|Arizona Wildcats men's basketball|
|University||University of Arizona|
|All-time record||1,851-966-1 (.657)|
|Athletic director||Dave Heeke|
|Head coach||Tommy Lloyd (1st season)|
|Arena||McKale Center |
|Colors||Cardinal and Navy|
|NCAA Tournament Champions|
|NCAA Tournament Runner-up|
|NCAA Tournament Final Four|
|1988, 1994, 1997, 2001|
|NCAA Tournament Elite Eight|
|1976, 1988, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2014, 2015|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1951, 1976, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017|
|NCAA Tournament Round of 32|
|1976, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017|
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|1951, 1976, 1977, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999*, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008*, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018|
*vacated by NCAA
|Conference Tournament Champions|
1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2015, 2017, 2018
|Conference Regular Season Champions|
1932, 1936, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953
1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
The Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team is the intercollegiate men's basketball program representing the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. They compete in the Pac-12 Conference of NCAA Division I and is currently coached by Tommy Lloyd.
Arizona has a long and rich basketball history. The program came to national prominence under the tutelage of former head coach Lute Olson (1983-2007), who established the program as among America's elite in college basketball. One writer referred to UA as "Point Guard U" because the school has produced successful guards like Steve Kerr, Damon Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Gardner, Jerryd Bayless, and T. J. McConnell, among others.
From 1985 to 2009, the Arizona basketball team reached the NCAA Division I Tournament for 25 consecutive years, two years shy of North Carolina's record with 27. Despite having their 1999 and 2008 appearances later vacated by the NCAA, the media still cites Arizona's streak, and simply notes the changes. The Wildcats have reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament on four occasions (1988, 1994, 1997, and 2001). They have also made two appearances in the National Championship (won over Kentucky Wildcats in 1997, lost to Duke Blue Devils in 2001). In Pac-10 play, former head coach Lute Olson currently holds the record for most wins as a Pac-10 coach with 327. In addition, the team has won 16 Pac-10/12 regular season championship titles and seven Pac-10/12 tournament championship titles. Arizona also holds the distinction of recording five out of the seven 17-1 Pac-10 seasons (one-loss seasons). No team has gone undefeated since the formation of the Pac-10/12.
Arizona ranks 13th all-time heading into the 2020-21 season with 1,834 wins and ranks 9th by winning percentage at (.657). Arizona has spent 37 weeks at No. 1 in the AP Poll, which is tied for eighth-most all-time; 25 weeks at No. 2, tied for 13th all-time; 150 weeks in the Top 5, seventh all-time; 299 weeks in the Top 10, sixth all-time; and 550 weeks in the top 25, tied for 8th all-time.
The University of Arizona fielded its first men's basketball team in 1904-05. Orin Albert Kates coached the team and drew opponents from local YMCAs. The first game Arizona played ended in a 40-32 victory over the Morenci YMCA.
In 1914, Arizona's first famous coach, James Fred "Pop" McKale was lured away from a teaching and coaching job at Tucson High School to take over as Athletic Director and coach basketball, football, baseball and track. McKale took things to a new level, posting a 9-0 record his first season as a basketball coach. Moreover, McKale elevated the program to intercollegiate play. While basketball was his least favorite of the many sports he coached while at UA, he chalked up three undefeated seasons and a career-winning average of .803, which has never been bested by a UA coach who has held the post for at least three years. The McKale Memorial Center, the main arena for Arizona basketball, is named in his honor.
From 1925 to 1961, the program was under the stewardship of Fred Enke, UA's longest-tenured coach. Coach Fred A. Enke was responsible for the early successes of Wildcat basketball. Enke amassed 509 wins in his tenure on the UA sidelines and still ranks as the second-winningest coach in school history, winning more than 60 percent of his games. Enke also led the Cats to the first four postseason appearances (3 N.I.T./1 NCAA) in school history and in 1950-51 competed in both the N.I.T. and NCAA postseason tournaments. Finally, he was the first coach to lead Arizona to a national ranking. Two of his teams (1950, 1951) finished the season ranked in the top 15.
Under Enke, UA competed in the now-defunct Border Conference. Under Enke's direction, Arizona won 12 conference championships, including a span in which the Cats won or shared seven consecutive Border Conference titles (1942-51). No Border Conference team won as many league games (231) or overall contests (398) during its membership. In 1962, Arizona joined the Western Athletic Conference as a founding member after the Border Conference disbanded.
Bruce Larson, a player and assistant under Enke before coaching at Eastern Arizona and Weber State, coached the Wildcats from 1961-71, leading the school to a 136-148 record. Under his tenure, major planning began for a larger and more modern basketball arena (which would become McKale Center) to replace the outdated Bear Down Gymnasium. Larson would later serve as an analyst on Wildcat football and basketball telecasts during the Lute Olson (and Dick Tomey) era.
In 1972, Fred Snowden was hired as the head basketball coach, making Arizona the second Division I school and the first major program to hire an African American head coach. Known as "The Fox", Snowden brought the excitement back to Wildcat basketball during his 10 years on the Arizona sideline, averaging more than 80 points per game in six of his 10 years and topping the 100-point barrier 27 times. Snowden led Arizona to the NCAA tournament twice, in 1976 and 1977, getting as far as the Elite Eight in 1976 before losing to UCLA 82-66, a game after defeating UNLV in a Sweet Sixteen matchup. During the 1976 tournament, he also logged Arizona's first and only tournament wins until Lute Olson's hiring, beating John Thompson's Georgetown team 83-76. Snowden's 1976 team also won the school's only WAC championship title on a buzzer-beater by Gilbert Myles verses New Mexico, with the help of the spectacular play of Bob Elliott, Jim Rappis, and Al Fleming. In 1978, Coach Snowden helped transition the basketball program over to the newly formed Pac-10. Snowden could not sustain success in the Pac-10, however, finishing no higher than 4th place in the conference. His 9-18 final season led UA to look for a replacement.
Known for his high-octane offense and remembered as a trailblazer, Fred "The Fox" Snowden brought excitement to Arizona basketball during his 10-year tenure as the program's head coach. Snowden, who led the Wildcats from 1972 to 1982, was the first African-American head basketball coach at an NCAA Division I institution, amassing a 167-108 mark. The 1973 Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, his career winning percentage of .607 has been topped by only three UA coaches since 1924. Nicknamed "The Fox" due to his cool demeanor, Snowden led Arizona to three postseason berths, including the 1975 National Commissioners' Invitational Tournament and the 1976 and 1977 NCAA Tournaments. His best season came in 1976, when the Wildcats went 24-9, won the Western Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA West Regional Final. The Brewton, Ala., native was the head coach who led Arizona into the Pac-10 in the 1978-79 season, guiding the program for its first four seasons in the Conference. Snowden also oversaw the transition into the McKale Center after its opening in 1973. He was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. Prior to his role at Arizona, Snowden was an assistant coach at Michigan. He also served on the coaching staff of his high school, Northwestern High School in Detroit, Mich., where he coached for five years after attending Wayne State University from 1954 to 1958. Snowden died in 1994 at the age of 57.
Athletic Director Dave Strack brought in Ben Lindsey to replace Fred Snowden in 1983, and on the surface, it seemed like a reasonable move. Lindsey had junior college expertise, having had a successful career at Grand Canyon University, where he won two national titles. What resulted, however, was nothing short of disaster. The 1983 team finished with the worst season in school history at 4-24, with only one Pac-10 win.
Newly hired UA Athletic director Cedric Dempsey fired Lindsey after only one season and hired University of Iowa coach Lute Olson as his successor. UA needed a coach with a history of quickly turning around programs, which Olson had done previously at Iowa. "I knew we had a tremendous amount of work to do", Olson recalled in a recent interview with Tucson Lifestyle. "The program was in shambles at that point, after the terrible year before..."
Under Olson, Arizona quickly rose to national prominence. Arizona won its first Pac-10 title in 1986, only three years after his arrival. That season set up an amazing 1987-88 season, which included taking the Great Alaska Shootout championship, the Valley Bank Fiesta Bowl Classic championship and the Pac-10 championship. Under players Steve Kerr, Kenny Lofton and Sean Elliott, Arizona spent much of the season ranked No. 1 and made their first (and Olson's second) Final Four. While Arizona lost in the Final Four round, their play put the program on the map and launched Arizona's reign as a perennial Pac-10 and NCAA tournament contender. Sean Elliott was awarded the John R. Wooden Award on the season and would set the PAC-10 scoring record.
