Athletics Director Greg Byrne's weekly email discussing Wildcat Athletics
March 7, 2012
Congratulations to Coach Niya Butts and our women's basketball team on today's thrilling 61-57 victory over UCLA in the opening round of the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament. The Wildcats were down by as many as 15 in the first half, but rallied to cut the lead to three by halftime and closed out the Bruins in the second half! You can check out the highlights on the Arizona Athletics YouTube page. A familiar foe awaits them in the next round. It will be Arizona vs. Arizona State, tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. (MST). You can watch the game live online thanks to the Pac-12's partnership with YouTube.
Men's basketball's first Pac-12 Tournament game will also be against UCLA. The game tips off from the Staples Center at 3:30 p.m. (MST) and will be televised live on FSN. We're still involved with both our men's and women's basketball teams in terms of post-season chances, thanks to the conference tournaments this week in Los Angeles. Our teams will have to win the Pac-12 tourneys to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Our record is potentially good enough to be host for the National Invitational Tournament in McKale Center on the men's side should we not earn an NCAA berth. Either way, complete ticket and schedule information for the event will be available sometime Sunday night or Monday morning on our ArizonaWildcats.com web site.
We are currently accepting requests for post-season tickets from current basketball season ticket holders and/or Wildcat Club members for both the men's NCAA Championships and the NIT. The deadline to request tickets and receive priority seating (based on priority points) is Sunday, March 11 at 8:00 a.m. You can request your NCAA tickets by clicking here. NIT requests are being accepted online here. You can also call the McKale ticket office at 520-621-CATS (2287) during normal business hours. Requests won't be processed until our post-season tournament is confirmed on Sunday.
SPRING FOOTBALL IS HERE
Coach Rich Rodriguez held his second practice of spring ball today and after the UA's spring recess will be back at it for 13 more sessions permissible under the guidelines. We'll have several public scrimmages for fans - one in Phoenix on March 24 and the annual Spring Game in Tucson on April 14. There's a great deal of excitement surrounding the program, and a whole lot of hard work away from the practice field, as well. We have eight home games in 2012 and we're looking forward to some competitive advantage at Arizona Stadium! It's a great time to jump in and become a season ticket holder.
Our men's swimming team picked up another point for the UA in the State Farm Territorial Cup Series last week with its third-place finish at the Pac-12 Swimming and Diving Championships. Nice work, men. After the dust settled in the other events pertaining to the Series, UA holds a 7.5 to 3.5 advantage. The remaining points - barring any postseason basketball meetings between the two schools - are in women's golf, men's golf, women's tennis, baseball, softball, and men's and women's track and field.
Associate head coach James Li, assistant coach Sheldon Blockburger, junior Brigetta Barrett and sophomore Lawi Lalang of the men's and women's track and field teams earned regional honors from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) earlier this week. Li was named West Region Men's Assistant Coach of the Year, Blockburger was named West Region Women's Assistant Coach of the Year, Barrett earned West Region Female Field Athlete of the Year honors and Lalang earned the West Region Male Track Athlete of the Year nod. Congratulations to all four and to the many others who have helped our teams this 2011-12 year.
I am proud to announce two football lettermen have been named as local head coaches. Clarence "Bam" McRae ('03) is now the head coach at Mountain View High School and Kris Heavner ('07) will be leading the Santa Rita Eagles this fall. I am excited to see our A-Club letterwinners give back to the Tucson community and local high school student-athletes.
Our diving teams will be at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships starting tomorrow in Colorado Springs, to qualify to move on to the nationals...Fred Harvey's men's and women's track and field teams will be at the NCAA Indoor Championships Friday and Saturday in Boise, Idaho, with solid chances to highlight a great indoor campaign... Mike Candrea's softballclub takes to the road for a weekend series in Waco, Texas, against Baylor... Tad Berkowtiz's men's tennis team has matches against San Diego State Saturday (noon) and against New Mexico State Monday (10:00 a.m.) at the Robson Center on campus, then travels to New Mexico next Wednesday...Andy Lopez's baseballteam has a three-game series at Hi Corbett Field against Eastern Michigan on Friday (6:00 p.m.), Saturday (6:00 p.m.) and Sunday (11:00 a.m.). Tickets can be purchased online at ArizonaWildcats.com. ... Coach Bill Ryden's gymnastics team is at New Hampshire for a meet Sunday...
CATS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Below, Clancy and Yasmina Turra-Bevan show some Wildcat pride in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, half way around the world in the Persian Gulf. In the middle is football lettermen Joe O'Sullivan ('75) and UA alumnus Omar Abudawood ('83) holding an Arizona flag in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Our last picture is Navy Chief Petty Officier John Guthrie ('99) in Bahrain, United Arab Emirates in front of the 5th Fleet headquarters.
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