Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats basketball social media reactions and facts


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The Sweet 16 games bring back some of the more vivid memories.

Great story about the relationship Sean Miller has with San Diego State coach Steve Fisher and how that has resulted in a series between two of the best programs on the West coast.

Another good read by Rick Reilly of about the Miller brothers (Sean and Archie) and the influence their father had on their careers.


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Arizona's xxxx (5) and xxxx (21) defend Kansas State's xxxxx in the 1951 Sweet 16 (Kansas State photo)

Arizona’s David Schuff (5) and Roger Johnson (21) defend Kansas State’s Ed Head in the 1951 Sweet 16 (Kansas State photo)

— The uncle of San Diego State leading scorer Xavier Thames is former Arizona safety Al “Bubba” Gross. Thames, from Sacramento, was a recruit of former Washington State coach Tony Bennett, who now has Virginia in the Sweet 16.

— Give the 1950-51 Arizona team its due. Arizona does not include that team among its Sweet 16 participants although Fred Enke Sr.’s squad played in the school’s first NCAA tournament appearance in 1951 when the field had … 16 teams. The Wildcats from that era were one of the last 16 teams standing. If that’s not sweet, I don’t know what is. Solomon Hill said “15 Sweet 16s” in Arizona’s intro video, which is a great production, but he’s off one number (as far as I’m concerned).

— Here’s to you Bob Honea and Johnson & Johnson (Roger and Leo) from that 1950-51 team, which lost by only two points to Kansas State in the Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden on March 21, 1951. Arizona rallied from a 16-point deficit at halftime. Kansas State advanced all the way to the title game in which it lost to Kentucky 68-58.

— The Wildcats are trying to become the first Arizona team to lead the Pac-12 in scoring defense since the school joined the Pac-10 in 1978. Arizona’s current mark of 58.2 per game would be its best since allowing just 55.3 per contest in 1950-51 (thanks to the Arizona media relations department for that info).

— San Diego State and Arizona are meeting for the 30th time in school history, with the Wildcats owning a 22-7 series lead. Arizona has won the last two games, including the game played 133 days ago this Thursday in San Diego. The teams have split the last four meetings and the last three games have been decided by a total of 14 points.

— Little-known fact: San Diego State has faced Arizona in regular-season games during the inaugural seasons of the Wildcats’ last four head coaches: Fred Snowden (1972-73), Ben Lindsey (1982-83), Lute Olson (1983-84) and Sean Miller (2009-10). Get this: The only coach to beat the Aztecs in his first season was … Lindsey, who won only three other games that season, providing the opportunity for Olson to move to Tucson and change history.


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This is the photo of the NCAA tournament for Arizona to this point. Look at Brandon Ashley. He’s wired in despite his injury.


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— Although the Aztecs are making only their second appearance in the Sweet 16, head coach Steve Fisher, who celebrated his birthday on Monday, is back in the round for the sixth time in his coaching career. Fisher’s six appearances are the fifth-highest total among coaches still remaining in the event and owns a 4-1 record in this round.

— The last time Arizona played in the Sweet 16 at Anaheim, San Diego State was also there, losing to Connecticut the same night the Wildcats dismantled Duke. Angelo Chol was so impressed with the Wildcats’ program that he left San Diego following his high school career to be part of Arizona’s program that year. Three years later and he’s on the Aztecs’ bench as a transfer sitting out the mandatory year before becoming eligible next season. If Chol stayed at Arizona, he most likely would have filled the reserve role that Matt Korcheck has now with the Wildcats because of the development of Ashley (before he injured his foot) and Kaleb Tarczewski and the effectiveness of freshmen Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Source: Arizona media relations
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[/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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