Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats’ Kerr, Simon show competitiveness with memories of NCAA tourney losses

The recent comments by Steve Kerr and Miles Simon about their memories of the NCAA tournament shows that such competitors remember the losses more than the wins on the grand stage.

Incredibly, Simon admitted, while serving as ESPN’s analyst for the Stanford-SMU game on Monday, that he does not remember “how it all went down” when the Wildcats upset No. 1-ranked Kansas in the 1997 Sweet Sixteen. That was the first of three wins over No. 1 seeds — a feat never matched — during Arizona’s trek to the national title.

The topic came up because former Kansas guard Jerod Haase is Stanford’s coach. ESPN showed replays of Arizona’s win over the Jayhawks and Haase in the game that is Arizona’s best win in school history, in my opinion.

Simon added that he recalls more the loss to Kansas in the Sweet 16 the year before in Denver because Haase made an important jump shot late in the game because Simon did not rotate to him fast enough defensively.

Kerr has mentioned before that his performance against Oklahoma in Arizona’s first Final Four in 1988 is something that has lingered with him despite his stellar Wildcat career. He made only two of his 13 field goal attempts and finished with six points in the 86-78 loss.

In a Campus Insiders interview with Seth Davis that will air tomorrow, Kerr revisits the sour memory of the loss as part of Arizona’s 35-3 dream season.

“For a long time I couldn’t forget the Final Four that I played in in 1988,” Kerr said. “I thought about it forever. We lost in the Final Four. I didn’t think about any of the wins, I only thought of the loss.”

Here’s a preview of the interview with Davis:

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