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Men's Basketball Faces Villanova in Second Round
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 19, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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No. 8 Seed  Arizona (20-11, 11-7) at NCAA Minneapolis Region Second Round


Date:  Sunday, March 19, 2006

Time:  4:50 p.m. EST

Location:  Wachovia Center (19,500), Philadelphia, Pa.

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

TV:  CBS (Jim Nantz/Billy Packer)


Game Data:  No. 8 seed Arizona (20-11, 11-7 Pac-10) advanced to the second round of the 2006 NCAA Minneapolis Region Sunday against No. 1 seed Villanova (26-4, 14-2 Big East) ... UA’s 94-75 win over Wisconsin on Friday improved the program’s record to 14-8 in first-round games since 1985, including a 9-2 record in the last 11 first-round games ... Since the tournament was expanded to 64 teams in 1985, Arizona is 11-2 in second round games ... Simply, Arizona has one at least one NCAA Tournament game in 14 of 22 appearances under Lute Olson.


The Rankings:  For the eighth consecutive week (as of March 6), 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 761-267 (.740) and 569-175 (.765) 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 2-1 vs. Villanova and 46-26 in NCAA Tournament action.


Last Time Out:  Arizona scored on its first eight possessions, jumped out to a 24-8 lead nine minutes in and cruised to the 94-75 win over Wisconsin.  In what could have been Arizona’s best all-around performance of the season, the squad shot 59.3 percent from the field, posted a 36-27 rebound margin and had five players finish in double figures.  Hassan Adams scored a game-high 21 points, while Ivan Radenovic tallied 18 points and Mustafa Shakur added17 points and nine assists. 


The Series:  Today’s game is the fourth meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 2-1 series advantage. UA has won the last two meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 28, 1967, including the last meeting, a 72-64 triumph in Philadelphia on Jan. 19, 1991.  All-time, Arizona is 1-0 in series games played in Tucson, 1-0 in Philadelphia, Pa., and 0-1 in neutral-site games.


An Extension:  Friday’s win gave Arizona its 20th win of the season, extending its streak to 19 consecutive 20-win seasons.  The Wildcats’ string of 19 straight 20-win seasons is the longest in the nation.


Grabbing the Lead and Keeping It:  En route to making seven of its first nine field goals, Arizona took four minutes and one second to build an 11-point lead.  From that point forward, covering 35:59, Arizona saw the lead dip below 10 points just one time for a total of 18 seconds.  In the second half, the UA lead never fell below the 12-point halftime lead.


Scoring 90:  Arizona’s 94-point effort Friday was its second-highest offensive output of the season.  This year, Arizona is 8-0 when scoring 80- or more points.  Additionally, it was Arizona’s 14th game with 90 or more points in NCAA Tournament play.  Incidentally, it was UA’s most points in its last nine NCAA Tournament games, dating back to a 96-95 double overtime win over Gonzaga on March 22, 2003, in the West Region second round game in Salt Lake City.


Season Highs:  The Wildcats netted a season-high 35 field goal against the Badgers, which led to a season-high .593 (35-of-59) field goal percentage.  The 46 points scored in the first half equaled a season high.  Furthermore, the 19-point margin of victory was Arizona’s largest margin of victory in its last since a 80-61 win over Michigan State on March 31, 2001, in the National Semifinals in Minneapolis, a span of 14 tournament games.


Doubling Up:  Led by Hassan Adams’ game-high 21 points, five Wildcats finished in double figures, marking just the fourth time that UA has placed as many as five players in double figures.  It’s the first time this year that Adams, Ivan Radenovic (18) and Mustafa Shakur (17) each reached double figures in the same game.  It’s not like it could have happened that often, as it was just the fourth time this season that each member of that trio has had at least 10 field goal attempts in the same game.


Eastern Standard:  All-time in NCAA Tournament play, Arizona is 3-3 in the Eastern Time Zone.


Power Forwards:  The Wildcats’ forward combination of Ivan Radenovic and Marcus Williams proved worthy of attention in Friday’s win.  The duo combined for 28 points on 11-of-22 field goal shooting, 14 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and three steals.  Radenovic and Williams combined to outrebound the entire Wisconsin starting lineup, 14-12.


Back At It:  Hassan Adams rejoined the UA lineup on Friday after a two-game absence and connected on 10-of-14 field goal attempts en route to 21 points, three assists (zero turnovers) and a steal in 23 minutes.  For Adams, it was his 13th 20-point game of the season and the eighth in 10 career NCAA Tournament appearances.


Impressing the Home Folks:  Junior point guard Mustafa Shakur made his first career appearance in his hometown of Philadelphia and responded with 17 points, five rebounds, nine assists and two steals.  For Shakur, who graduated from Friends Central High School, the nine assists was his third-highest assist total this season (against just two turnovers).  He enters Sunday’s game just one assist shy of moving into 10th place on Arizona career assist list.  He currently has 450 assists in 99 career games (4.5 apg).


A Tipping Point:  Wisconsin attempted 20 three-point field goal in Friday’s game.  A three-point barrage hasn’t proven overly effective against Arizona this year, as opponents are just 2-11 when attempting 20 or more treys.  The theory gets put to the test Sunday as Villanova has tied 20 or more treys in 21 of 29 games prior to Friday’s game vs. Monmouth.


From the Line:  After struggling from the line through most of the regular season, Arizona has connected on 81.5 percent (53-of-65) of its free throw attempts in three postseason games counting the Pac-10 Tournament.  Additionally, Arizona is averaging 17.7 made free throws per game in those three postseason games, nearly three makes better than its regular season average (13.9).  In 29 regular season games, Arizona shot just 69.2 percent from the free throw line.


Frontline Help:  Sophomore walk-on Bret Brielmaier made his second career NCAA Tournament appearance a good one, as the 6-foot-6 forward notched career-high totals of 10 points and eight rebounds.  It was his first career double-figure game.  He didn’t miss a shot as he was 3-of-3 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line vs. Wisconsin.


On the Horizon:  Arizona faces second-ranked Villanova in Sunday’s second round match-up and this year is just 1-7 vs. nationally ranked foes.


Up Next:  Following today’s game, Arizona will either advance to next week’s Minneapolis regional semifinal or return to Tucson and watch on television.

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