In 1997, Arizona defeated the University of Kentucky, the defending national champions, to win the NCAA National Championship. Prior to winning the championship in 1997, Arizona stormed back from 10-point deficits in the Southeast Regional First Round and Second Round against #13 South Alabama and #12 College of Charleston, respectively winning 65-57 and 73-69. The Southeast Regional Semifinal pitted against overall #1 Kansas (34-1) which had defeated Arizona the year before in the 1996 West Regional Semifinal. However, Arizona came out fast and stunned the Jayhawks 85-82, then prevailed in overtime against Providence 96-92 in the Elite Eight to clinch a berth in the Final Four. Arizona then beat #1 seed North Carolina 66-58 in the Final Four, which turned out to be Dean Smith's last game as a coach. Arizona also accomplished the unprecedented feat of beating three number one seeds in the 1997 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. This feat has never been accomplished by another team.
The year following the Championship season, 1998, Arizona returned all 5 starters (Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, Miles Simon, Bennett Davison, and A. J. Bramlett) and were poised to make another run after receiving the #1 overall seed in the West, but were upset by Utah in the Elite 8.
In 1999, all 5 starters were lost to graduation or early entry to the NBA draft and Arizona's hopes of continuing its streak of consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament was in jeopardy until senior point guard Jason Terry (the 6th man the previous two seasons) elevated his game (receiving National Player of the Year honors) and continued the school's amazing streak.
In 2000, former Wildcat Jason Terry, stated that he received approximately $4,500 in cash, checks and wire transfers from New York sports agent Larry Fox, after his junior season. The NCAA announced that as a result a one-game 1999 NCAA tournament appearance was formally vacated. In addition, Arizona asked Terry to repay the $45,363 in forfeited NCAA 1999 tournament revenue and banned him from the UA Sports Hall of Fame, including a provision that his jersey would not be retired. Terry's jersey was later retired in 2015.
2001 was one of the most challenging and rewarding years for the program. Lute Olson's wife Bobbi, well known to players and fans alike as a steadfast presence on the sidelines, lost her battle with cancer. The team, which had been a preseason pick by many to win the national title had to play without Olson for three weeks while Olson was on bereavement leave. The Cats vowed to dedicate their season to Bobbi. With guard Jason Gardner, center Loren Woods and forward Michael Wright -- each an All-American -- leading the way, the Cats trounced their opponents, beating Oregon 104-65, devastating USC 105-61, and charging through the Final Four. They took down Eastern Illinois, Butler, Mississippi, Illinois, and Michigan State, only to be stopped by Duke in the title game. While being considered the favorite to win the title, which would have been Coach Olson's 2nd and tied him with Coach Mike Krzyzewski, his opponent, the Blue Devils claimed a ten-point victory in the game. This is the last game Coach Olson ever coached in the Final Four and is considered by fans of the program to be his most bitter defeat. A championship would have vaulted him into hallowed ground among coaches, being one of few with multiple titles. Instead he remains tied with many coaches who have a single championship ring to their name. Meanwhile, his opponent in that game now is in second place among college coaches with five championship rings, behind only John Wooden's ten. All five of Krzyzewski's titles came in the 64 team field era; Wooden none. Still Coach Olson earned the respect of his contemporary, Coach K said in the post-game interview that "Arizona had a great team and an amazing season and was worthy of winning the championship, let's give a hand to Coach Olson and his team." The comment drew rousing applause from the audience in attendance and made Coach Olson proud, even in defeat, to be honored as an equal by Coach Krzyzewski who many claim is the best coach in college history.
In his later years at UA, Olson fielded competitive teams with extremely talented point guards. Continuing the reputation and nickname "Point Guard U," recent standouts include Jason Gardner, Salim Stoudamire, Mustafa Shakur, Jerryd Bayless and Nic Wise. Arizona would win Olson's last Pac-10 title during the 2004-2005 season under the spectacular play of seniors Salim Stoudamire and center Channing Frye. That team also made it to the Elite 8 and the verge of the Final Four before blowing a 15-point lead with four minutes to play and losing in overtime, 90-89, to the No. 1 seed and eventual national runner-up, University of Illinois.
Olson took an unexplained leave of absence at the beginning of the 2007-2008 season. Assistant coach Kevin O'Neill took over interim head coaching duties for the Arizona Wildcats. At that time, Olson announced that he intended to be back for the 2008-09 season and finish out his contract, which was scheduled to end in 2011. His departure was criticized by some members of the media. They also questioned how he and the UA athletic department handled his return and the verbal succession agreement with coach O'Neill. However, on October 23, 2008, he unexpectedly announced his retirement from the program (by way of an announcement from Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood). A few days later, Olson's personal physician held a press conference and explained that the retirement was strongly advised due to health concerns.
After Lute Olson's abrupt retirement, Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood appointed assistant coach Russ Pennell as the interim head coach for the 2008-2009 season 23 days before the start of the season. The appointment came after Mike Dunlap, the associate head coach brought in to replace Kevin O'Neill, turned down the job. Under Pennell, the Cats finished 19-13 in the regular season, including a non-conference win over Kansas and a 7-game win streak with wins over UCLA and Washington. Despite a 19-13 finish to the season, Arizona was controversially selected as one of the last teams into the field of 65 as a 12th seed in the Midwest region, extending its NCAA consecutive tournament appearances to 25 years. The Cats made it to the Sweet 16 (regional semi-finals) with wins over 5-seed Utah and 13-seed Cleveland State, before falling to overall 1-seed, Louisville. Despite Pennell's post-season success, he was not retained, as Arizona announced before his hiring they would hold a national coaching search after the season ended. (On April 9, 2009, Pennell was hired as head coach of the men's basketball team at Division II Grand Canyon University, a member of the Pacific West Conference.)
Following Olsen's retirement, reports of NCAA violations arose regarding payment of impermissible benefits to players and recruiting violations. In response, Arizona self-imposed sanctions that included a reduction in the number of recruiting visits by coaches and prospective players, the disbanding of a booster group, and implementation of a series of administrative and rules changes to prevent further violations. The NCAA upheld most of those self-imposed sanctions but determined the school had used two ineligible players in 2007-08 and would have to vacate all wins involving those players and eliminate their statistics. The NCAA reduced the number of scholarships and visits with recruits Arizona was allowed to make. The NCAA found that Olson failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance at the university but decided against sanctioning the coach because he was retired and had health issues. "I think that was my fault," Olson said during a 2008 interview with ESPN.com. "That wasn't anyone else's fault. It was my error and it was a big error. But I guess in 26 years you are allowed to make a mistake once in a while anyway and that's not to say I haven't made a lot of them but in terms of that, that was a big mistake on my part."
After the end of the season, various coaching names were considered to succeed Lute Olson on a permanent basis. Arizona was perceived to have interest in Gonzaga's Mark Few, Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon and then-Memphis coach John Calipari (before he accepted the vacant position at Kentucky) to take the job. Arizona even brought USC's Tim Floyd on campus for an interview and while Arizona claims no formal offer was ever presented, Floyd ultimately turned down the job publicly.
Arizona hired Sean Miller from Xavier University to fill the head coaching position. He initially turned the job down before changing his mind and accepting the job on Apr. 6, 2009 despite having never visited the Arizona campus. Miller was formally introduced as the 13th head men's basketball coach at Arizona at a press conference on April 7, 2009 at McKale Center. At the press conference, Miller acknowledged Lute Olson's impact on the Arizona program by addressing Olson personally: "One of the reasons I sit here today is because of the great legacy you built." Miller also promised U of A fans that they would enjoy the style of both offense and defense he would bring to Wildcat basketball. Miller's salary is $1.6 million per year; he will receive an additional $400,000 per season from Nike and media contracts during a five-year deal, as well as a $1 million signing bonus and other amenities such as season tickets to other Wildcat sporting events and the use of a private jet. Within three months of joining the program, Miller compiled a strong five-player recruiting class that ranked 13th nationally in 2009. After going 16-15 and missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in 25 years during Miller's initial 2009-10 campaign.
