Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats 25 years ago today: M&M Boys play well together in win over Wazzu

EDITOR NOTE: is running a feature this basketball season highlighting what happened 25 years ago on that particular day commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Arizona Wildcats’ national championship. The next in the series is what occurred and what was written concerning the developments of Feb. 27, 1997, when Arizona beat Washington State 100-86 at McKale Center. The information gathered is through articles written by beat reporters Steve Rivera (Tucson Citizen) and Javier Morales (Arizona Daily Star), who now are writing for

You can access previous stories in this series by clicking on this link.

DATELINE: Feb. 27, 1997, McKale Center

So this is what happens when Miles Simon and Michael Dickerson play well together …

Combustion … and that’s on and off the court.

The M&M Boys were more like TNT for the Arizona Wildcats. And because of that, they melted the heart of Washington State, 100-86, today at McKale Center.

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“It’s very obvious to anybody that knows basketball how critical it is for us to have Simon and Dickerson to be playing well,” Arizona coach Lute Olson said before ripping a morning-newspaper report that Arizona might be better without Simon, as was said by Utah coach Rick Majerus on an ESPN show.

“I’m very upset about what’s been said. You are not dealing with machines.”

So, how good are they together?

“You want me to get in the middle of a feud?” WSU coach Kevin Eastman said. “I thought Miles Simon was really into the game. His body language, face, eyes, the whole boat. I’ll tell you this, we’ll take Miles.”

No. 15 Arizona isn’t willing to give him up. Never has been, never will be, particularly not after he scored 24 points in today’s win. He and Dickerson combined for 56 points.

Simon declined to speak to the media after the report, but others weren’t shy, particularly not Dickerson.

“Miles is a great player,” Dickerson said. “He shot it well. We’re going to need more of that out of him. We were just in a groove tonight. Everything felt good.”

And looked it, too. Today, they were partners in chime, ringing the bell on 22 of 36 shots, combining for 11 rebounds and seven steals. Not since the first meeting with Arizona State had the two meshed so well. In that game, they combined for 50 points.

Their one-two punch brought back memories of Damon Stoudamire and Khalid Reeves, a duo many teams coudn’t stop.

“I don’t think we’ve been this good together since we’ve been here,” ssid Dickerson, who was 13 of 22 from the field. “We’re capable of doing it all the time.”

And when it happens, other teams will be in trouble because of Arizona’s point potential. When Simon and Dickerson are tough to stop, Arizona players say it makes the team more durable, dependable and deadly.

“This was like their coming out party,” Jason Terry said. “That’s what they can do every night. We’ll see if they can do it consistently.”

If they do, Arizona players say, watch out.

“I think it’ll be practically impossible to beat us,” A.J. Bramlett said. “It’s because we have two scoring threats out there. You can’t just key on one guy because the other guy will hit the shot.”

— Steve Rivera

Arizona Wildcats 1996-97 Men's Basketball Schedule

11/22/96197 North Carolina

Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic
W 83–72Springfield (MA)
11/26/9611Northern ArizonaW 88–70McKale Center
11/30/961119 New MexicoL 84-77Albuquerque (NM)
12/7/96153 Utah

John Wooden Classic
W 69–61Anaheim (CA)
12/9/961513 TexasW 83–78McKale Center
12/14/968Jackson StateW 111–83McKale Center
12/21/9664 MichiganL 73-71 OTAuburn Hills (MI)
12/28/969Robert Morris

Fiesta Bowl Classic
W 118–54McKale Center

Fiesta Bowl Classic
W 93–51McKale Center
1/2/979CaliforniaW 81-80McKale Center
1/4/97921 StanfordW 76-75McKale Center
1/11/977Arizona StateW 92-84Tempe
1/16/976USCL 75-62Los Angeles
1/18/976UCLAL 84-78 OTLos Angeles
1/23/9711Oregon StateW 99-48McKale Center
1/25/9711OregonW 88-66McKale Center
1/30/9710Washington StateW 87-78Pullman (WA)
2/2/9710Washington L 92-88Seattle
2/5/9714Arizona StateW 87-71McKale Center
2/9/971421 Tulane

7Up Shootout
W 81-62Phoenix
2/13/971124 UCLAL 66-64McKale Center
2/15/9711USCW 101-77McKale Center
2/20/9713OregonL 78-72Eugene (OR)
2/22/9713Oregon StateW 74-64Corvallis (OR)
2/27/9715Washington StateW 100-86McKale Center
3/2/9715WashingtonW 103-82McKale Center
3/6/971223 Stanford L 81-80Palo Alto (CA)
3/8/9712CaliforniaL 79-77San Francisco
3/13/97413 South Alabama

NCAAT 1st Round
W 65-57Memphis
3/15/97412 College of Charleston

NCAAT 2nd Round
W 73-69Memphis
3/21/9741 Kansas

Sweet Sixteen
W 85-82Birmingham (AL)
3/23/97410 Providence

Elite Eight
W 96-92 OTBirmingham (AL)
3/29/9741 North Carolina

Final Four
W 66-58Indianapolis
3/31/9741 Kentucky

W 84-79 OTIndianapolis

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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