Utah Utes basketball: Utes, Wildcats have long history

first_img Related The Utah and Arizona basketball teams, which will meet Friday night in a first-round NCAA game in Miami, have a long history against each other dating back 56 years.Since that first meeting in 1953, the two teams have played 48 times with the series has certainly having its ups and downs.The last time the two teams met in December of 2005, the Wildcats laid the worst whipping on a Ute team ever at the Huntsman Center with a 73-43 crushing. On the other hand, Ute fans will never forget the 1998 NCAA West Region final when the Utes upset the heavily-favored Wildcats 76-53 behind Andre Miller’s triple-double.Of course it will be different players on the floor when the Utes and Wildcats meet at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.The Wildcats have had a roller-coaster season, which ended with a quarterfinal loss to Arizona State in the Pac-10 tournament. With a 19-13 overall record, the Wildcats were one of the last two teams to receive an at-large bid, along with Wisconsin, based on their No. 12 seeds.The Wildcats rely primarily on three players, all juniors.Jordan Hill, a 6-10 forward, leads the team in scoring (18.5 ppg) and rebounding (11.0 ppg), while Chase Budinger, a 6-7 forward, averages 17.9 ppg and 6.3 rebounds. Nic Wise, a 5-10 point guard, scored 15.1 points per game and leads the team in assists with 4.5 per game.Arizona, which finished with a 9-9 league mark, played two Mountain West Conference opponents this year, beating San Diego State 69-56 and losing to UNLV 79-64. They also defeated Weber State 71-65 and Gonzaga 69-64, two other Ute opponents.During the Pac-10 season, they won six in a row before losing four straight and five of their last six.Arizona is coached by Russ Pennell, who took over for Lute Olson this year. The Wildcats lead the country with 25 straight NCAA appearances.”It’s a big-time program, a Pac-10 school — we’ve played a lot of Pac-10 schools since we’ve been here,” said Ute coach Jim Boylen. “We’ll have some familiarity with each other just because of location They’re a very talented team and they’ve played good basketball all year. It should be a great matchup.What Arizona is saying:”We were surprised. I was looking down when the thing thing came up and the guys just went crazy. They were flying around the room, jumping on chairs and tables. The buzz was so loud and incredible that it took about five minutes for me to find out who we were playing, where and when we were playing. I honestly didnt know.” — Arizona coach Russ PennellE-MAIL: sor@desnews.com Time to Dance: Utes No. 5 seedlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>