5 months ago
The Arizona Wildcats had just lost to Duke in the 2001 National Championship.
Cars were overturned and set on fire, rioters scaled light poles and tore down street signs. The melee swarmed over fences as fistfights broke out.
5 months ago
UA Director of Athletics Greg Byrne, Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor and UA Police Chief Brian Seastone congratulate the Arizona men's basketball team and remind fans to #BearDown With Pride.
Here's a message from the UA's Student Affairs Asst. Vice President:
Please Have Fun and Celebrate Responsibly as the Wildcats Advance through the NCAA Tournament!
With the Men's Basketball Team's advancement to the Elite Eight, I encourage you to Bear Down With Pride and show your support of the team. Wear your red and blue, gather with friends to watch the games, and win or lose, please be responsible, safe and smart.
To help create an environment of safe, smart, and fun celebrations, the Division of Student Affairs is sponsoring several watch parties to give students a place to gather and cheer on the Cats together. To learn more about the watch parties, click here: http://bit.ly/UAElite8.
The Dean of Students Office is working closely with Arizona Athletics, the UA Police Department, and other local law enforcement agencies to promote safe and smart celebrations by having greater police presence on and around campus during the tournament.
As part of our effort to create awareness about responsible celebrations, Athletics Director Greg Byrne has videotaped a special message for Wildcat fans. Click here to watch the message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1fHUpiEa7s.
Greg Byrne is also helping us to spread the message of Bear Down With Pride through social media. Help spread the word by sharing the hashtag we're using: #BearDown With Pride.
Thank you for your support and partnership as we show the world how we Bear Down With Pride!
Kendal Washington White
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
University of Arizona
5 months ago
Saturday Arizona will take on Wisconsin for a slot at the Final Four. They're the top two seeds of the West Region and they both advanced with late wins Thursday.
Arizona Coach Sean Miller's brother Archie is the coach at Dayton and both of them are in the Elite Eight.
Here are some notable quotes from the news conference:
" I think we both recognize that it's very special for our families and I'll also tell you that in no way do I want to dim the light on our team, I know he feels the same way, as great as a story that it is for us, neither of us would be unless we had teams that were capable of getting to this level."
Nick Johnson on Wisconsin's Traveon Jackson:
" He's a top player. It seems like he does everything for the team. When they needed a big shot he steps up and hit it so, he's been playing great throughout the whole season especially these last few games."
Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan on Arizona's T.J. McConnell being under-rated:
" How can a guy be under-rated? He's a player, he's on a good team. He's a good player. So he's not under-rated by anybody associated with me. So he's one of the reasons they're here."
The winner moves to the Final Four next weekend in Dallas. They'll play the winner of the Louisville-Kentucky matchup.
5 months ago
Paul Cicala is in Anaheim with the Cats as they prepare for their next match up on the road to Dallas. Arizona plays Wisconsin Saturday. Here are some photos of the press conference that just wrapped up Friday afternoon:
"We have confidence in our team, but it's a healthy confidence," Coach Miller said in Orange County:
Nick Johnson and TJ McConnel in Orange County.
Gabe York and Nick Johnson had high praise for Wisconsin
Here's video of the conference after the SDSU Thursday night:
5 months ago
Sean and Archie Miller are headed to the Elite Eight together.
One had it easier than the other - and it probably wasn't the one you'd expect.
Archie's Dayton Flyers, the darlings of the 2014 NCAA tournament, took down another higher-seeded team, stiff-arming Stanford in Memphis Thursday night to reach the regional final for the first time since 1984.
Big brother Sean's Arizona Wildcats, the top seed in the West, had a much tougher time getting through, laboring through most of their game against San Diego State before wearing down the Aztecs in Anaheim, Calif., to reach the Elite Eight for the second time in four years.
Already the first brothers to coach separate teams into the Sweet 16, they're now a game away from the Final Four and, dare we say it, an all-brothers championship game in Texas.
"We're both alive," Sean said.
Archie's Flyers weren't supposed to be here.
The 11th seed in the South Region, they opened the first full day of the tournament with a bracket-crumpling win over Ohio State and proved it was no fluke by taking down Syracuse to reach the second weekend.
