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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcats grab 8-seed; Wisconsin first on plate

    Arizonas Chris Rodgers drives around UCLAs Cedric Bozeman during the second half of Arizonas semi-final Pac-10 Tournament game against UCLA, Friday, March 10, 2006 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. UCLA beat Arizona 71-59. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)
    Chris Coduto
    Arizona’s Chris Rodgers drives around UCLA’s Cedric Bozeman during the second half of Arizona’s semi-final Pac-10 Tournament game against UCLA, Friday, March 10, 2006 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. UCLA beat Arizona 71-59. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)

    The Arizona men’s basketball team continued its NCAA record of 22 years as a participant in the NCAA Tournament after the committee selected the Wildcats as an eighth seed Sunday.

    Arizona (19-12) will face No. 9 Wisconsin (19-11) on Friday at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia with the time to be announced.

    Head coach Lute Olson addressed the media after the NCAA bracket was announced, and said that Wisconsin is a team he has seen on television some this year and knows that the Badgers will play more physical than Arizona.

    “”I’ve seen them a couple of times on TV, but when you watch on TV you don’t watch how things match-up with guys,”” Olson said. “”They’re still a half-court-oriented team; they’re not a team that goes up and down a lot.””

    Wisconsin is a team that averaged 72.0 points a game to Arizona’s 72.9, with 6-foot-5 forward Alando Tucker leading the team in scoring during the regular season with 19.3 points per game.

    Olson said that even though the Big Ten conference compares differently to the Pacific 10, the Badgers most resemble California, a team Arizona split with during the regular season.

    “”Probably the closest one I can think of is California,”” Olson said. “”Their guards are good three-point shooters, they’re best player is a forward that is not as physical as (California forward) Leon Powe, but our league is an up-tempo league so it’s pretty hard to find somebody that (compares).””

    Olson said that even though there was talk of the Wildcats getting left out of the big dance, he never lost hope that they would be included in the top 65.

    “”You always sweat out who you’re going to play and where you’re going to play, but that’s the only anxiety. There was no way they were going to leave us out with our non-conference schedule,”” Olson said.

    Olson also commented that he continuing his streak to 22 straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament helps for recruiting.

    “”I think it’s an important streak to keep going,”” he said. “”It’s nice to go into recruiting and say we were in that tournament before you were born, so keeping that streak going is important.””

    Probably the happiest Wildcat player is junior guard Mustafa Shakur, who is a Philadelphia native.

    “”I think (Shakur) will be very excited about that,”” Olson said. “”They key thing is making sure he doesn’t change the way he’s playing but I don’t think he will.””

    Arizona already scheduled a practice for Sunday night, mostly to get senior guard Hassan Adams back in game-shape since his two-game suspension for being arrested for suspicion of drunk driving.

    “”We’ll work out tonight and that is primarily to get Hassan back in the swing of things,”” Olson said.

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