Tickets On Sale Saturday For Southwest Showdown At AWA Dec. 4

Oct. 18, 2001

Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, America West Arena and the Arizona Republic are teaming to host the Southwest Showdown on Dec. 4, 2001, a college basketball doubleheader featuring Arizona, Illinois, Arizona State and Utah.

Arizona will face Illinois in the first game at 6 p.m. MST while Arizona State will take on Utah in the second game at 8:30 p.m. Both games will be televised by Fox Sports Net.

Tickets for the event go on sale on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m. and can be bought at the America West Arena box office, all ticketmaster locations or charge by phone at 480-784-4444 or 520-321-1000. The prices, good for both games, are $45 for the lower level, $25 for the upper level on the sides and $15 for the upper level at the ends.

Tickets are also available online at

Arizona State and Utah have met twice in the past decade, with Utah winning a 65-48 game in the 1998 Maui Invitational and also winning a NIT game in Tempe in 1992.

ASU is 1-1 at America West Arena, as the Sun Devils beat UNLV in 1998-99 but fell to Boston College in 1993-94.

'We are extremely excited about our game with Utah and the atmosphere of the doubleheader,' says ASU head coach Rob Evans. 'The Phoenix Suns and America West Arena always do a great job and we are looking forward to working with them again.'

'I'm excited about the opportunity to play in Arizona and at America West Arena. It is an excellent venue,' says Utah coach Rick Majerus. 'Arizona State has been building this team for the past couple of years and I know they're anticipating a breakthrough season, and deservedly so given their talent and the coaching ability of Rob Evans. There's no question that Evans' teams come to play defensively. We're going to face a very fine team.'

The Arizona-Illinois game is a rematch of last year's NCAA Midwest Regional Final, which UA won 87-81. The teams also met twice during the 2000-2001 season, as Arizona won in the Maui Invitational 79-76 but fell at Illinois 81-73.

'The fans in the Phoenix area have always given us great support,' says Arizona coach Lute Olson. 'We're looking forward to the doubleheader in America West Arena. It should be a great night of basketball featuring four outstanding programs.'

'It should be a great night of basketball with four very good teams,' says Illinois head coach Bill Self, who was on the same Oklahoma State staff with Rob Evans. 'We've seen plenty of a good Arizona team that ended our season last year, but we're looking forward to another matchup with the Wildcats. Fans will get a treat with a doubleheader featuring Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Illinois in the same night.'

America West Arena and Arizona State will host the NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional for the second time on March 25-27, 2004. America West Arena, built in 1992 and home of the Phoenix Suns, and Arizona State hosted the event on March18-20, 1999, when eventual NCAA champion Connecticut beat Iowa 87-68 and then topped Gonzaga 67-62 in the regional final. The Iowa-UCONN game was the final one for Dr. Tom Davis at Iowa while Gonzaga also beat Florida 73-72 on a last-second shot.

The four teams will come from subregionals held March 18-20 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo., and Key Arena in Seattle, Wash. The Final Four will be held in San Antonio on April 3-5.

Arizona State has served as a university host on eight occasions as the University Activity Center (now Wells Fargo Arena) hosted first-round games in 1975, 1976 and 1978 and then hosted first- and second-round games 1980, 1992 and 1996.

The West subregionals will be held at University Arena in Albuquerque, N.M., and at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif., on March 14-16 next year. The 2002 West Regional will be held at the San Jose Arena on March 21-23.

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