In his second season as the head coach at Arizona, the Cats finished the season with 30-8, 14-4 Pac-12 play, behind the play of sophomore Pac-10 Player of the Year Derrick Williams. It would be the Wildcats' first outright Pac-10 regular season title (its 12th overall), 4th 30+ win season (1st overall) and Elite Eight appearance (8th overall) since the 2004-2005 season. In addition, Miller led the Wildcats to their first unbeaten home record (17-0) in 14 years and was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. This was the first time an Arizona coach received this honor since Lute Olson in 2003. The 17 wins without a loss at home is tied for the second-most in school history. Miller would add to the season's success by guiding the Cats to their first Elite Eight appearance since the 2004-2005 Season as a 5-seed. In the second round, Arizona secured a 2-point victory over 12th seeded Memphis (coached by former Wildcat (and member of the 1997 national title team) Josh Pastner) with a blocked shot in the final seconds by Derrick Williams. Arizona would follow with another close game--a controversial one-point win against 4-seed Texas. In the Sweet-16 match-up, Arizona found itself pitted against top-seeded Duke, the first time since the 2001 title game that the two schools had met. Duke would extend an early lead, but 25 points from Derrick Williams kept the Cats in the game and down by 6 points at the half. In the second half, Williams' teammates picked up the slack, dominating the Blue Devils by scoring 55 second-half points and routing the defending champs 93-77. Arizona's run at the Final Four would fall 2 points short, losing to 3-seed (and eventual national champion) Connecticut 65-63.
For his third season, Arizona's 2011 recruiting class was ranked 7th, notably signing Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner. Arizona secured three players in the top nine of the ESPNU 100, with all four newly signed players within the top 36. This has cemented Arizona as the No. 1 signing class nationally, surpassing Kentucky who held the No. 1 spot 2010 and 2011. The Wildcats missed the postseason for the second time, reached to the NIT Tournament before falling to Bucknell to finish the season 23-12 overall, 12-6 in Pac-12.
In his fourth season, Miller guided to its second top-5 ranking in the AP poll (the first coming in weeks 7-10 of the 2012-2013 season), Arizona reached the Sweet 16 in 2013 falling to Ohio State, finished the season with 27-8, 12-6 in Pac-12.
In his fifth season with the most talent Coach Miller has had since arriving in Tucson. On December 9, 2013, Arizona became the #1 ranked Team in the Country for the 6th time in school history, after a 9-0 start with wins over traditional national powerhouses Duke and UNLV. The Wildcats followed this up by securing a key come-from-behind victory on the road at Michigan on December 14 and led the Wildcats to their second outright Pac-12 Regular Season Title (its 13th overall, 26th regular season overall) in Sean Miller's fifth year as the head coach. Arizona reached the second unbeaten home record at (18-0), Coach Miller again named the second Pac-10/12 coach of the year, 5th 30+ wins season (2nd overall), 2nd Elite Eight appearance (9th overall) in 2014. But in the 2014 NCAA tournament, the Wildcats would fall to Wisconsin in overtime, they finish the season with 33-5, 15-3 in Pac-12.
In his sixth season as the Arizona Wildcats basketball head coach, after Gonzaga's home loss to BYU on February 28, 2015, Arizona claimed the longest active home winning streak in D-I men's college basketball (38th home win at 2nd all-time, 82nd home win at 5th all-time). Arizona defeated #13 Utah in Salt Lake City the same day, winning its share of the Pac-12 regular season title. After three losses to Pac-12 archrival Arizona State, Oregon State and UNLV, Arizona won their third Pac-12 regular season championship title (2nd straight year, its 14th overall, 27th overall). Arizona reached the third unbeaten home record at (17-0). The Wildcats completes their sixth ever 30+ win (3rd overall) and won their first Pac-12 Tournament title (5th overall) since 2002. In the 2015 NCAA tournament, the Wildcats fell to the Wisconsin Badgers in Elite Eight, 85-78, and finished the season 34-4, 16-2 in the Pac-12.
In his seventh season, they finished the season 25-9, 12-6 in Pac-12 play to tie with California for third place. They defeated Colorado in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament to advance to the semifinals where they lost to Oregon. In the 2016 NCAA Tournament, as a 6-seed in the South Region. They lost in the first round to Wichita State.
In his eighth season at UA, AP polls & 81-straight coaches polls. The 97-consecutive weeks in the AP poll is currently the second-longest streak in the nation behind Kansas at 161 weeks. They have been ranked every week in the 2016-2017 season, bringing those totals to 97 weeks for the AP & 100 weeks for the coaches poll. Arizona won its first 10 conference games, the best start since the '97-'98 season when they started 16-0. They finished the season at seventh ever 30+ wins with 32-5, tied at 16-2 with Oregon in Pac-12 play for first place to win their 3rd Pac-12 regular season championship title for the 15th time (28th overall). The Wildcats entered the Pac-12 Tournament as a 2-seed, the Wildcats defeated 7-seed Colorado in the quarterfinals, 3-seed UCLA in the semifinals and 1-seed Oregon in the championship game, Wildcats won their 2nd Pac-12 Tournament championship title for the 6th time. In the 2017 NCAA Tournament, as a 2-seed in the West regional, Arizona defeated the 15-seed North Dakota 100-82 in the first round, 7-seed Saint Mary's 69-60 in the second round and losing to Xavier 71-73 in the Sweet Sixteen.
As Miller's ninth season as the head coach at Arizona was about to get underway, federal prosecutors announced, on September 26, 2017, bribery, soliciting a bribe and wire fraud charges against assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson as part of a far-reaching, college basketball-wide scandal. Perhaps in part due to the ongoing scandal, the Wildcats ranked No. 2 in the country at one point, lost three games at the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. Arizona would eventually fire Richardson for his role in the scandal and the team would recover to lead the Pac 12 for the majority of the season. On February 24, 2018, Associate Head Coach Lorenzo Romar was temporarily named head coach after news broke the previous day that Miller had been caught on an FBI wiretap offering to pay players to come to Arizona. On March 1, Miller held a joint press conference with the University denying all allegations and stating he would be retained as men's head basketball coach. That same night, the Wildcats won their 29th regular season conference title, 16th in the Pac-12, and secured the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament by defeating Stanford 75-67. On March 10, Arizona defeated USC to win a record seventh conference tournament title. As a result, the Wildcats received an automatic bid to their sixth straight NCAA Tournament (35th NCAA tournament appearance, 12th all time) as the No. 4 seed in the South regional. The Wildcats, a trendy pick to make the Final Four and win the championship were blown out in the First Round by No. 13 seed Buffalo, losing 89-68.
2018-2019 marked the tenth season for Sean Miller as the Arizona Wildcats head coach. Arizona replaced all 5 starting players, 3 via the NBA draft. After a victory against UTEP, Miller recorded his 250th win for Arizona (370th win overall), in only 324 games, which was the 5th fastest of any coach at any Division 1 program all-time. On January 5, 2019 Arizona won its 600th game in the McKale center with an 84-81 overtime victory over Utah. Arizona became the first Pac-12 team to achieve 100 wins against conference opponents since the conference expanded to 12 teams before the 2011 season, after defeating Stanford 75-70 Jan. 9, 2019. The Wildcats would go on to finish the season in Pac-12 play 8-10, 9th place overall & lose their first round Pac-12 Tournament match up against USC, 65-78. They would end the season with an overall record of 17-15 & decline an invitation to the CBI.
2019-2020 marked the eleventh season for Sean Miller as the Arizona Wildcats head coach. Despite again losing all 5 starting players, Arizona would bring in the 6th overall best recruiting class & ranked pre-season 21st by the AP Poll. Arizona would open the season 9-0, capped off by winning the Wooden Legacy tournament located in Anaheim, California by led by tournament MVP Nico Mannion & defeated Wake Forest 73-66. Arizona finished non-conference play ranked 16th with an overall record of 10-3. On February 1, 2020, Miller would win his 400th overall game of his career in a 75-70 over USC to move their record to 16-6 & 6-3 in conference play. They would defeat Stanford in Maples Pavilion for the conferences longest active streak 20th time, 69-60. Arizona would finish the regular season with an overall record of 20-11 & 10-8 in conference play, which was good for 5th. The Wildcats would face 12 seed Washington in their first-round match up & win 77-70, to set up a second-round matchup versus 4 seed USC. The season would end due to the Covid-19 Pandemic which shut down sports globally & end the 2019-20 season. Arizona would have an overall record 21-11 & were a projected 7 seed but could have moved higher pending the remainder of the Pac-12 tournament.
