Arizona Wildcats to host Southern, which rocked McKale 20 years ago with upset

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Arizona has never played Southern in a basketball game, but the Jaguars have won before in McKale Center in dramatic fashion with hands-down the best pep band I’ve heard (sorry, Arizona’s pep band).

They are so good they call themselves the “Human Jukebox Pep Band”. Arizona should have required the Southern basketball team to bring its pep band.

Southern upset ACC tournament champion Georgia Tech in a first-round game of the 1993 NCAA tournament at McKale, a historic game for the Jaguars detailed well by the Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate last year before Southern almost upset Gonzaga in a first-round game (video above).

Here’s one very factual excerpt from the Advocate story:

Half-interested fans in the McKale Center liked the sound so much, they began to cheer passionately for a team they hardly knew. They relished TV timeouts when the Southern band played. “Every time the other band would play, they’d boo,” said former Advocate sportswriter Scott Gremillion, who covered Southern’s games for the paper. “They wanted the Southern band to play every time.”

Arizona coach Sean Miller and his staff likely watched some of the Southern-Gonzaga game last year because Arizona played at the same site (Salt Lake City). Derick Beltran, who led the Jaguars with 21 points in Southern’s 64-58 loss, has exhausted his eligibility and the Jaguars are 3-7.

Malcolm Miller, a senior guard, averages 9.4 points a game. He scored nine against the Zags in the NCAA tournament.

Senior center Javan Mitchell, junior guard Cameron Monroe and sophomore guard Christopher Hyder are the only returners who played against Gonzaga. Mitchell, Monroe and Hyder combine to average only 9.7 points a game.


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ArizonaLogo opp.Southernlogo

ARIZONA (11-0)

Tip: 7:05 p.m., Tucson time
Television: Pac-12 Networks (Roxy Bernstein/Matt Muehlebach)
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 85; XM 85
Rankings: Arizona – No. 1 Associated Press/No. 1 USA Today Coaches Poll; Southern – Not ranked in either.


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Per NCAA national statistic rankings out of 345 Division I teams
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Arizona is No. 1 and 11-0 despite deficiencies with turnovers, fouls, steals and free-throw shooting. The lack of steals are a surprise because of the tenacity of T.J. McConnell and Nick Johnson on the perimeter. Look for that stat to improve. Arizona is ranked 28th nationally in blocked shots with 59.

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WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report, Lindy’s College Sports and TucsonCitizen.com.


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