March 14, 2011
Date: Friday, March 18, 2011
Time: approx. 2 p.m. CDT
Location: BOK Center (17,996), Tulsa, Okla.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach/Ryan Hansen)
TV: CBS (Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craig Sager)
Game Data: No. 5 seed Arizona (27-7, 14-4 Pac-10) opens play in the 2011 NCAA Tournament's West Region second/third rounds against No. 12 seed Memphis (25-9, 10-6 C-USA) in Friday's second-round game BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. ... Not counting vacated appearances, this is UA's 27th NCAA Tournament appearance overall and the program has a 43-25 (.632) record in its previous NCAA Tournament action ... This is Arizona's first-ever NCAA appearance in Tulsa and the program's second-ever appearance in the city (Dec. 1985) ... 2011 marks Arizona's 18th appearance in the West Region - the most of any Tournament regional - and 26 of UA's 43 NCAA Tournament victories have come while playing in the West.
The Rankings: UA has been ranked for six consecutive weeks and currently (March 7) is No. 16 in the Associated Press and No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls. UA's six 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 163-69 (.703) and 43-22 (.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 14 trips to the postseason in his 17 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (8 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 6-4 (.600) 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 1-0 vs. Memphis as a head coach.
Last Time Out: When it mattered most,
The Series: Today's game marks the eighth meeting of the two schools with
ARIZONA/Memphis TIES: There will be Wildcat ties on both sidelines as two members of the Memphis coaching staff - head coach
Seeds, Regions and Dates: 2011 marks the second time that
INTERCHANGEABILITY: All season long,
IT'S NICE TO BE NOTICED: Sean Miller's rebuilding efforts took another step forward this year, as the Wildcats returned to the national rankings. Arizona (27-7, 14-4 Pac-10) initially returned to the coaches' poll on Jan. 17, then to both polls on Jan. 31 and have been simultaneously in the seven periods since. It's the longest consecutive rankings streak for a Pac-10 club, and along the way Arizona became the first Pac-10 team to achieve a top-10 ranking in the Associated Press poll (Feb. 21) since Jan. 12, 2009. Said Miller, "Our team is excited about being a part of the top 25 once again," said Miller. "We feel good about the fact that we've played some good basketball, and hopefully, we will continue to play well and stay in it. Every program wants to be a part of the national rankings and it's our goal to get this program back to the point where it's a part of the polls from the preseason through the end of March."
This Guy Is Good:
Starting Anew: After establishing itself as a tournament regular under Lute Olson,
ALL-AMERICA: To date, Derrick Williams has earned a pair of All-America honors, as the sophomore forward was a second-team selection by both the USBWA and foxsports.com. Williams is the 25th Wildcat to earn a total of 88 All-America honors since 1950-51. He is also a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, given to college basketball's player of the year, as voted by the USBWA.
ALL-DISTRICT: Derrick Williams was also an all-district pick by both the USBWA and NABC. The 6-foot-8 native of
Pac-10 Honors: Derrick Williams and Sean Miller were named Pacific-10 Conference Player and Coach of the Year, respectively, as the league announced its postseason honors March 7. It marks the seventh time a Wildcat player has earned the honor, and the first since Jason Terry in 1999. Miller joins Lute Olson as UA mentors to win Pac-10 Coach-of-the-Year honors. A seven-time honoree, Olson last won the award in 2003.
Making the Leap: Under the direction of Sean Miller, the Wildcats have posted a 11-win improvement over last season's 16-15 record, and a four-win improvement in Pac-10 play. That's the biggest single-season improvement for
NUMBERS LOOK GOOD: Aside from simply looking at the number of wins, the Wildcats have shown marked improvement this season in a number of areas statistically speaking.
ON TARGET: The Wildcats are a more efficient ball club in 2010-11, shooting 47.1 percent from the field (864-of-1836).
BOARD WORK: Look no further than the rebounding totals for
AFFECTING THE GAME in Other Ways: One measure of maturity could be the ability to affect the game even when your shot isn't falling. Junior Kyle Fogg, a career 42.7-percent shooter entering the season, has connected on just 36.7 percent (84-of-229) of his shots through 34 games. But the 6-foot-3 guard from
PLENTY IN RESERVE: All season long,
Showing Some Resiliency: With a team that features 11 first- or second-year players, it's no surprise that these Wildcats are still a work in progress. Regardless, UA has shown quite a bit of intestinal fortitude this season by posting a 6-2 record in games decided by five points or less, and won five games in which it faced a deficit of seven points or more. In the final four minutes of games, UA has hit 77.6 percent of its free throws (135-of-174), led by Lamont Jones' 88.9 percent (32-of-36) accuracy.
SPEAKING OF THREES:
He's Our Leader: It's neither surprising nor unexpected that sophomore forward Derrick Williams leads
HE'S GOT A PRESENCE: In his first year with the program, junior forward Jesse Perry has used his energy and effort to firmly establish himself as one of
BALL SECURITY: The Wildcats have done a nice job recently of taking care of the ball, as the team has totaled 55 turnovers in the last six outings. The 9.1 average turnovers per game is nearly four turnovers per game fewer than the Cats' season-long average (12.9 to/g).
Yin and Yang: Through 34 games, it's been point guard by committee for the Wildcats, as Lamont Jones (25.9 min./game) and Jordin Mayes (14.3 m/g) have mostly divided the minutes. Perhaps what is most impressive is the fact that their combined efforts have been pretty productive: 14.2 ppg, 3.6 assists and a 1.3:1 assist:turnover ratio.
In March: Since the start of the 1996-97 season,
Early Signees: The
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