

 

Date:  Friday, March 10, 2006

Time:  6 p.m. PST

Location:  Staples Center (19,282), Los Angeles, Calif.

Radio:  Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)

TV:  FSN (Barry Tompkins/Dan Belluomini)

 

Game Data:  No. 4 seed Arizona (19-11, 11-7 Pac-10) advanced to the 2006 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament semifinals Friday against No. 1 seed UCLA (25-6, 14-4 Pac-10) ... Arizona’s 16 wins and four titles (1998-90, 2002) in this event are league bests ... Since the event was reincarnated in the Staples Center, the Wildcats are 7-3 in tournament play ... Arizona has advanced to the semifinals in seven of nine Pac-10 Tournament appearances.

 

The Rankings:  For the eighth consecutive week, Arizona remained unranked in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.  The Cats saw its string of 312 consecutive regular-season AP poll appearances end on Dec. 19.

 

Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 23rd season at Arizona and his 33rd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 760-267 (.740) and 568-175 (.764) 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 750th collegiate victory on Dec. 31, 2005, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (316) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.771/316-94) 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 23-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 21 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 best winning percentage over the past 18 years (479-118/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 18 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 27 overall in his career, making him one of only four head coaches in NCAA history to record 27 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 333-35 (.905) in McKale Center and have won 261 of its last 280 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 28-21 vs. UCLA and 16-4 in Pac-10 Tournament action.

 

Last Time Out:  Turnovers and free throws proved to be the difference as Arizona pulled out a 73-68 win over Stanford.  Arizona forced Stanford into a season-high 23 turnovers, including three in the final minute and held a 26-7 points off turnovers advantage.  The Cats also outscored the Cardinal 24-10 from the free throw line.  The free throw advantage helped offset a lackluster day from the field, as UA shot just 39 percent for the game.  Seventeen of Arizona’s last 21 points came from the stripe.

 

The Series:  Tonight’s game is the 72nd meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 40-31 series advantage. UA has won 11 of the last 16 meetings in the series, which dates back to Feb. 19, 1923, but UCLA has won the last two, including the last meeting, an 84-73 triumph in Los Angeles on Feb. 4.  All-time, Arizona is 18-12 in series games played in Tucson, 12-26 in Westwood, and 1-2 in neutral-site games. Please see page 103 in the UA media guide for more series information.

 

Last Meeting:  UCLA 84, Arizona 73, Feb. 4, 2006:  UCLA jumped out to an early double-figure lead, grew it to as much as 24 points, and had to withstand a strong Arizona rally in the 84-73 win.  Once again, Arizona struggled with turnovers, committing 13 miscues, and UCLA held a 16-4 free throw advantage in the first half.  UA managed to cut the deficit to seven points with seven minutes to go, but could get no closer.  The 11-point margin of victory was UCLA’s largest over Arizona since 1983.

 

Cats and Bruins:  Arizona and Stanford meet in the Pac-10 Tournament for the first time since 2003.  In that meeting, eighth-seeded UCLA defeated to-seed Arizona, 96-89, in overtime in the quarterfinals.  The only previous Pac-10 Tournament meeting came in the 1990 championship game, a 94-78 UA win in Tempe, Ariz., on March 11.

 

In the Semifinals:  In six previous Pac-10 Tournament semifinal appearances (1988-90, 2002, 2004-05), Arizona has a 5-1 record in those games.  The only blemish came during the 2004 tournament, when Washington downed the Cats, 90-85, on March 12.

 

From the Line:  Arizona converted 22 Stanford fouls into 30 free throw attempts in Thursday’s win, where the team made 24.  That’s a nice effort from a club that came into the game shooting 69.2 percent from the line for the season.  Ivan Radenovic (9-of-10) and Mustafa Shakur (8-of-10) combined to hit17-of-20 free throw attempts.  Of Arizona’s 30attempts Thursday, 28 came in the second half (made 23).

 

CounterBalance:  Arizona’s 23-of-28 shooting from the line went a long way towards enabling the Cats to pull out a five-point win in a game in which it shot just 39.0 percent (23-of-59) from the field.  It was even worse in the second half, as Arizona made just 9-of-27 (.333) field goal attempts, including a stretch that saw the Wildcats miss 13 consecutive field goal attempts.  In between field goal makes, Arizona made 9-of-12 free throws.  All told, 17 of Arizona’s last 21 points were scored at the line.

 

A Win TOday:  A Win today would give Arizona its 20th win of the season, extending its streak to 19 consecutive 20-win seasons.  The Wildcats’ current string of 18 straight 20-win seasons is the longest in the nation.

 

Balance:  Led By Ivan Radenovic’s game-high 21 points, Arizona placed four players in double figures.  This season, Arizona is 10-5 when placing four or more players in double figures.  Incidentally, Radenovic’s effort marked UA’s 22nd 20-point game of the season.  The junior forward ranks second on the team with four this season.

 

Wreaking Havoc:  Chris Rodgers equaled a Pac-10 record with five steals in Thursday’s win, which set the tone for a defensive effort that saw Arizona force Stanford into a season-high 23 turnovers (including three in the last 1:01).  Forcing that many turnovers is nothing new for the Wildcats, who force an average of 19.8 turnovers per game.  This season, Arizona has forced its opponents into 20 or more turnovers in 15 of 30 games played.

 

On the Other Hand:  Bolstered by Mustafa Shakur’s six-assist, zero-turnover performance Thursday, Arizona committed a season-low seven miscues vs. Stanford.  Arizona’s +16 turnover margin Thursday was its second-best of the season, topped only by a +17 margin in a 74-71 overtime loss to Michigan State at the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

 

Lucky No. 7:  Junior guard Mustafa Shakur has been very good over the last three weeks or so, averaging 8.7 points, 2.9 assists and 6.4 assists over his last seven games.  In that span he has 45 assists against 14 turnovers (3.2 assist:turnover ratio) and has five or more assists in all seven games.  Arizona is 39-10 (.796) in Sahkur’s career when he collects five or more assists in a game, and 11-5 this season.

 

Mr. Productivity:  Sophomore walk-on Bret Brielmaier earned a career-best 25 minutes vs. Stanford and responded with a career-high six points to go with two rebounds and an assist.  Additionally, he committed nary a turnover in those 25 minutes played, making him one of three Wildcats to play 25 or more minutes Thursday without a turnover.

 

Getting Better:  Thursday’s win improved Arizona’s record to 7-4 in games decided by five points or less.

 

On the Horizon:  Arizona faces 13th-ranked UCLA in Saturday’s semifinal and this year is just 1-6 vs. ranked foes.

 

Up Next:  Following tonight’s game, Arizona will either advance to Saturday’s championship at 3:15 p.m. PST, which will be televised by CBS-TV, or return to Tucson and await Sunday’s announcement of the NCAA Tournament participants.
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