Not satisfied with that, Dayton took it to another favorite in one of the early games Thursday night, using its 12-deep roster to wear down No. 10 seed Stanford 82-72 in a third-straight upset.
Next up for the Flyers is a date with top overall seed Florida on Saturday.
"It was a true team effort," Archie said. "That's what they've been about all year, so it's nice to see on the biggest stage, us be ourselves."
The Wildcats weren't themselves until the game was on the line, which, in a way, is just being themselves.
Arizona (33-4) labored most of the game against San Diego State, burned by offensive rebounds in the first half and unable to get some of its best players going.
The Wildcats have had a knack for wearing teams down by the end of games and they did it again against the Aztecs, pulling out a 70-64 victory after Nick Johnson scored all 15 of his points in the final 2:45.
Arizona moves on to face another defense-oriented team in the Elite Eight, against Wisconsin Saturday night in Southern California.
"We were tested in a huge way," Sean said.
Pass one more test and the two brothers will match wits for a national championship.
5 months ago
TUCSON - Tucson Police shut down the roads around the University of Arizona after crowds celebrating the Wildcats men's basketball win over San Diego State poured into the streets. Crowds of students chanting and screaming took over University Blvd. and quickly spread out from there.
Officers were ready, and got control of the situation in minutes. There were no reports of Police using the riot gear they were outfitted with.
5 months ago
ANAHEIM, CA - The shooting percentage wasn't there. Neither was the rebounding. But with the game on the line, Arizona's defense once again rose to the occasion.
Arizona forced 10 San Diego State turnovers and made key free throws down the stretch to top the Aztecs 70-64 in the Sweet 16 matchup.
The Wildcats went 19-25 from the free throw line, including a perfect 10-10 from Nick Johnson. The Wooden Award finalist was held scoreless for a majority of the game, but scored 13 straight points in the final 2:45 of the ball game. He finished with 15 points.
Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson kept the Wildcats in the game, despite trailing by four at halftime. The freshmen each scored 15 points for coach Sean Miller.
Xavier Thames had 25 in a losing effort for SDSU.
The Wildcats now move to the Elite 8 against 2-seed Wisconsin. That game will be Saturday night in Anaheim. The tipoff time is yet to be determined.
5 months ago
ANAHEIM - The Arizona Wildcats have tipped off in the Sweet 16. The Cats are battling San Diego State for a trip to the Elite 8.
News 4 Tucson is in Anaheim and sending pictures of the action. Stay tuned to KVOA online and on the air for updates of the Arizona Wildcats in Anaheim.
Paul Cicala reports outside the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Arizona and San Diego State warm up prior to tipoff.
Fans cheer for the Sweet 16 game.
The News 4 Tucson satellite truck sits among the media parking.
5 months ago
ANAHEIM - The wait is nearly over. The Wildcats tip off against San Diego State at 7:00 Thursday night. News 4 Tucson's Sean Mooney is in Anaheim catching up with one Wildcat who is making headlines for his special moves on the free throw line.
5 months ago
ANAHEIM, CA - The Wildcats are practicing for the next round on their road to greatness right now in California.
Paul Cicala is in Anaheim with the men's basketball team as they prepare for their match against San Diego State.
Here's a look at the calm before the storm:
Baylor was the first to hit the court:
San Diego State coach Steve Fisher brought his team out for some practice hoops after:
Brandon Ashley may be injured, but he still gives autographs:
Staying hydrated is important:
The Cats in a conference after practice:
Here is the full video of the conference:
5 months ago
SAN DIEGO - Steve Fisher's San Diego State Aztecs are painfully familiar with their opponent in the Sweet 16, the top-seeded Arizona Wildcats.
Last season, Nick Johnson swooped out of nowhere to block a layup by Chase Tapley to preserve a one-point Wildcats win in a tournament in Hawaii. In a game this season, San Diego State pulled within four points of the visiting Wildcats before freshman Aaron Gordon had a soaring dunk off an inbounds pass from T. J. McConnell to put away the Aztecs.