In 2020-21, Arizona would begin its twelfth season under Head Coach Sean Miller. The Pac-12 announced before the season started that schools would not allow for fans to be in attendance due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Also due to travel restrictions, financial impact & Covid-19 testing, Arizona was forced to cancel non-conference match ups against pre-season top 5 teams, Gonzaga & Illinois, as well as cancel their appearance in the 2020 NIT Season Tip-Off in Brooklyn against top 15 ranked Texas Tech, Cincinnati & St. John's. In total Arizona would have 14 games cancelled, postponed or re-scheduled but none of which were due to Covid-19 issues within the Arizona Wildcat program. This season also marked the introduction of expanded Pac-12 play with each team adding two games, one home & one road, during the months of November & December for a total of 20 with the Wildcats adding games at home against Colorado & on the road against Stanford. Arizona again would replace the entire starting 5 for a third straight season but bring in another top 10 recruiting class, 7th overall led by six international players from Canada, Estonia, France, Lithuania & Turkey, as well as the United States. Arizona would finish non-conference play with an overall record of 6-0 against its opponents. Arizona would lose its opening Pac-12 game against Stanford 75-78 which would snap the Wildcats' 20-game winning streak against the Cardinal. Following 88-74 victory over Colorado, the Wildcats' announced a Self-Imposed one-year postseason ban, which included the 2021 Pac-12 tournament. On February 20th, Sean Miller would win his 300th game at Arizona in only his 408th, 3rd fastest for any coach at any Pac-12 school by defeated the #17 USC Trojans by a score of 81-72. During the halftime of match up against Washington, Arizona would induct former players Ernie McCray (1958-60) & Al Fleming (1972-76) as the 26th & 27th members of the program's Ring of Honor. Arizona would end the season with an overall record of 17-9 overall and finish 5th in the conference at 11-9 but because of their self-imposed ban would not participate in the conference tournament. Many bracketologists stated that Arizona would have been a NCAA tournament team if not for the self-imposed ban. In March 2021, a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, originally issued in October 2020 at the conclusion of the NCAA's initial investigation, was released to the media by the University after a lawsuit was filed by ESPN; the school received five Level I violations, considered the NCAA's most serious, one specifically against Miller for failing to monitor his assistant coaches accused of academic misconduct and other rules violations. None of the allegations included anything regarding former player Deandre Ayton.
On April 7, 2021, Arizona fired Sean Miller after 12 years. Miller finished his coaching career with an overall record of 302-109, five regular-season Pac-12 championships, three conference tournament titles & seven NCAA appearances. His 302 wins are 3rd most in school history.
After the University decided to part ways with Sean Miller, various coaching names were considered to succeed him on a permanent basis. Three former Wildcats who played under Lute Olson - Damon Stoudamire (head coach at the University of the Pacific), Miles Simon (assistant for the Los Angeles Lakers), and Josh Pastner (head coach at Georgia Tech), as well as Arkansas' Eric Musselman, were under speculation to take the job. On April 14, 2021, it was announced that Tommy Lloyd, the longtime top assistant coach at Gonzaga under Mark Few, would become the 18th head coach of Arizona men's basketball. A formal press conference was held at McKale Center on April 15 to introduce Lloyd as the head coach.
The Wildcats have had 18 coaches in their 116-year history. To date, one Wildcats' coach has won the National Coach-of-the-Year award: Lute Olson twice, in 1988 and 1990. Additionally, 2 Wildcats coaches have been named Pac-12 Conference Coach-of-the-Year: Lute Olson in 1986, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1998 and 2003 and Sean Miller in 2011, 2014, and 2017.
Under Tommy Lloyd
|Arizona:||0-0 (-)||0-0 (-)|
Postseason invitational champion
Since Arizona State became a University on December 5, 1958, Arizona leads ASU 75-58. Since both schools joined the Pac-10 conference in the 1978-79 season Arizona leads ASU 61-28. Since Lute Olson took over as head coach for the 1983-84 season Arizona leads ASU 59-17. Sean Miller took over for the 2009-2010 season Arizona & finished with a 17-7 record against ASU.
The most recent matchup came in Tucson, AZ on January 25, 2021, where Arizona beat Arizona State 80-67. Arizona lead the all-time series with 155-86.
Since then, the two schools competed for the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) Championship every year, with the two teams winning 22 out of the 30 conference titles, and 8 of 17 conference tournament titles. Arizona clinched their first conference title in 1986, when they won on the road at UCLA in Olsen's third season. The UCLA-Arizona basketball rivalry is still seen as the match up of the two premier teams in the conference. Also, the performance of the two schools influences the national opinion of the conference. California Coach Mike Montgomery has stated, "...If those two are not good, the conference is not perceived as being good. People don't give credit to the schools across the board in the league." Since the mid-1980s, Arizona has also had a basketball rivalry with UCLA, as the two schools competed for the Pac-10 Championship every year. Since 1985 the two teams have combined to win 24 out of the 34 conference titles. The UCLA-Arizona basketball rivalry still is seen as the match up of the two premier teams in the conference. Also, the performance of the two schools influences the national opinion of the conference.
The most recent matchup came during the 2021 season, where UCLA beat Arizona 74-60. Arizona Wildcats trailed the all-time series lead by UCLA with 61-44.
|Team||Arizona Record||First Meeting||Latest Result||Home Record||Away Record||Neutral Record||Notes|
|Arizona State (in-state)||155-86 (.643)||Dec 13, 1913 (Arizona 41-17)||Jan 25, 2020 (Arizona 80-67)||90-30 (.750)||64-55 (.538)||1-1 (.500)||Arizona-Arizona State|
|UCLA||44-61 (.419)||Feb 19, 1923 (UCLA 43-30)||Feb 18, 2021 (UCLA 70-60)||25-18 (.581)||14-36 (.280)||5-7 (.417)||Arizona-UCLA|
|Total||199-147 (.575)||1913||Present||115-48 (.706)||78-91 (.462)||6-8 (.429)||N/A|
Arizona also has intense rivalries with the in-state Grand Canyon and Northern Arizona. As well as out-of-state rivalries, including Kansas, Duke, San Diego State and Gonzaga.
