Third-seed Arizona on Monday morning will end its 16-year tournament drought with a first-round game against 14-seed Stony Brook. The last time the Wildcats made The Big Dance was in the 2004-05 season, and they suffered a second-round exit losing to No. 1 seed LSU 76-43.
Arizona is a team known for its gritty defensive style of play will be going up against Stony Brook, who loves to grind out close games as well.
The Wildcats come into the tournament losing three out of their last four games while struggling to find the bottom of the net. Arizona has shot an underwhelming 36 percent from the field during the rough stretch and a horrific 25 percent from beyond the arc.
Although Arizona has struggled over the last month, it has something that most teams don’t have, and that is a star guard like Aari McDonald, who was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year.
In the NCAA tournament, anything and everything can happen, especially when two teams play extremely similar styles.
Here’s coach Adia Barnes talking about the upcoming matchup and discussing what her team needs to do in order to move on to the next round:
Here are players McDonald, Sam Thomas, Bendu Yeaney and Cate Reese talking about what her team needs to do to move on to the next round and discussing what they’ve been working on ahead of Monday’s game:
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.