They'll meet again Thursday night in Anaheim. While Arizona is used to getting this far, it's only the second Sweet 16 appearance for the fourth-seeded Aztecs. They lost in the regional semifinals three years ago to eventual national champion Connecticut, also in Anaheim.
5 months ago
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Gonzaga coach Mark Few described his team's loss to Wichita State in last year's NCAA tournament as "running into a buzzsaw."
He tried to use the phrase again after the Zags were blown out by Arizona, and then rethought it.
"I guess I need to come up with a better term because the Arizona team we saw tonight was as good of a team as we have faced, that I can remember," Few said after Arizona rolled over Gonzaga 84-61 on Sunday night.
Coming off a shaky NCAA tournament opener, Arizona (32-4) ended a wild first weekend of upsets and buzzer beaters with a display of domination, looking every bit the No. 1 seed in the West.
This was not the epic double-overtime game these teams played in the 2003 NCAA tournament. This was an eye-popping display of what one of the nation's best teams can do when it gets rolling.
The Wildcats overran Gonzaga (29-7) with their size, athleticism and quick hands to blow the eighth-seeded Bulldogs out of the bracket.
Turning one of college basketball's most efficient teams on its head, Arizona scored 31 points of Gonzaga's 21 turnovers - 15 on steals - and never gave the Zags a chance after racing out to a 21-point lead in the first half.
Aaron Gordon had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists for Arizona. Fellow freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson also had 18 points and Nick Johnson finished with 17.
Next up for Arizona is fourth-seeded San Diego State - a team it beat in this same arena early in the season - in the Sweet 16 just up the coast in Anaheim.
"Tonight was one of our season's best performances," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "Obviously, you want to play well in the NCAA tournament and that's exactly what our team did tonight."
Gonzaga has relied on its ability to control the game and take care of the ball during a run of 16 straight NCAA tournament appearances.
Arizona's pressure ran the Zags ragged, leaving them trailing the Wildcats as they raced off to one layup after another.
Przemek Karnowski scored 14 points and Kevin Pangos added 12 for Gonzaga, which hasn't reached the Sweet 16 since 2009.
"We didn't do ourselves any favors," said Pangos, who kept playing after turning his ankle early in the game. "We let them feel pretty good about themselves. But they are a good team and they did speed it up a little bit."
Arizona was jittery in its opener against Weber State, starting slow and allowing the Wildcats from Utah to claw their way back from a 21-point deficit in the second half to make it close.
The first-game anxiety out of their system, the Wildcats played with confidence and plenty of energy against Gonzaga, sprinting up the floor after steals and defensive rebounds to set up easy shots in transition.
Gonzaga shot well against one of the nation's best defenses - when it could get shots off.
The Bulldogs struggled with Arizona's they're-everywhere defense, playing catch-up on the break as the Wildcats snared passes and stripped dribblers for eight steals in the first half. Gonzaga had 11 turnovers that Arizona turned into 19 points for a 47-34 halftime lead that would have been more if the Bulldogs didn't make a late run.
Arizona had one turnover and 13 assists on its 17 field goals - 34 attempts - with Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson combining to hit 8 of 9 shots while scoring 12 points each.
"What we did today was push the tempo," Gordon said. "We noticed they weren't getting back as well as they should and we just kept that going throughout the game."
The second half started like this: two possessions by Gonzaga, two turnovers.
Arizona kept the show going from there.
Johnson had the defensive highlight of the half, tracking down David Stockton to block what appeared to be a breakaway layup and the ball went off a Gonzaga player, to boot. The offensive reel was highlighted by Gordon, who soared in for a rebound slam over two Gonzaga players.
No chance for the Bulldogs and, if Arizona keeps playing like this, not much of one for anyone else.
5 months ago
SAN DIEGO - Gonzaga went into last year's NCAA tournament as the No. 1 overall seed and the pressure took its toll, sending the Zags home after two games.
This year, they're in a different frame of mind, back to their familiar underdog role and hoping to use it to their advantage against Arizona on Sunday and, hopefully, beyond.