|Team||Arizona Record||First Meeting||Latest Result||Home Record||Away Record||Neutral Record|
|BYU||20-19 (.513)||Dec 1, 1951 (BYU 68-62)||Dec 11, 2010 (BYU 87-65)||15-4 (.789)||4-14 (.222)||1-1 (.500)|
|Colorado||21-15 (.583)||Dec 2, 1960 (Colorado 82-72)||Feb 6, 2021 (Colorado 82-79)||12-3 (.800)||3-11 (.214)||6-1 (.857)|
|Duke||5-4 (.556)||Dec 16, 1961 (Duke 78-47)||Nov 29, 2013 (Arizona 72-66)||2-0 (1.000)||0-1 (.000)||3-3 (.500)|
|Gonzaga||6-4 (.667)||Nov. 29, 2000 (Arizona 101-87)||Dec 14, 2019 (Gonzaga 84-80)||2-1 (.667)||1-0 (1.000)||3-3 (.500)|
|Grand Canyon (in-state)||5-0 (1.000)||January 6, 1978 (Arizona 78-66)||December 14, 2016 (Arizona 64-54)||5-0 (1.000)||0-0 (-)||0-0 (-)|
|Illinois||9-6 (.600)||Dec 27, 1966 (Illinois 93-77)||Nov 10, 2019 (Arizona 90-69)||4-0 (1.000)||0-3 (.000)||5-3 (.625)|
|Kansas||4-8 (.333)||Dec 31, 1979 (Kansas 78-60)||Nov 27, 2010 (Kansas 87-79)||1-2 (.333)||1-2 (.333)||2-4 (.333)|
|Michigan||8-2 (.800)||Dec 30, 1957 (Michigan 88-76)||Dec 13, 2014 (Arizona 80-53)||2-1 (.667)||1-1 (.500)||5-0 (1.000)|
|Michigan State||5-2 (.714)||Jan 2, 1947 (Arizona 45-43)||Nov. 11, 2016 (Arizona 65-63)||2-0 (1.000)||1-1 (.500)||2-1 (.667)|
|New Mexico||85-42 (.669)||Feb 1, 1917 (New Mexico 28-19)||Dec 16, 2017 (Arizona 89-73)||53-9 (.855)||31-32 (.492)||1-1 (.500)|
|North Carolina||3-4 (.429)||Dec 28, 1948 (North Carolina 60-49)||Jan 27, 2007 (North Carolina 92-64)||0-1 (.000)||0-1 (.000)||3-2 (.600)|
|Northern Arizona (in-state)||100-27 (.787)||February 10, 1919 (NAU 37-32)||Dec 7, 2020 (Arizona 96-53)||70-6 (.921)||30-21 (.588)||0-0 (-)|
|San Diego State||24-7 (.774)||Dec 27, 1945 (Arizona 46-44)||Nov 26, 2014 (Arizona 61-59)||14-2 (.875)||7-5 (.583)||3-0 (1.000)|
|Texas Tech||24-28 (.462)||Jan 15, 1934 (Texas Tech 33-29)||Dec 3, 2013 (Arizona 79-58)||17-9 (.654)||5-18 (.217)||2-1 (.667)|
|UNLV||9-12 (.429)||Dec 28, 1972 (UNLV 65-64)||Dec 2, 2017 (Arizona 91-88 OT)||6-2 (.750)||2-8 (.200)||1-2 (.333)|
|Utah||34-30 (.531)||Dec 21, 1953 (Utah 65-57)||Feb 4, 2021 (Utah 78-53)||21-8 (.724)||11-21 (.344)||3-1 (.750)|
|UTEP||63-30 (.677)||Feb 2, 1920 (Arizona 24-15)||Dec 12, 2020 (Arizona 69-61)||39-8 (.830)||23-22 (.511)||1-0 (1.000)|
|Wisconsin||2-5 (.286)||Dec 3, 1962 (Arizona 51-46)||March 28, 2015 (Wisconsin 85-78)||0-0 (-)||1-0 (.609)||1-5 (.167)|
|Total||425-245 (.634)||1919||Present||264-56 (.825)||119-161 (.425)||42-28 (.600)|
|Name||NBA team||Seasons as Wildcat||Post-Wildcat accomplishment|
|Andre Iguodala||Miami Heat||2002-04||3x NBA champion (2015, 2017, 2018), NBA Finals MVP, United States - 2012 Summer Olympics - Gold medal, NBA All-Rookie Team, NBA All-star, 2x NBA All-Defensive Team, NBA Dunk Contest participant (2006)|
|Solomon Hill||Atlanta Hawks||2009-13|
|Aaron Gordon||Denver Nuggets||2013-14||3x NBA Dunk Contest participant (2016, 2017 & 2020)|
|Rondae Hollis-Jefferson||Portland Trail Blazers||2013-15|
|Stanley Johnson||Toronto Raptors||2014-15|
|T. J. McConnell||Indiana Pacers||2013-15|
|Lauri Markkanen||Chicago Bulls||2016-17||NBA All-Rookie 1st Team (2018)|
|Deandre Ayton||Phoenix Suns||2017-18||First Arizona Wildcat to be selected 1st overall, NBA All-Rookie 1st Team (2019)|
|Josh Green||Dallas Mavericks||2019-20|
|Zeke Nnaji||Denver Nuggets||2019-20|
|Nico Mannion||Golden State Warriors||2019-20||Currently on a two-way contract with the Golden State & the Santa Cruz Warriors|
|Name||NBA team||Seasons as Wildcat||Post-Wildcat accomplishment|
|Brandon Ashley||NBA G League Ignite||2012-15|
|Allonzo Trier||Iowa Wolves||2015-18|
|Kobi Simmons||Greensboro Swarm||2016-17|
Source: Arizona 2020-21 Media Guide
Current non-NBA professional players
13 different NBA championships have been won by 13 Wildcats players. Since the NBA draft was shortened to two rounds in 1989, 43 Arizona players have been selected. Former Wildcats have had successful NBA careers, totaling over $1.4 billion in total contracts through the 2019-2020 NBA season
|Morris Udall||...||...||1948||Denver Nuggets (NBL)|
|Lincoln Richmond||...||...||1948||Fort Wayne Pistons|
|Leon Blevins||7||79||1950||Indianapolis Olympians|
|Leo Johnson||5||44||1951||Ft. Wayne Pistons|
|Roger Johnson||...||...||1952||Milwaukee Hawks|
|Ernie McCray||17||95||1960||Cincinnati Royals|
|Warren Rustand||4||31||1965||San Francisco Warriors|
|Bill Davis||12||160||1968||Phoenix Suns|
|Michael Foster||...||...||1970||Indiana Pacers (ABA)|
|Tom Lee||9||147||1971||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Eddie Myers||10||160||1971||Baltimore Bullets (ABA)|
|Bill Warner||11||170||1971||Buffalo Braves (ABA)|
|Bruce Anderson||7||101||1972||Detroit Pistons|
|Eric Money||2||33||1974||Detroit Pistons (ABA)|
|Coniel Norman||3||37||1974||Philadelphia 76ers (ABA)|
|Al Fleming||2||30||1976||Phoenix Suns|
|James Rappis||5||77||1976||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Bob Elliott||2||42||1977||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Herman Harris||2||43||1977||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Jerome Gladney||8||164||1977||San Antonio Spurs|
|Phil Taylor||10||198||1978||Denver Nuggets|
|Larry Demic||1||9||1979||New York Knicks|
|Joe Nehls||7||152||1980||Houston Rockets|
|Ron Davis||4||79||1981||Washington Bullets|
|Robbie Dosty||6||148||1981||Golden State Warriors|
|Frank Smith||8||177||1983||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Leon Wood||1||10||1984||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Pete Williams||4||89||1985||Denver Nuggets|
|Eddie Smith||7||158||1985||Denver Nuggets|
|Tom Tolbert||2||34||1988||Charlotte Hornets|
|Steve Kerr||2||50||1988||Phoenix Suns|
|Sean Elliott||1||3||1989||San Antonio Spurs|
|Anthony Cook||1||24||1989||Phoenix Suns|
|Jud Buechler||2||38||1990||Seattle SuperSonics|
|Brian Williams||1||10||1991||Orlando Magic|
|Sean Rooks||2||30||1992||Dallas Mavericks|
|Chris Mills||1||22||1993||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Ed Stokes||2||35||1993||Miami Heat|
|Khalid Reeves||1||12||1994||Miami Heat|
|Damon Stoudamire||1||7||1995||Toronto Raptors|
|Joseph Blair||2||35||1996||Seattle SuperSonics|
|Ben Davis||2||43||1996||Phoenix Suns|
|Reggie Geary||2||56||1996||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Mike Bibby||1||2||1998||Vancouver Grizzlies|
|Michael Dickerson||1||14||1998||Houston Rockets|
|Miles Simon||2||42||1998||Orlando Magic|
|Jason Terry||1||10||1999||Atlanta Hawks|
|A. J. Bramlett||2||39||1999||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Richard Jefferson||1||13||2001||Houston Rockets|
|Gilbert Arenas||2||31||2001||Golden State Warriors|
|Michael Wright||2||39||2001||New York Knicks|
|Loren Woods||2||46||2001||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Luke Walton||2||32||2003||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Andre Iguodala||1||9||2004||Philadelphia 76ers|
|Channing Frye||1||8||2005||New York Knicks|
|Salim Stoudamire||2||31||2005||Atlanta Hawks|
|Hassan Adams||2||54||2006||New Jersey Nets|
|Marcus Williams||2||33||2007||San Antonio Spurs|
|Jerryd Bayless||1||11||2008||Indiana Pacers|
|Jordan Hill||1||8||2009||New York Knicks|
|Chase Budinger||2||44||2009||Detroit Pistons|
|Derrick Williams||1||2||2011||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Solomon Hill||1||23||2013||Indiana Pacers|
|Grant Jerrett||2||40||2013||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Aaron Gordon||1||4||2014||Orlando Magic|
|Nick Johnson||2||42||2014||Houston Rockets|
|Stanley Johnson||1||8||2015||Detroit Pistons|
|Rondae Hollis-Jefferson||1||23||2015||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Lauri Markkanen||1||7||2017||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Kadeem Allen||2||53||2017||Boston Celtics|
|Deandre Ayton||1||1||2018||Phoenix Suns|
|Josh Green||1||18||2020||Dallas Mavericks|
|Zeke Nnaji||1||22||2020||Denver Nuggets|
|Nico Mannion||2||48||2020||Golden State Warriors|
Source: Arizona 2020-21 Media Guide )
|Wildcats in the NBA|
|NBA Draft Selections|
|Lottery Picks in Draft:||17|
|No. 1 Picks:||1|
|Olympic Gold Medal Winners:||2 (Wood '84, Iguodala '12)|
|Olympic Bronze Medal Winners:||1 (Jefferson '04)|
|NBA champions:||9 players a total of 18 times, 6 Coaches a total of 10 times|
A Total of 28 NBA championships have been won by 13 former Wildcats, consisting of 13 different finals years (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2020). 5 of the last 6 championship teams have had a former Wildcat as a player and/or coaching staff member on the team.
