Simon, Elliott, 1997 champions earn recognition during the 75th anniversary of the NCAA Tournament.
Dec. 11, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona men's basketball program had two former student-athletes and one team honored Tuesday as the NCAA named the Top 75 all-time March Madness players, 25 all-time March Madness teams and 35 all-time March Madness moments in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
Miles Simon and Sean Elliott were two of the 75 players honored, while the 1997 national champion Wildcats were one of the 25 teams recognized by the NCAA. The lists were compiled and researched by the NCAA's basketball and statistics staffs, which consulted with the NCAA's media partners and selected members of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).
Simon, the 1997 NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, tied a career-high with 30 points in the title game against Kentucky. He also poured in 24 points and dished out five assists in the national semifinal victory against North Carolina. He averaged 22.0 ppg in the Wildcats' six tournament games. In his career (1995-98), Simon averaged 18.4 ppg in 14 NCAA Tournament games.
Elliott led the 1987-88 men's basketball team to the national semifinal, averaging 19.6 ppg during the season and 23.2 ppg and 5.8 rpg in the NCAA Tournament. In his four-year career (1986-89), Elliott posted averages of 23.6 ppg and 6.8 rpg in the NCAA Tournament. Elliott's tournament-high in points came against Oklahoma in the 1988 national semifinal; he tallied 31 points and hauled in 11 rebounds. In the 1989 Sweet 16, Elliot grabbed a tournament-high 14 rebounds against UNLV.
Arizona's 1997 national championship is still the only team in NCAA Tournament history to beat three No. 1 seeds on the way to claiming the NCAA title. Arizona posted a record of 25-9 on the season, and actually entered the NCAA Tournament having lost its last two regular-season games before rattling off six straight wins to claim the title. They beat Kansas, the No. 1 seed in the Southeast Regional semifinal, 85-82, before sliding past Providence 96-92 in overtime in the regional final, advancing to the Final Four. They knocked off North Carolina, the No. 1 seed in the East region, in the national semifinal, 66-58, after trailing by 11 points in the first half. Arizona won the title over Kentucky, the No. 1 seed in the West region, in a contest that featured 16 ties and 18 lead changes and went to overtime where the prevailed, 84-79.
Starting in early January at NCAA.com/MarchMadness, fans will vote to help determine the Top 15 all-time March Madness players, the single best all-time March Madness team, and the single best all-time March Madness moment in NCAA tournament history. These honorees will be introduced at this year's 2013 Men's Final Four in Atlanta.