NCAA index
to MIDWEST region to WEST region to SOUTH region to EAST region
click for menu bracket gallery scoreboard tcmens

Arizona Wildcats
RECORD: 25 - 3 REGION: West  SEED: 1
COACH: Lute Olson CONFERENCE: Pac-12

Road to the Final Four  ...................................................................................

Vermont 1st Round W 80 - 51
Gonzaga 2nd Round W 96 - 95
Notre Dame Sweet 16 W 88 - 71
Kansas Elite Eight L 78 - 75


with Jay Bilas


No team in America can match the depth of athletes at Lute Olson's disposal. The Wildcats have experienced seniors in Luke Walton, Ricky Anderson and Jason Gardner. They also have tremendous size and athleticism in Channing Frye, Andre Iguodala and Hassan Adams. Arizona scores most of its points in transition and off of the offensive glass. They are most vulnerable when kept to a halfcourt game. The key to a title run could be Salim Stoudamire, a lefty guard that can really shoot the ball. The Wildcats are not a great perimeter shooting team, but if Stoudamire hits shots, Arizona is a clear favorite to reach New Orleans.

Player to Watch

Jason Gardner
Senior point guard has played for title before, and should play for it again on April 7 as leader of the 'Cats.

Team Statistics
Points Per Game 75.1
Rebounds Per Game 41.9
Assists Per Game 14.4
Steals Per Game 6.3
Blocks Per Game 3.6
Turnovers Per Game 14.1
Field Goal % .455
Free Throw % .697
3-Point % .281
3-Pointers Per Game 1.1
Scoring Margin 5.2

How They Got Here
The Wildcats won a 10th Pac-10 title under head coach Lute Olson, spent a majority of the season ranked No. 1 and never fell below No. 4, facts attributed to some of the nation's best depth.

Arizona impressed most on the road, where it had a key 17-point win at Kansas (after trailing by 20 early) and was perfect in conference play. Finding any true stumbles during the season is difficult, considering Arizona played without Luke Walton in a one-point loss at LSU, and a home defeat to Stanford came against another Pac-10 contender. Arizona is the just the third team to go unbeaten on the road in league since the Pac-10 expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79.

A first-round loss, however, in the Pac-10 tournament to UCLA raised some eyebrows, but not many concerns. The Wildcats were already a lock to be seeded No. 1 in the West.

An early injury to sophomore Salim Stoudamire and the season-long aches of Walton didn't bother Arizona as it would others. That's because of such a talented bench, of players like freshmen Hassan Adams and Andre Iguodala and emerging sophomore Channing Frye. But this top seed is Jason Gardner's team, and the senior point guard answered the challenge all season. Rick Anderson also supplied needed senior leadership.

In a time when jumping to the NBA early is more common in college basketball than cheerleaders and bands, it is the experience of players like Gardner, Walton and Anderson that could eventually win the Wildcats a title in New Orleans.

What We Like
So many versatile bodies. Five players have consistently averaged double figures in scoring for Arizona and only Gardner averages over 30 minutes. Wave after wave they come, all with athleticism and an ability to make plays.

The more impressive numbers are often hidden at the defensive end, where Arizona creates momentum-shifting runs by pressing opponents into countless mistakes. Close games become blowouts in a matter of minutes.

The Wildcats were the best offensive team in conference play, something helped by Arizona leading the league in offensive rebounds. This team is a second-chance machine.

What We Don't Like
Walton's fragile physique. Arizona is so much better with him on the court, but three separate ankle sprains and a pulled foot muscle this season suggests a big question mark every trip down the floor.

At times, the forward showed flashes of the All-American skill everyone expected this season, but he was also limited in practice for much of the conference schedule. A healthy and productive Walton could help lead the Wildcats to a national championship, but one who can't shake the rust of an up-down-season and whose shot is off during March could hinder the team's chances.

  Jason Gardner 5-10  191
  Salim Stoudamire 6-1  179 Sr
  Channing Frye 6-11  255
  Rick Anderson 6-9  225 Sr
  Luke Walton 6-8  235
  Hassan Adams 6-4  220 Sr
  Will Bynum 6-0  185
  Andre Iguodala 6-6  215
  Isaiah Fox 6-9  255 Sr
  Dennis Latimore 6-9  238 Sr
  Chris Rodgers 6-4  205 Sr
  Fil Torres 6-2  200 Sr
  Jason Ranne 6-4  201 Sr

OregonW, 88-80   
Oregon StateW, 72-60   
@ StanfordW, 72-69   
@ CaliforniaW, 88-75   
@ Arizona StateW, 92-72   

message boards
NCB on



Member Name:
Free Registration


 Walton steams ahead
V Show: Arizona's Luke Walton tells Bob Valvano about moving on to the Elite 8.
Listen now