Former Wildcats have played in 17 of the last 26 finals.
|Player (College Years)||Finals Year||Team|
|Andre Iguodala (2002-04)|
|Steve Kerr (1983-88)|
|Luke Walton (1999-03)|
|Richard Jefferson (1998-01)|
|Jud Buechler (1986-90)|
Chicago Bulls (3)
|Channing Frye (2001-05)|
|Jason Terry (1995-99)|
|Mike Bibby (1996-98)|
|Ben Davis (1994-96)|
|Bison Dele (1988-91)|
|Sean Elliott (1984-89)|
|Al Fleming (1972-76)|
|Solomon Hill (2009-13)|
|Derrick Williams (2009-11)|
|Coach (College Years)||Finals Year||Team|
|Steve Kerr (1983-88)|
|Bruce Fraser (1984-87)|
|Luke Walton (1999-03)|
|Bret Brielmaier (2004-08)|
|Quinton Crawford (2011-13)|
|Miles Simon (1994-98)|
The following Arizona Wildcats men's basketball players have represented their country in basketball in the Summer Olympics:
The individual honors, awards, and accomplishments listed in the succeeding subsections are aggregated by player in the following table. Players with only all-conference honors (other than conference player of the year), lower than first-team All-America honors, or later than second-round draft positions are not included.
|Name||Seasons as Wildcat||Post-Wildcat accomplishment|
|Deandre Ayton||2017-18||First Wildcat selected 1st Overall, NBA All-Rookie First Team|
|Gilbert Arenas||1999-01||3-time NBA All-Star, NBA Most Improved Player Award, 2-time NBA 3 Point Contest participant(2006 & 2007)|
|Mike Bibby||1996-98||NBA All-Rookie First Team, 2-time NBA 3 Point Contest participant(2000 & 2009)|
|Jud Buechler||1986-90||3-time NBA champion, 11 NBA seasons|
|Bison Dele (Brian Williams)||1989-90||NBA champion, 7 NBA seasons|
|Sean Elliott||1985-89||2-time NBA All-Star, NBA champion, 12 NBA seasons|
|Channing Frye||2001-05||NBA champion, NBA All-Rookie First Team, 1-time NBA 3 Point Contest participant(2010), 15 NBA seasons|
|Andre Iguodala||2002-04||3x NBA champion, NBA Finals MVP, NBA All-Star, NBA All-Defensive First Team, NBA All-Defensive Second Team, NBA All-Rookie First Team, NBA Rookie Challenge MVP, United States - 2012 Summer Olympics - Gold Medal, 16 NBA seasons|
|Richard Jefferson||1998-01||NBA champion, NBA All-Rookie Second Team, United States - 2004 Summer Olympics - Bronze Medal, 18 NBA Seasons|
|Steve Kerr||1983-88||5x NBA champion as Player, 3x NBA champion as Coach, 4-time NBA 3 Point Contest participant & 1-time winner(1994-1997), 2016 NBA Coach of the Year, 2015 NBA All-Star Game Head Coach, Current Head Coach of the Golden State Warriors, all-time leader in 3 Point FG %|
|Kenny Lofton||1985-89||6-time MLB All Star, 4-time Gold Glove Award, 17 MLB seasons|
|Eric Money||1972-74||456. Slam the 500 Greatest NBA Players of All-Time|
|Damon Stoudamire||1991-95||NBA Rookie of the Year Award, NBA All-Rookie First Team, 13 NBA seasons|
|Jason Terry||1995-99||NBA champion, NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, NBA All-Rookie Second Team, 18 NBA seasons - All-time leading scorer of Arizona players in NBA, 5th most made 3pt Field Goals all time, 10th in Games played|
|Mo Udall||1941-42, 46-48||Former member U.S. Congress (30 years)|
|Leon Wood||1979-80||United States - 1984 Summer Olympics - Gold medal, 7 NBA seasons|
Source: Arizona 2020-21 Media Guide
National honors and awards (Players)
NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player
Frank Hessler Award
Julius Erving Award
Karl Malone Award
Conference honors and awards (players)
Conference tournament most valuable player
Arizona has had 30 All-Americans, 8 of which have been Consensus First-Team.
Fourteen Arizona players have received AP All-America honorable mention:
The following 27 McDonald's All-Americans listed below have signed with Arizona. An asterisk, "*", Indicates player did not finish his college career at Arizona. A cross, "+", indicates player did not begin his college career at Arizona.
The following is a list of Arizona Wildcats men's basketball players that were named first, second or third team All-Pac-12:
First team All-Pac-12
Note ? indicates player was Pac-12 Player of the Year ++ indicates player was Pac-12 Freshman of the Year + indicates player was Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year
Second team All-Pac-12
Second team was only awarded from the '77-79' & starting again in the 2007 season.
Third team All-Pac-12
Pac-12 3rd team was only given during the 2007-2008 season.
Pac-12 All Freshman Team
Pac-12 All Newcomer
Pac-12 All-Defensive Team
Pac-12 All-Academic Team
Wildcats in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Coaching honors and awards (Coaches)
Arizona's Ring of Honor
A total of 29 Wildcats have earned entry into McKale Center's Ring of Honor, the display of names that begins in the southeast corner of the building's rafters. In order to join this elite group, players must meet at least one of the following six criteria: 1.) First-team All-America recognition by one or more of the major national organizations or media; 2.) Major national "player of distinction," i.e. the Wooden Award or other honor of significance; 3.) Pac-12 Player of the Year or Pac-12 Freshman of the Year; 4.) Arizona career leader in three or more major positive career categories at the conclusion of his collegiate career and must hold the career record for a minimum of five years (excluding single-game records); 5.) Ten or more years of experience in the NBA or selection as an All-Star or an All-Pro; 6.) Olympic medalist
To have his number retired, a player must win one of the following six widely recognized player of the year awards:
|Arizona Wildcats retired numbers|
Though the automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament is given to the conference tournament winner, the Pac-12 declares the team with the best record in the regular season the "official" conference champion.
UA has won the Pac-10/12 Tournament a record seven times, including three straight times from 1988 to 1990. The Wildcats have played in the tournament final a record 11 times. UA also has a record 8 tournament MVP's. Salim Stoudamire is 1 of only 2 players to win the MVP from a losing squad.
|1988||Arizona||93-67||Oregon State||McKale Center||Tucson, Arizona||Sean Elliott, Arizona|
|1989||Arizona||73-51||Stanford||Great Western Forum||Inglewood, California||Sean Elliott, Arizona|
|1990||Arizona||94-78||UCLA||University Activity Center||Tempe, Arizona||Jud Buechler & Matt Muehlebach, Arizona|
|2002||Arizona||81-71||USC||Staples Center||Los Angeles, California||Luke Walton, Arizona|
|2005||Washington||81-72||Arizona||Staples Center||Los Angeles, California||Salim Stoudamire, Arizona|
|2011||Washington||77-75OT||Arizona||Staples Center||Los Angeles, California||Isaiah Thomas, Washington|
|2012||Colorado||53-51||Arizona||Staples Center||Los Angeles, California||Carlon Brown, Colorado|
|2014||UCLA||75-71||Arizona||MGM Grand Garden Arena||Paradise, Nevada||Kyle Anderson, UCLA|
|2015||Arizona||80-52||Oregon||MGM Grand Garden Arena||Paradise, Nevada||Brandon Ashley, Arizona|
|2017||Arizona||83-80||Oregon||T-Mobile Arena||Paradise, Nevada||Allonzo Trier, Arizona|
|2018||Arizona||75-61||USC||T-Mobile Arena||Paradise, Nevada||Deandre Ayton, Arizona|
The University of Arizona has made 35 NCAA Tournament appearances (two other appearances in 1999 and 2008 were later vacated by the NCAA, 35 total), beginning with the first in 1951 and were the National Champions in 1997. Including a run of 25 consecutive years from 1985 to 2009, which is second only to the North Carolina Tar Heel's 27-year streak from 1975 to 2001. Their combined record is 56-33 (.629), including one national championship (1997) and 4 Final Fours (1988, 1994, 1997, 2001). Arizona is also one of only seven #2 seeds to ever lose a first-round game, losing 64-61 to #15 seed Santa Clara, led by future NBA star Steve Nash in 1993. In addition, the 1997 Arizona team is the only team to date to beat three #1 seeds to win the national championship. They have currently made the tournament 6 straight seasons.
