If you watched the NCAA tournament this past weekend, you had the chance to witness that the best teams do not always win. We saw Duke lose to a 14-seeded Mercer team that destroyed all of our brackets, while also witnessing Kansas, Ohio State, Syracuse, North Carolina and Wichita State all fall early.
Having the best talent can only get you so far when it comes to tournament time. In a tournament where anything can happen, it takes a great team that plays together to win the NCAA title–not just a group of individuals. Read More »
Long and surprising NCAA Tournament runs can make you a legend. Miles Simon‘s play in 1997 definitely helped cement his legacy in Arizona. While leading his No. 4-seeded Wildcats to an NCAA Championship, doing it by becoming the only team to ever beat three top seeds in the same tournament, Simon was named the Most Outstanding Player. The one-man performance still resonates 15 years later. Read More »
Elite college basketball programs all have unique identities carved by their head coaches’ visions of what championship basketball leans upon. Defense wins championships, but offense has a more delicate balance of what’s right and what’s wrong. Does the system have restrictive bounds? Or is freedom important to a certain extent?
The answer lies within a thin grey-area of allowing players to utilize their own strengths and talents within an organized playbook. Balancing those two schemes defines winners. Who’s job description fits that? The point guard. Read More »
A transition like this is commonplace when one legendary coach retires (Lute Olson) and a younger coach takes over. But for first-year AZ boss Sean Miller — who made the Big Dance field in four of his five years at Xavier, including an Elite Eight — it’s not something he’s used to. Read More »
With a 74-72 double overtime loss to UNLV last night – setting its record at 3-3 – it’s an understatement to say that Arizona is not run by flash and big names this year. With Lute Olson thrice removed and the Encinitas Enigma, (coined by yours truly; shirt orders to my Twitter…) Chase Budinger, and Jordan “Coach’s Decision” Hill both gone to the pros, the ‘Cats aren’t the national draw they once were. Add into the mix a Pac-10 conference that is seeing its lowest production in years and an influx of untested youth, and you have a recipe for bland, mistake-riddled basketball. In a region dominated largely by guard play, most of the attention has surrounded Cal’s Jerome Randle and Washington’s Isaiah Thomas – and deservedly so.
Someone forgot to relay the message to ‘Zona’s Nic Wise. Read More »
As much as I applauded Brandon Jennings for thinking outside the box, taking a risk and playing pro ball in Europe before coming to the NBA, the Pac-10 fan in me was kind of hating that I wouldn’t get to see “Young Money” rip it up for a year at Arizona.
The 12th-seeded ‘Zona squad that made an unexpected run to the Sweet Sixteen last spring would have been a national title contender with Jennings distributing the rock to Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger and Nic Wise. He might have been reason enough for Lute Olson not to retire. Read More »