2015-16 Countdown

Arizona Wildcats hoops countdown: We’re at 44 days and counting to tipoff


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Sean Miller still has Wisconsin on his mind mostly because the media will bring up the fact Arizona was eliminated in the Elite Eight the last two seasons by the Badgers.

Arizona’s media day is Friday. I imagine the word “Wisconsin” will be mentioned at least once.

Imagine if Wisconsin and Arizona are in the same bracket again come March?

In an interview with CBSSports.com, Miller was asked:

You’re coming off a year where you lost to Wisconsin in the Elite Eight for the second consecutive season. How do the feelings you have after the defeat you suffered last March compare to the ones you had the year prior?

“We try not to worry or talk about the last game being against the same team,” Miller said. “They were even better on offense even though they returned a lot of the same parts and we were probably better too, but it’s just ironic that we ended up playing them again in the Elite Eight.

“Focusing on that game two years ago you lose by one point in overtime and obviously there’s a tough call that could have gone either way that influenced the game. You tend to hold onto that one I think a little more because you were so close. This past year I think we were up three points at the half which we at times fail to remember because we just took an onslaught — an avalanche of 3s by Wisconsin in the second half — which was ultimately the difference the game. You have to credit the opponent. They made it hard on us and they made shots and moved the ball and a couple of great players made plays.”

Miller is hanging on to the positives, including keeping the game close despite Wisconsin’s barrage of 10 three-pointers in the second half.

For Arizona to “still have the opportunity to be in the game with under four minutes to play is somewhat remarkable,” Miller said of the 85-78 loss at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Miller has moved on from that game and so has is players.

“Once you get through the spring and the summer and start focusing on the next year, you still have a lot of pride in what we did,” he said. “You can’t discount both Pac-12 championships whether it’s the regular season or the tournament, winning 34 games — a lot of great things happened. Unfortunately we didn’t come through in the game against Wisconsin.”

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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
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