|2018 - 4 Seed|
|#13 Buffalo||L||68-89||Taco Bell Arena||Boise, Idaho||First Round|
|2017 - 2 Seed - Sweet 16|
|#15 North Dakota||W||100-82||Vivint Smart Home Arena||Salt Lake City, Utah||First Round|
|#7 St. Mary's||W||69-60||Vivint Smart Home Arena||Salt Lake City, Utah||Second Round|
|#11 Xavier||L||71-73||SAP Center||San Jose, California||Regional Semifinals|
|2016 - 6 Seed|
|#11 Wichita State||L||55-65||Dunkin' Donuts Center||Providence, Rhode Island||First Round|
|2015 - 2 Seed - Elite 8|
|#15 Texas Southern||W||93-72||Moda Center||Portland, Oregon||First Round|
|#10 Ohio State||W||73-58||Moda Center||Portland, Oregon||Second Round|
|#6 Xavier||W||68-60||Staples Center||Los Angeles||Regional Semifinals|
|#1 Wisconsin||L||78-85||Staples Center||Los Angeles||Regional Finals|
|2014 - 1 Seed - Elite 8|
|#16 Weber State||W||68-59||Viejas Arena||San Diego||First Round|
|#8 Gonzaga||W||84-61||Viejas Arena||San Diego||Second Round|
|#4 San Diego State||W||70-64||Honda Center||Anaheim, California||Regional Semifinals|
|#2 Wisconsin||L||63-64 OT||Honda Center||Anaheim, California||Regional Finals|
|2013 - 6 Seed - Sweet 16|
|#11 Belmont||W||81-64||Vivint Smart Home Arena||Salt Lake City||First Round|
|#14 Harvard||W||74-51||Vivint Smart Home Arena||Salt Lake City||Second Round|
|#2 Ohio State||L||70-73||Staples Center||Los Angeles||Regional Semifinals|
|2011 - 5 Seed - Elite 8|
|#12 Memphis||W||77-75||BOK Center||Tulsa, Oklahoma||First Round|
|#4 Texas||W||70-69||BOK Center||Tulsa, Oklahoma||Second Round|
|#1 Duke||W||93-77||Honda Center||Anaheim, California||Regional Semifinals|
|#3 Connecticut||L||63-65||Honda Center||Anaheim, California||Regional Finals|
|2009 - 12 Seed - Sweet 16|
|#5 Utah||W||84-71||American Airlines Arena||Miami||First Round|
|#13 Cleveland State||W||81-57||American Airlines Arena||Miami||Second Round|
|#1 Louisville||L||64-103||Lucas Oil Stadium||Indianapolis||Regional Semifinals|
|2008 - 10 Seed|
|#7 West Virginia||L||65-75||Verizon Center||Washington, D.C.||First Round|
|2007 - 8 Seed|
|#9 Purdue||L||63-72||Smoothie King Center||New Orleans, Louisiana||First Round|
|2006 - 8 Seed|
|#9 Wisconsin||W||94-75||Wells Fargo Center||Philadelphia||First Round|
|#1 Villanova||L||78-82||Wells Fargo Center||Philadelphia||Second Round|
|2005 - 3 Seed - Elite 8|
|#14 Utah State||W||66-53||Taco Bell Arena||Boise, Idaho||First Round|
|#11 UAB||W||85-63||Taco Bell Arena||Boise, Idaho||Second Round|
|#2 Oklahoma State||W||79-78||Allstate Arena||Rosemont, Illinois||Regional Semifinals|
|#1 Illinois||L||89-90 OT||Allstate Arena||Rosemont, Illinois||Regional Finals|
|2004 - 9 Seed|
|#8 Seton Hall||L||76-80||PNC Arena||Raleigh, North Carolina||First Round|
|2003 - 1 Seed - Elite 8|
|#16 Vermont||W||80-51||Vivint Smart Home Arena||Salt Lake City||First Round|
|#9 Gonzaga||W||96-95 2OT||Vivint Smart Home Arena||Salt Lake City||Second Round|
|#5 Notre Dame||W||88-71||Honda Center||Anaheim, California||Regional Semifinals|
|#2 Kansas||L||75-78||Honda Center||Anaheim, California||Regional Finals|
|2002 - 3 Seed - Sweet 16|
|#14 UC-Santa Barbara||W||86-81||WisePies Arena||Albuquerque, New Mexico||First Round|
|#11 Wyoming||W||80-68||WisePies Arena||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Second Round|
|#2 Oklahoma||L||67-88||SAP Center||San Jose, California||Regional Semifinals|
|2001 - 2 Seed - National Runner-Up|
|#15 Eastern Illinois||W||101-76||Kemper Arena||Kansas City, Missouri||First Round|
|#10 Butler||W||73-52||Kemper Arena||Kansas City, Missouri||Second Round|
|#3 Ole Miss||W||66-56||Alamodome||San Antonio||Regional Semifinals|
|#1 Illinois||W||87-81||Alamodome||San Antonio||Regional Finals|
|#1 Michigan State||W||80-61||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||Minneapolis||National Semifinals|
|#1 Duke||L||72-82||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||Minneapolis||National Championship Game|
|2000 - 1 Seed|
|#16 Jackson State||W||71-47||Jon M. Huntsman Center||Salt Lake City||First Round|
|#8 Wisconsin||L||59-66||Jon M. Huntsman Center||Salt Lake City||Second Round|
|1999 - 4 Seed|
|#13 Oklahoma||L||60-61||Bradley Center||Milwaukee||First Round|
|1998 - 1 Seed - Elite 8|
|#16 Nicholls State||W||99-60||Sleep Train Arena||Sacramento, California||First Round|
|#9 Illinois State||W||82-49||Sleep Train Arena||Sacramento, California||Second Round|
|#4 Maryland||W||87-79||Honda Center||Anaheim, California||Regional Semifinals|
|#3 Utah||L||51-76||Honda Center||Anaheim, California||Regional Finals|
|1997 - 4 Seed - NATIONAL CHAMPIONS|
|#13 South Alabama||W||65-57||Memphis Pyramid||Memphis, Tennessee||First Round|
|#12 College of Charleston||W||73-69||Memphis Pyramid||Memphis, Tennessee||Second Round|
|#1 Kansas||W||85-82 2OT||BJCC Arena||Birmingham, Alabama||Regional Semifinals|
|#10 Providence||W||96-92 2OT||BJCC Arena||Birmingham, Alabama||Regional Finals|
|#1 North Carolina||W||65-58||RCA Dome||Indianapolis||National Semifinals|
|#1 Kentucky||W||84-79 OT||RCA Dome||Indianapolis||National Championship Game|
|1996 - 3 Seed - Sweet 16|
|#14 Valparaíso||W||90-51||Wells Fargo Arena||Tempe, Arizona||First Round|
|#6 Iowa||W||87-73||Wells Fargo Arena||Tempe, Arizona||Second Round|
|#2 Kansas||L||80-83||McNichols Sports Arena||Denver||Regional Semifinals|
|1995 - 5 seed|
|#12 Miami-OH||L||82-91||UD Arena||Dayton, Ohio||First Round|
|1994 - 2 Seed - Final Four|
|#15 Loyola-MD||W||81-55||Sleep Train Arena||Sacramento, California||First Round|
|#7 Virginia||W||71-58||Sleep Train Arena||Sacramento, California||Second Round|
|#3 Louisville||W||82-70||Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena||Los Angeles||Regional Semifinals|
|#1 Missouri||W||92-72||Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena||Los Angeles||Regional Finals|
|#1 Arkansas||L||82-91||Charlotte Coliseum||Charlotte, North Carolina||National Semifinal|
|1993 2 seed|
|#15 Santa Clara||L||61-64||Jon M. Huntsman Center||Salt Lake City||First Round|
|1992 3 seed|
|#14 East Tennessee State||L||80-87||Omni Coliseum||Atlanta||First Round|
|1991 - 2 Seed - Sweet 16|
