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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    1991: Season ends in painful loss

    March 22, 1991 — Seattle — In his first three years at the University of Arizona, Matt Muehlebach has ended the season with a loss, but has been able to take comfort that there was always a next year.

    But there is no next year for Muehlebach. Seton Hall saw to that with an 81-77 win over the Wildcats last night at the Kingdome.

    A career that began with a Final Four appearance ends with the realization that there will be no second chance.

    “”Sure, it’s a sad situation,”” Muehlebach said. “”But I thought I had four great years. I learned a lot and grew a lot and I spent time with some great people. I’d like to spend the rest of my life this way, in the limelight so to speak, but I can’t.””

    Muehlebach’s career ended rather inauspiciously, fouling out with 3.8 seconds left in desperation of somehow finding a way to defeat the Pirates. Whether it was against Oklahoma, UNLV, Alabama or Seton Hall, it still hurts.

    “”The end result feeling is all the same,”” Muehlebach said. “”You come out with an empty feeling and in a lot of ways, you wish had the whole game to play again. But that’s what makes the tournament so exciting.””

    Sean Rooks, who came in with Muehlebach but redshirted in 1988, said the feeling is becoming all too familiar.

    “”It’s like being numb,”” Rooks said. “”You get immune to the situation. It’s frustrating. You get to a certain point and then have to start all over.””

    What may make the loss even harder to swallow is knowing what was behind the tournament’s next door — UNLV.

    “”You can throw all that ‘Arizona is the team to beat’ stuff out the window because it doesn’t matter anymore,”” Rooks said. “”I’m biased because I’m an Arizona Wildcat, but I think we were the one team that could have beaten them.””

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