Arizona Basketball

Reliving memories Arizona Wildcats vs. Gonzaga 11 years later: What were you doing?


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Almost 11 years ago to the day, Arizona will face Gonzaga tonight in the NCAA tournament’s Round of 32.

The classic 96-95 double-overtime win by Arizona occurred on March 22, 2003, at Salt Lake City. As in any monumental moment — and that was one of them in Arizona’s NCAA tournament history — it brings to mind what all of us we’re doing at the time.

What were you doing when Gonzaga’s Blake Stepp missed a 5-foot bank shot as time expired? I posed that question on a Facebook post yesterday. For the record, I was on a lunch break from work and listened to the national radio broadcast on my car radio. I timed it perfectly. I would have been seriously bummed if I had to return to work with the game not over yet.

Some of the responses from Arizona followers:

Hervey Martin-Rude: “My wife and I were there in the Huntsman Center watching the game. On the flight back we had upgraded seats but they were not together. Lute Olson boarded the plane and had the seat next to my wife. She told him that her husband was on the flight and pointed to me. He asked if he could change seats with me so we could be together. She looked at him like he was crazy and said, ‘Of course not. I can sit next to him any time!!!'”

Kelly Morgan Thrush: “Running the Fox and Hound Tucson. Watching the game with 500 Wildcat fans. Unforgettable!”


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Gilberto Borquez: “I had everyone here Redlands/Highlands area (near San Bernardino, Calif.) going crazy because they had never met a fanatic Arizona Wildcat fan here.”

Brad Allis ( reporter): “Court side at Huntsman. The reporter next to me, a UA undergrad, had a nervous knee going the while last hour. On the other side was a local volunteer with no rooting interest who got so into the game she hit me several times at dramatic moments.”

Brett Hansen (former Arizona basketball sports information specialist): “End of regulation at Ajo Al’s in PHX after a wedding. 1st OT on radio on way to wedding reception. 2nd OT in car on radio while waiting to give car to valet at the top of the Wrigley Mansion. Drove back to bottom with 2 valet guys/UA fans in my car listening to the end (without (wife) Lindsay DeLand Hansen – who had already left me to go inside for reception). Celebrated with valet guys I didn’t know previously in my car who gave me a ride back up to the top of Wrigley Mansion to drop off car and enter wedding reception (late).”

Ale-Alejandro Rosalez: “I was crapping my pants at my apartment in Tempe because I thought that Blake Stepp was going to hit that shot at the buzzer. Luke made a huge shot where he willed the ball into the basket.”

Linda Palmer Woodall: “Home with my peeps. ..Great game… needed CPR!!!”

Andy Morales ( reporter): “All I remember are the players collapsing on the floor after the game.”

Ray Dominguez: “Ft. Lewis Washington preparing to go to Iraq.”

Victor Rivera: “Never forget it! In Sac town watching Dominguez at the state high school championships! Watched in our motel! Me and the girls going crazy!”


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Marcus O’Sullivan: “Watched it in a concourse tunnel at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. Surrounded by Cal, asu, and Kansas fans. Missed a good portion of the first half of asu-Kansas while I watched.” (Notice how Marcus does not capitalize “ASU”).

Rob Berger: “Bally’s sportsbook. Paced for the last 60 minutes.”

[/ezcol_1half_end] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.


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