|#15 St. Francis-PA||W||93-80||Jon M. Huntsman Center||Salt Lake City||First Round|
|#10 BYU||W||76-61||Jon M. Huntsman Center||Salt Lake City||Second Round|
|#3 Seton Hall||L||69-84||Kingdome||Seattle||Regional Semifinals|
|1990 - 2 Seed|
|#15 South Florida||W||79-67||Long Beach Arena||Long Beach, California||First Round|
|#7 Alabama||L||55-77||Long Beach Arena||Long Beach, California||Second Round|
|1989 - 1 Seed - Sweet 16|
|#16 Robert Morris||W||94-60||Taco Bell Arena||Boise, Idaho||First Round|
|#9 Clemson||W||94-68||Taco Bell Arena||Boise, Idaho||Second Round|
|#4 UNLV||L||67-68||McNichols Sports Arena||Denver||Regional Semifinals|
|1988 - 1 Seed - Final Four|
|#16 Cornell||W||90-50||Pauley Pavilion||Los Angeles||First Round|
|#8 Seton Hall||W||84-55||Pauley Pavilion||Los Angeles||Second Round|
|#5 Iowa||W||99-79||Kingdome||Seattle||Regional Semifinals|
|#2 North Carolina||W||70-52||Kingdome||Seattle||Regional Finals|
|#1 Oklahoma||L||78-86||Kemper Arena||Kansas City, Missouri||National Semifinal|
|1987 - 10 Seed|
|#7 UTEP||L||91-98||McKale Center||Tucson, Arizona||First Round|
|1986 - 9 Seed|
|#8 Auburn||L||63-73||Long Beach Arena||Long Beach, California||First Round|
|1985 - 10 Seed|
|#7 Alabama||L||41-50||WisePies Arena||Albuquerque, New Mexico||First Round|
|Southern Illinois||L||77-81||Omaha Civic Auditorium||Omaha, Nebraska||First Round|
|1976 - Elite 8|
|Georgetown||W||83-76||Wells Fargo Arena||Tempe, Arizona||First Round|
|UNLV||W||114-109||Pauley Pavilion||Los Angeles||Regional Semifinals|
|UCLA||L||66-82||Pauley Pavilion||Los Angeles||Regional Finals|
|Kansas State||L||59-61||Municipal Auditorium||Kansas City, Missouri||First Round|
|1997||Lute Olson||Kentucky Wildcats||84-79 OT||25-9|
|Round #1||#13 South Alabama||65-57|
|Round #2||#12 College of Charleston||73-69|
|Sweet 16||#1 Kansas||85-82|
|Elite 8||#10 Providence||96-92 (OT)|
|Final 4||#1 North Carolina||66-58|
|Championship||#1 Kentucky||84-79 (OT)|
The Arizona Wildcats have been to four Final Fours, which is tied for 21st all time among Division I schools.
The Arizona Wildcats have appeared in the four National Invitation Tournaments (NIT). Arizona's combined record is 0-4.
|1946||First Round||Kentucky||L 53-77|
|1950||First Round||La Salle||L 66-72|
|1951||First Round||Dayton||L 68-74|
|2012||First Round||Bucknell||L 54-65|
Arizona can also lay claim to several individual achievements for both players and coaches:
Arizona also holds several other NCAA records and various additional accomplishments:
Note ? indicates player was also Conference record holder
Note ? indicates player was also Conference record holder
Note + indicates player was also the Yearly Pac-12 Leader
Note ? indicates player was is also single game record holder
^Played at Bear Down Gym
The Arizona Wildcats lead the all-time series regardless of conference affiliation vs. ten other Pac-12 opponents, trailing only UCLA.
|Arizona St.||155||85||(.646)||Arizona 2|
|Oregon St.||68||22||(.756)||Arizona 3|
|Washington State||68||17||(.800)||Arizona 4|
Arizona joined the former Pac-8 conference in 1978 to create the Pac-10 conference with rival Arizona State. Utah and Colorado joined the Pac-10 in 2011 to create the present Pac-12. Arizona has a winning home record over every conference opponent since joining the conference. Arizona has an overall winning record over every conference opponent other than UCLA. Since Lute Olson became head coach in 1983, Arizona has a winning record over all 11 conference opponents. Sean Miller had winning records against 9 of the 11 opponents.
|Team||Arizona Record||Home Record||Away Record||Conference Tourny||Lute Olson's Record||Sean Miller's Record||Tommy Lloyd's Record|
|Arizona State||61-29 (.678)||34-10 (.773)||26-18 (.591)||1-1 (.500)||43-11 (.796)||17-7 (.708)||0-0 (-)|
|Cal||67-19 (.779)||35-6 (.854)||28-13 (.683)||4-0 (1.000)||44-11 (.800)||17-4 (.810)||0-0 (-)|
|Colorado (2011-Pres)||16-7 (.696)||9-0 (1.000)||2-6 (.250)||5-1 (.833)||0-0 (-)||16-6 (.727)||0-0 (-)|
|Oregon||51-36 (.586)||30-11 (.732)||19-22 (.463)||2-3 (.400)||38-16 (.704)||10-13 (.435)||0-0 (-)|
|Oregon State||66-22 (.750)||35-6 (.854)||25-16 (.610)||6-0 (1.000)||49-7 (.875)||17-5 (.773)||0-0 (-)|
|Stanford||64-24 (.727)||33-8 (.805)||27-15 (.643)||4-1 (.800)||37-20 (.649)||19-2 (.905)||0-0 (-)|
|UCLA||42-50 (.457)||24-17 (.585)||13-28 (.317)||5-5 (.500)||29-26 (.527)||12-15 (.444)||0-0 (-)|
|USC||58-30 (.659)||34-7 (.829)||19-22 (.463)||5-1 (.833)||40-15 (.727)||15-8 (.652)||0-0 (-)|
|Utah (2011-Pres)||14-3 (.824)||8-0 (1.000)||5-3 (.625)||1-0 (1.000)||0-0 (-)||14-3 (.824)||0-0 (-)|
|Washington||55-31 (.640)||32-9 (.780)||22-19 (.537)||1-3 (.250)||37-17 (.685)||14-8 (.636)||0-0 (-)|
|Washington State||67-16 (.807)||33-8 (.805)||33-8 (.805)||1-0 (1.000)||47-6 (.887)||17-3 (.850)||0-0 (-)|
|Total||561-267 (.678)||307-81 (.791)||219-170 (.563)||35-15 (.700)||364-129 (.738)||168-74 (.694)||0-0 (-)|
Arizona teams have spent a total of 37 weeks ranked number 1, most recently in 2015.
The Associated Press began its basketball poll on January 20, 1949. The following is a summary of those annual polls. Starting in the 1961-62 season, AP provided a preseason (PS) poll. AP did a post-tournament poll in 1953, 1954, 1974 and 1975. The following table summarizes Arizona history in the AP Poll:
The Wildcats all-time record versus ranked teams is 149-185 (.446).
|No. 1||4-4||3/26/05||Illinois||L||89-90 (ot)|
|No. 7||7-7||12/5/17||Texas A&M||W||67-64|
|No. 9||10-7||1/9/20||Oregon||L||73-74 (ot)|
|No. 12||2-6||11/12/16||Michigan State||W||65-63|
|No. 14||2-9||2/22/20||Oregon||L||72-73 (ot)|
|No. 15||6-4||11/26/14||San Diego State||W||61-59|
|No. 22||4-1||3/18/17||Saint Mary's||W||69-60|
|No. 23||5-5||5 2/14/16||USC||W||86-78|
|No. 25||7-5||2/15/18||Arizona State||W||77-70|
Arizona plays its home games at McKale Center, located on the campus in Tucson, Arizona. Since moving into the McKale Center in 1973 the Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team has experienced a high winning percentage with an outstanding home court advantage.
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