No. 8 Seed
Time: 12:30 p.m. EST
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: CBS (Jim Nantz/Billy Packer)
Game Data: The University of Arizona (19-12, 11-7 Pac-10) appears in its 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament as the No. 8 seed in the Minneapolis Region ... The Wildcats face No. 9 seed Wisconsin (19-11, 9-7 Big Ten) Friday in the first round ... Arizona has a 40-23 (.635) record in its 24 previous NCAA Tournament appearances ... UA is 3-8 vs. the 2006 NCAA Tournament field ... This is Arizona’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in Philadelphia.
The Rankings: For the eighth straight week (as of March 6), UA 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
F Marcus Williams F Ivan Radenovic C Kirk Walters G Mustafa Shakur G Hassan Adams
Last Time Out: UCLA flexed its muscle inside as it cruised to a 71-59 win in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals. The top-seeded Bruins held a 36-16 points in the paint advantage and used that to build as much as a 22-point lead. Fifteen turnovers, including 10 in the first half, hurt UA’s ability to find an offensive rhythm. Marcus Williams and Ivan Radenovic combined for 42 points, but the UCLA reserves outscored
The Series: Today’s game is the fourth meeting of the two schools with
Last Meeting: Wisconsin 66,
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 Nice Warm up: It was
In March: Since the start of the 1996-97 season,
On the Right Foot: Through 31 games,
Streaking: This NCAA tournament appearance is the 22nd consecutive for
More Minutia: Lute Olson ranks third in the NCAA Tournament record book with 70 games coached. Only Dean Smith (92) and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (84) rank ahead the UA coach. Additionally, Olson’s 45 career tournament wins tie him for fourth place on the all-time tournament victory list with Texas Tech’s Bob Knight. Kyzyzewski (66), Smith (65) and UCLA’s John Wooden (47) are the only coaches with more NCAA Tournament wins than Olson.
In case You Were Wondering:
The Legacy Rides With This One: A win over Wisconsin Friday would give
The Century Mark: The Wildcats head into the postseason without having scored 100 points in a game this season. The last time
Experience Helps: The projected UA starting lineup boasts a combined 23 games of NCAA Tournament experience (Hassan Adams 9, Ivan Radenovic 5, Mustafa Shakur 5, Kirk Walters 4). The entire Wildcat roster has 45 NCAA Tournament games under its collective belts.
Pick Up the Pace: During the regular season,
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 149-18 (.892) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.
Forcing Turnovers: One thing
Back in Action: Senior guard Hassan Adams returns to action this week for his fourth run in the NCAA Tournament and it’s a stage that has suited him. In nine career tournament games, the 6-foot-4 Adams averages 12.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, while shooting 63.0 percent (46-of-73) from the field and 50 percent (7-of-14) from three-point range.
Worth Noting: Hassan Adams faces the Badgers Friday just 15 points shy of taking sole possession of seventh place on the
20-Point Plateau: Freshman forward Marcus Williams notched his fourth 20-point game of the season Saturday vs. UCLA, which was
On Target: Look no further than the field goal percentage when determining
That’s More Like It: Over the last eight games, Mustafa Shakur is averaging 5.9 assists per game with a 2.47 assist:turnover ratio, and each of those numbers is a significant improvement over his 31-game marks of 4.5 assists per game and a 1.69 assist:turnover ratio. The recent increase in productivity has moved the 6-foot-3
Double-Doubles: Ivan Radenovic picked up his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds against UCLA on March 10. The 6-foot-10 forward is one of two Wildcats to post double-doubles this season. Mustafa Shakur, who’s tallied double-figure points and assists twice this year, is the other.
More From the Middle: Over his last 10 games, UA center Kirk Walters is averaging 8.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots, while shooting 68.0 percent (34-of-50) from the field. Through 31 games, the
Finding A Rhythm: Senior guard Chris Rodgers, often the point man of the
Cat Tracks: Maybe
From the Line: After ranking in the top three nationally in free throw percentage in the previous two seasons, the Wildcats have struggled from the strip this year.
Change is Good: In its 31-game odyssey to this point,
Always On the Run: Throughout the season,
29-1 run over 10:43 vs.
33-15 run over 10:26 vs.
18-0 run over 6:09 vs.
24-7 run over 9:53 at UCLA, Feb. 4 (UA 9-of-13 FG, 6-of-6 FT in run; UCLA 3-of-10 FG)
22-6 run over 8:19 at
21-6 run over 7:12 vs.
20-4 run over 9:10 vs.
21-5 run over 7:57 at
21-9 run over 12:23 vs.
25-11 run over 9:27 vs. USC, Jan. 7 (USC 4-of-13 FG, eight turnovers during run)
26-13 run over 13:04 vs. Saint Mary’s, Dec. 10 (nine SMC turnovers during run)
16-3 run over 5:47 at Stanford, Feb. 19 (Stanford 1-of-12 FG with 6 turnovers in run)
38-27 run over 13:52 at
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Chase Budinger (F, 6-7, 190) from