"There isn't as much pressure," Gonzaga forward Sam Dower Jr. said Saturday from San Diego State's Viejas Arena. "I wouldn't say we're looser; we're more aggressive. We have to be that Wichita State team last year and prove that we can be one of the best teams in the country."
To have a chance at matching the Shockers' run to the 2013 Final Four, the Bulldogs (29-6) will have to go through one of this year's No. 1 seeds.
Though not the top overall seed like Gonzaga was a year ago, Arizona (31-4) still felt the pressure of being the West's top team in its opener on Friday.
The Wildcats started off jittery against Weber State, failing to hit a field goal in the game's opening 5 minutes and blowing most of a 21-point lead before pulling out 68-59 victory.
Arizona was solid as a higher seed last year when it reached the Sweet 16 for the second time in three years and has felt the pressure of being the chased this season after spending two months at No. 1 in The Associated Press poll.
"It's a little different than last year as far as being targeted and stuff like that; we've been dealing with that all year," Arizona junior guard Nick Johnson said. "Seems like every single team gives us their best shot. You can see that same team probably a week later and they're not playing nearly as hard and stuff like that. Pretty much all year has (been like that)."
Arizona will certainly face a tough challenge against the Zags.
The Wildcats were a popular pick to get knocked off in the third round against Oklahoma State, but Gonzaga beat the Cowboys and the calls for an upset have not waned much.
Here's five things to look for when the mid-major Bulldogs meet the blue-blood Wildcats:
ALL ABOUT THE D: If you're looking for good defense, this could be the game to watch. With length inside, harassing guards and an ability to get out to shooters quickly, Arizona has been one of the nation's best teams on that side of the ball all season. The Wildcats are the nation's top team in defensive efficiency, allowing 87.8 points per 100 possessions, are fourth in scoring defense (58.2 points per game) and fifth in shooting percentage against (37.9 percent). Gonzaga has been one of the nation's better defensive teams for years, a cohesive unit that can play against any style, so it could get interesting.
STOPPING PANGOS: Gonzaga has a fairly balanced offense, but when Kevin Pangos gets going, the Zags are pretty tough to beat. The junior guard didn't shoot particularly well in the West Coast Conference tournament, but opened the NCAAs with a huge game, scoring 26 points while hitting all 10 of his free throws in the final 1:31 of a foul-filled win over Oklahoma State. He will face some of the best perimeter defenders in college basketball the next round. Johnson and T.J. McConnell take it as a challenge to stop the opposing team's best player and often do, shutting down Colorado's Askia Booker, Utah's Jordan Loveridge and Cal's Justin Cobbs in the last month alone.
NOSTALGIC GAME: Gonzaga and Arizona has met once before in the NCAA tournament and, boy, was it a doozy. Arizona was the No. 1 seed in the 2003 tournament and had future NBA players Andre Iguodala, Channing Frye, Luke Walton on its roster. Still early in its rise to prominence, Gonzaga gave the Wildcats all they could handle, leading at halftime and nearly winning it on Blake Stepp's 8-footer with 2 seconds left. Arizona won the game 96-95 in double overtime, but Gonzaga coach Mark Few remembers it fondly and has a Sports Illustrated picture from the game hanging in the basketball office.
HITTING 3s: Arizona has a big, athletic front line anchored by Kaleb Tarczewski, but needs to hit shots from the perimeter to keep opponents from packing it in. The Wildcats have been a decent 3-point shooting team, hitting 36 percent, but have had games where the shots just won't fall. Arizona was on the mark against Weber State, making 7 of 14 from the arc, including two by sharpshooter Gabe York that got the Wildcats going after an early funk.
FREE THROWS: If the game gets tight and comes down to free throws, Gonzaga could have the advantage. Gonzaga's top three scorers - Pangos, Dower and Gary Bell Jr. -all shoot at least 80 percent and the Zags sealed their win over Oklahoma State from the line. Arizona lost the Pac-12 championship game to UCLA in part because it went 6 for 16 on free throws and freshman Aaron Gordon, one of its best players, has been fighting a mental block from the line, hitting just 43 percent of his attempts.
5 months ago
The 4th ranked Arizona Wildcats blew out Utah by 32 points in their first matchup of the Pac-12 Tournament yesterday.
