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No. 8 Seed
Date: Friday, March 16, 2007
Time: 6:20 p.m. CDT
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
Game Data: No. 8 seed Arizona (20-10, 11-7 Pac-10) makes its 23rd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in the Midwest Region ... The Wildcats face No. 9 seed Purdue (21-11, 9-7 Big Ten) Friday in the first round at the New Orleans Arena ... UA has a 41-24 (.631) in its 25 previous NCAA Tournament appearances ... This is Arizona’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in New Orleans ... The Cats are 8-10 against the 2007 NCAA Tournament field.
The Rankings: For the fourth consecutive week,
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 781-279 (.737) and 589-187 (.759) 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 (327) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.764/327-101) 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 23 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 20 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 29 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 29 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 344-40 (.896) in
Last Time Out:
The Series: Tonight’s game is the 11th meeting of the two schools with the series knotted at five wins apiece.
Against the Big Ten:
As a No. 8 Seed: This will be
In the White Jerseys: Perhaps it doesn’t mean as much in the 8-9 game, but
A Geographic Note: This will be
In the Bag: The regular season ending victory over Stanford gave
Streaking: This NCAA tournament appearance is the 23rd consecutive for
Atop this one, Too: Counting his time as the
More Olson Minutia: Lute Olson ranks third in the NCAA Tournament record book with 73 games coached. Only Dean Smith (92) and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (87) rank ahead the UA coach. Additionally, Olson’s 46 career tournament wins rank fourth on the all-time tournament victory list. Krzyzewski (68), Smith (65) and UCLA’s John Wooden (47) are the only coaches with more NCAA Tournament wins than Olson.
Leading the Pac:
In March: Since the start of the 1996-97 season,
It’s a Wooden Thing: Like 64 other Division I teams (including the play-in),
Elite Company: Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Chase Budinger’s 10 points last week at the Pac-10 Tournament elevated him further among some elite company. The 6-foot-7 forward from
The Ex Factor: If experience matters in this event, then credit the Wildcats with a total of 35 games of NCAA Tournament experience. Of those 35 games, 16 reside in the projected starting lineup (Mustafa Shakur/Ivan Radenovic 7, Marcus Williams 2).
Board Work: One figure that almost unfailingly continues is
Dubious Distinction: Including a conference championship and four consecutive NCAA tournaments, Mustafa Shakur and Ivan Radenovic have been part of UA teams that have posted a combined record of 90-40 (.692). That’s winning basketball, yet also puts them on a strange perch. They’re atop the Lute Olson-era teams for the most losses by Wildcat regulars, just eclipsing Steve Kerr, who played on Olson teams that recorded a 90-39 (.698) record from 1984 to 1988. Had Kerr not been injured and redshirted in 1986-87 when the Cats finished 18-12, instead of sticking around for the 1988 35-3 Final Four squad, he would have left with a 73-48 (.603) mark.
Simply Put: If you are looking for predictors, look no further than these two statistics: field goal percentage and turnovers. This season,
Travel Partners: The Cats have played at venues with the No. 1 seed on hand in six of the past seven years. Last year in
Assisting the Cause: Mustafa Shakur enters the NCAA Tournament ranked third nationally (as of March 8) with a 6.9 assists per game average. He trails Wildcat legend Damon Stoudamire on two key UA assist lists. Shakur’s 207 assists this year is just one shy of Stoudamire’s 1993-94 tally, which ranks as the fourth highest single-season mark in UA history. On the career list, Shakur’s 662 helpers is just one behind Stoudamire, which currently ranks as the No. 2 figure in school history. Should Shakur collect two or more assists he will finish his career with more assists than any other player in the Lute Olson era. Incidentally, UA is 60-18 (.769) during Shakur’s career when he passes out five or more assists, a feat he’s accomplished in 28 of 38 games to date this season.
Legendary Comparison: Lute Olson set a high standard when he favorably compared Chase Budinger to
Player GP-GS Min FG-A Pct. 3FG-A Pct. FT-A Pct. Reb. A Stl Pts.-Avg.
Elliott 32-32 1079 187-385 .486 -- -- 127-167 .760 171 70 22 499-15.6
Budinger 30-30 991 172-354 .486 49-132 .371 76-90 .844 173 61 34 469-15.6
Double-Doubles: Jordan Hill collected his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds March 8 vs.
Milestones: Senior forward Ivan Radenovic enters Friday’s game five rebounds shy of 700 and 12 points shy of 1,300 for his career, certainly in reach for a player averaging 15.2 ppg and 7.6 rpg this season.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 162-19 (.895) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.
Always On the Run: Early this season,
25-0 run over 7:45 vs.
34-11 run over 9:00 vs. Northern
31-9 run over 7:54 vs.
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.
21-4 run over 8:08 vs.
25-8 run over 9:01 vs.
24-8 run over 9:17 at
18-3 run over 4:15 at
23-8 run over 7:11 vs. UNLV, Nov. 28 (UNLV 3-of-7 with six turnovers during run)
22-7 run over 9:10 at Stanford, March 3 (Stanford 2-of-12 FG during the run, UA 8-of-12)
15-0 run over 2:28 at
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.
Up Next: A win tonight moves