Javier Morales took first place in the 2010 Arizona Press Club’s Metro Sports Reporting category
1987-88 Arizona Wildcats (35-3)
–Beat North Carolina 70-52 in the West Regional Final; lost to Oklahoma 86-78 in the Final Four. To note: The Wildcats of 1987-88 continue to hold school records for victories (35), points in a season (3,234), average margin of victory (22.9 points), field goals made (1,147), field-goal percentage (54.5 percent), three-point field-goal percentage (48.3), fewest foul-outs (only six), and fewest blocked shots by opponents (only 1.4 a game).
1993-94 Arizona Wildcats (29-6)
–Beat Missouri 92-72 in the West Regional Final; lost to Arkansas 91-82 in the Final Four. To note: The Wildcats made a school-record 279 three-pointers, which was broken last season by the 2010-11 club, which made 296. Starting backcourt Damon Stoudamire and Khalid Reeves combined for 1,487 points (an average of 42.5 points a game).
First Round Arizona Elite Eight Event Matchups:
>> Poll: 1987-1988 versus 2010-2011. Story: TucsonCitizen.com analysis
>> Poll: 1993-1994 versus 2004-2005. Story: TucsonCitizen.com analysis
>> Poll: 1996-1997 versus 2002-2003. Story: TucsonCitizen.com analysis
>> Poll: 1975-1976 versus 2000-2001. Story: TucsonCitizen.com analysis
EDITOR NOTE: The following is a fictional depiction of what could occur between the 1987-88 and 1993-94 teams.
VOTE ON HOW YOU FEEL THIS GAME STORY SHOULD END AT WILDABOUTAZCATS.NET!!!
A couple of minutes after the thrilling finish of the 1996-97 vs. 2000-01 semifinal (still to be determined) of the Arizona Elite Eight Event, the next two legendary Wildcat teams took the court at McKale Center and the lights from the rafters shook from the noise.
The scene at McKale conjured memories from when Arizona swept USC and UCLA for the first time in the arena in the 1978-79 season, the Wildcats’ first in the Pac-10 with Fred Snowden as coach. This was like Arizona beating Duke in 1987 or again in 1991 in double-overtime at McKale, multiplied.
You thought the roar at McKale Center after Derrick Williams’ game-saving block against Washington last season was deafening?
Drunk with emotion from the classic finish that just transpired between the 1996-97 and 2000-01 teams, Arizona’s fans were immediately treated to the sight of the program’s best player — Sean Elliott of the 1987-88 team — preparing to face the Wildcats’ best backcourt in history — Damon Stoudamire and Khalid Reeves of the 1993-94 team.
The voice of the late Roger Sedlmayr, the arena’s former public-address announcer, was played when Steve Kerr of the 1987-88 team went to midcourt during the introductions of the starting lineups. The crowd’s imitation of Sedlymayr’s “Steeeeeve Kerrrrrr” announcement could be heard on Cherry Avenue a block away.