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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA players talk about loss

    MARCH 20, 1990 – On paper, the University of Arizona basketball team probably should have gone further than the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

    The Wildcats were picked by NBC to win the national championship and ESPN spent a day building up the “”Tucson Skyline”” – 6-11 Brian Williams, 6-11 Sean Rooks and 7-0 Ed Stokes – as one of the top front lines in America. Arizona overcame an early season slump to claim a co-championship of the Pacific 10 Conference and win the last Pac-10 Tournament.

    But college basketball is not played on paper, as is evidenced by the University of Alabama’s 77-55 win over the Wildcats Sunday in Long Beach, Calif. Arizona finishes the season 25-7 and failed in its attempt to make the Sweet 16 for a third consecutive year.

    “”As far as we’re concerned, I’m a little frustrated things didn’t work out,”” UA junior guard Matt Muehlebach said in a press conference after the game. Muehlebach and sophomore center Sean Rooks fielded questions from about 100 members of the press for about 10 minutes, then joined their teammates in the locker room where faces of disbelief, sadness and frustration were visible.

    “”I think to myself after the game that maybe there was something I could have done better,”” said senior Jud Buechler – who along with seniors Harvey Mason and Brian David played their last game for the UA.

    The players said they couldn’t point to one thing, but most agreed something just wasn’t right over the weekend. The Wildcats had to overcome a seven-point deficit to defeat 15th-seed University of Florida Friday, and the only time Arizona led against Alabama was after one minute when Muehlebach hit a three-pointer to put the Wildcats up 3-2.

    “”I don’t know why (we didn’t play better),”” Muehlebach said. “”Definitely, against (South) Florida, we didn’t play to our potential. I don’t know why. It’s just something that’s really frustrating.””

    “”For me, this is awful,”” Buechler said. “”And Harvey and Brian (also). Maybe the younger guys can learn from something like this.””

    Muehlebach said he had a gut feeling the Wildcats would face the University of Loyola Marymount somewhere in the tournament.

    Now the Wildcats will have to watch the Crimson Tide take on Loyola Friday and play in any games they would have played in, wondering what went wrong. “”The young guys should learn from this feeling,”” Muehlebach said. “”I remember this feeling from last year

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