The TucsonCitizen.com Arizona Wildcats Elite Eight Event is about to get underwayby Javier Morales on Dec. 28, 2011, under Sports
Javier Morales took first place in the 2010 Arizona Press Club’s Metro Sports Reporting category
Don’t forget: For all the links, Twitter feeds and news feeds related to Arizona and its opponents, go to Morales’ site WILDABOUTAZCATS.NET. No other Arizona sports Web site is like it!
In keeping with the spirit of the “Bear Down Leader” competition, the Arizona Elite Eight Event is upon us.
The Bear Down Leader was a bracket that I formulated a couple of years ago that pitted Arizona legends against each other in the form of a fan vote. Sean Elliott emerged the winner. Tedy Bruschi, Steve Kerr and Jennie Finch were part of the Final Four.
With this blog is a diagram that shows eight of the nine Elite Eight teams that represented Arizona in the NCAA tournament. One of the teams — the national championship 1996-97 squad — went to the Elite Eight the following year with the exact same roster. The 1997-98 Cats lost to Utah 76-51 in the Elite Eight so we will graciously omit that team from the bracket (they’re still represented in 1996-97 anyway).
The only other years players overwrap: In 2000-01 and 2002-03 with Jason Gardner as the starting point guard for each and Luke Walton a key reserve in ’00-01 and a starter in ’02-03, and in 2002-03 and 2004-05 with Salim Stoudamire and Channing Frye starting for both teams.
There is no scientific method for how the bracket was set up. It’s this simple: Four of these teams have won and advanced to the Final Four and four have not. The four that have won are pitted against the four that have lost. They are matched in this sequential order: The earliest to win an Elite Eight game (the 1987-88 team) is pitted against the most recent to lose one (last year’s team with Derrick Williams) and so on.
The winner of each bracket contest will be determined by a fan vote that will be conducted at my site WildAboutAZCats.net.
The competition will start shortly. Please stay tuned. For now, observe the bracket and formulate an opinion of who is the best Elite Eight team in Arizona history compared to the others.