Men's Basketball Game Notes

March 12, 2004

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Date: Friday, March 12, 2004
Time: approx. 8:45 p.m. PST
Location: Staples Center (19,282), Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)

MOVING ON: No. 21 Arizona advanced to the semifinals of the 2004 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament with a 79-76win over USC in Thursday's fourth quarterfinal. Mustafa Shakur's three-pointer at the buzzer ended what was a very entertaining game that saw eight ties and 12 lead changes. It is Arizona's fifth semifinal appearance in seven Pac-10 Tournament appearances.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Arizona has a Pac-10-best 13-2 (.867) record in its seventh conference postseason tournament. No other league school has as many wins (13) or tournament championships (4/1988, '89, '90, 2002) as do the Wildcats. Prior to last season's quarterfinal loss to UCLA, UA had won 12 consecutive Pac-10 Tournament games. Additionally, this season's No. 3 seed is the lowest for UA in tournament history.

FEELING BLUE: Friday's semifinal vs. second-seeded Washington (18-10, 12-6 Pac-10) marks the first time in Arizona's Pac-10 Tournament history in which it will play as the lower seed. The Wildcats will wear its blue uniforms for the first time in this its 16th conference tournament game.

THE SERIES: Friday's game marks the 54th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 36-17 series advantage. The Wildcats have won eight of the last 10 meetings in the series, but the Huskies swept a pair from the Cats during the regular season. See page 127 in the UA media guide for more series information.

THIRD TIME A CHARM: Arizona needs a win against Washington Friday to avoid losing three games in one season to the Huskies, who defeated Arizona 96-83 on Jan. 29 and 89-84 on Feb. 26. A quick glance at the UA record book shows the last time a team defeated Arizona three times in a season came in 1939 when Arizona State turned the trick.

ON THE GLASS: Bolstered by Hassan Adams' career-high-equaling 14 rebounds, Arizona grabbed 50 rebounds en route to a 50-48 rebound edge. The 50 rebounds by Arizona was its third-highest total this season, topped only by its efforts in the first two games of the season (62 vs. Northern Arizona and 54 vs. Florida).

STREAKING: Shakur's buzzer beater Thursday gave the Wildcats its 20th win of the season (20-8), marking the 17th consecutive year in which the Wildcats have won at least 20 games. UA's 17 straight seasons with 20 or more wins is the longest active streak in the country.

IN FRONT OF THE HOME FOLKS: Hassan Adams' 21 points and 14 rebounds Thursday vs. USC in his hometown of Los Angeles marked sixth double-double of the season and just the seventh for UA in Pac-10 Tournament history. His 14 rebounds Thursday equaled a UA Pac-10 Tournament single-game record set last season by Rick Anderson.

MAYBE IT'S THE LIGHTS: Arizona entered the tournament leading the Pac-10 with a .488 field goal percentage and proceeded to shoot just 39. 7 percent (23-of-58). It marked just the fifth time this season that Arizona has failed to shoot 40 percent or better from the floor. The good news is that the Cats managed to win for only second time when accomplishing that dubious distinction. Additionally, Arizona managed to outshoot USC, 39.7-36.3, which improved the UA record to 18-2 when shooting better than the opposition.

FROM THE LINE: The Wildcats, who ranked second nationally with a 77.9 (444-of-570) free throw percentage, knocked down 28-of-36 (.778) of its attempts in Thursday's win. All told, Arizona had a 28-12 free throw advantage in the win.

BETTER THAN LAST YEAR: Mustafa Shakur's heroics saved the Wildcats from suffering a second consecutive first round defeat. Last year in its quarterfinal game with UCLA, Jason Gardner missed a shot at the buzzer that would have won the game, which UCLA captured, 96-89, in overtime.

UP NEXT: A win vaults the Wildcats into Saturday's championship game against the Stanford/Oregon winner at 3:30 p.m. PST. A loss sends the team back to Tucson in anticipation of the NCAA Tournament selection announcement on Sunday, March 14.

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