Arizona Basketball

Throwback Thursday: Official Arizona Wildcats 1997 title final stats and play book



The media covering the event was given this 1997 NCAA final title stat and playbook after Arizona's victory over Kentucky (Javier Morales/

The media covering the event was given this 1997 NCAA final title stat and playbook after Arizona’s victory over Kentucky (Javier Morales/

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As a member of the media covering the 1997 NCAA title game between Arizona and Kentucky, I was afforded the chance to save some memorabilia commemorating the event.

Among the items I saved were programs, plenty of newspaper clippings and a few copies of what I am displaying today in our Throwback Thursday segment: The official final stat and play book of the game won by Arizona 84-79 in overtime.

The book includes final stats, a shot chart, play by play, quotes, notes and list of the Final Four all-tournament team of which Arizona’s Miles Simon was the MVP.

Kentucky coach Rick Pitino opened his press conference, as noted in the quotes section of this package, by saying, “I want to congratulate Arizona for playing a great game. And I really want to congratulate Lute Olson. I know what it is to win a championship. It’s a lifelong dream. And as a man who worked so hard, he has earned this championship. I am really happy for him.”

A member of the media brought up in Olson’s press conference that a number of former Arizona Wildcats were on hand including among them Steve Kerr, Sean Elliott, Jud Buechler, Bruce Fraser and Matt Muehlebach.

“I don’t think that ever ends as far as how this — the guys who have played at Arizona — how they feel about the university and how they feel about the great fans that have been so tremendous for so many years,” Olson said.

“So this is something that belongs to everybody associated with our program.”

Check out the next couple of slides for more photos from the 1997 NCAA title final stat and play book …


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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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