Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Arizona’s 1997 national championship team to be inducted into state’s Hall of Fame

Arizona coach Lute Olson celebrates after winning the 1997 NCAA title.
Photo by Brian Bahr, Getty Images

Arizona’s 1997 national championship basketball team won an on-line vote and will be inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.

The 1996-97 Wildcats, who knocked off three No. 1 seeds en route to the national title, have the honor of being the first team inducted into the state’s sports Hall of Fame.

They defeated Kentucky 84-79 in overtime in the championship game.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, fans voted for Arizona over the 2001 World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks.

Other teams nominated for on-line balloting were the 1975 Arizona State football team, the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns, the 1994 Arizona Rattlers, the 2007 Phoenix Mercury and the 2008-09 Arizona Cardinals.

Here is more from the Arizona Republic:

The national-champion Wildcats will be inducted March 31 along with football Hall of Famer Randall McDaniel, World champion rodeo cowboy Ty Murray, former Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling and 1996 Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug. The ceremony is at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino.

More than 2,000 votes were cast online in the team category. The 1997 UA men, under coach Lute Olson, beat three No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, including Kentucky in overtime, to win the title.

The Arizona Sports Hall of Fame is managed by the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission.

General admission tickets for the induction ceremony are $75. Information and tickets can be found at phoenixsports.org.

Search site | Terms of service