Tonight, it'll be a bit tougher as the swarms of Arizona faithful in Las Vegas are expecting a tight game.
Tipoff for the showdown between Colorado and Arizona starts at 6:06 p.m at the MGM Grand.
5 months ago
TUCSON - University of Arizona student and former University of Arizona players were excited about the win over Utah.
U of A fans say they are feeling good about the Cats chances in Pac-12 tournament and NCAA Championships.
One fan says, "Great game Thursday Arizona blew them out. Great defensive stance, held them under 30 in the first half, we are going to go deep into the tournament with our defensive stances."
Another fan says, "Destroyed Utah, going to destroy Colorado, ASU we are coming for you, bear down!"
Another one says, "They are going to win, if they keep their head in the game they will do well."
U of A alumni part of the Tucson Fire and Police Department are proud of their school. Captain Barrett Baker and fire inspector James Hinrichs played football for U of A. They say they are rooting for the Wildcats in hoops. Baker says "Athletics regardless of what sport it is we take pride in that, and this year the basketball team is taken it to another level." Hinrich says "Love to watch them and wish them the best, it brings pride to community."
TPD officer Brandon Tatum was also a student athlete, and is proud to call himself a U of A alumni.
"I speak for all us who graduated from the University of Arizona, we are very proud to hold true to the motto which is bear down."
While the Wildcats basketball players are giving back to the community on the court, the U of A alumni at TPD and Tucson Fire Department continue their values of U of A at their jobs.
5 months ago
News 4 Tucson Sports Director Paul Cicala is catching up with University of Arizona fans who have traveled from Tucson to Las Vegas to cheer on their Wildcats.
The Arizona Alumni Association is putting on events at Diablos Cantina to get fans together under one roof.
The Wildcats held the Utes to 13 points in the first half Thursday and matched UCLA's 32-point win over Oregon State in 2006 to move into Friday's semifinals against Colorado.
Utah missed its first 11 shots - its first field goal came 9:15 in - and at one point had five players on the court who had yet to score in the game.
Final score: 71-39
The Wildcats take on the Buffs Friday at 6 p.m. on the PAC-12 Network.
5 months ago
LAS VEGAS - Nick Johnson scored 14 points and #4 Arizona routed Utah 71-39 in the quarterfinal round of the PAC-12 Tournament.
Days after Johnson told the media he felt the Wildcats "had something to prove to the country" in the conference tournament, the PAC-12 player of the year scored seven straight points to give his team a 24-8 lead. Fellow guard T.J. McConnell poured in 13 points to go with four assists. Freshman Aaron Gordon added 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
The Arizona defense hounded the Utes the entire contest, allowing Utah to shoot just 12-47 from the field, a dismal 25.5%. Each was a PAC-12 Tournament record low. Utah also set new tournament lows in first half points scored (13) and total points scored (39).
Top seed Arizona advances to Friday's semifinal round at 6pm against the winner of Colorado and California.
Be sure to stay with News 4 Tucson for live reports from Sports Director Paul Cicala in Las Vegas coming up on News 4 at 4:00, 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. tonight.
5 months ago
Utes beat Huskies 67-61 to open Pac-12 tournament
LAS VEGAS - Delon Wright scored 15 points and Jordan Loveridge added 13, helping Utah hold off Washington 67-61 in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday.
Utah (21-10) dominated the first half before Washington rallied in the second to set up a close finish.
Dekarai Tucker put the Utes ahead 63-60 on a 3-pointer from the corner with 37 seconds left and Brandon Taylor hit two free throws after Washington's Nigel Williams-Goss missed a potential tying 3-pointer.
Utah moves on to face top-seeded Arizona in Thursday's quarterfinals.
Washington (17-15) fought back after trailing by 12 in the first half, but couldn't get shots to fall down the stretch.
Darin Johnson had 16 points, Williams-Goss 15 and C.J. Wilcox added 14 for the Huskies.
5 months ago
The rest of college basketball is about to find out what we already know: The Pac-12 is stacked with competitive teams, Twelve teams, 11 games... all in 1 city. Check out Paul Cicala's live report.