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Entries in Arizona (2)


OGS Spotlight Game Of The Week: Iowa At Arizona

Picture of Adrian Clayborn

One Great Season

Just a couple weeks ago, I thought the Georgia Tech-North Carolina game would be the one to watch on the third weekend of the college football season. But it might be a minute before an ACC matchup again hogs the headlines.

Instead, I think the Iowa at Arizona tilt deserves the spotlight this week.

Offseason storylines about these squads included Adrian Clayborn and the stingy Hawkeyes' defense, as well as Nick Foles being one of many exciting PAC 10 quarterbacks to follow in 2010.

And that's exactly what will make this game a good one. Can Iowa pressure Foles? Can Arizona make some big plays?

Click to read more ...


No. 3: Kentucky vs. Arizona, 1997

Lute Olsen

Each Monday until the national championship is played in Indianapolis on April 5, One Great Season will count down the Top 10 National Championship games since 1979, when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson squared off in Salt Lake City. Today's No. 3 is the 1997 overtime thriller between Kentucky and Arizona in Indianapolis.

One Great Season

Living in Cincinnati in the 1990s, I found it easy to dislike Kentucky fans. Rick Pitino had the Wildcats on top of the college basketball world year after year it seemed.


+ No. 4: Syracuse vs. Indiana, 1987
+ No. 5: Kansas vs. Memphis, 2008
+ No. 6: Michigan vs. Seton Hall, 1989
+ No. 7: Syracuse vs. Kansas, 2003
+ No. 8: Georgetown vs. North Carolina, 1982
+ No. 9: Duke vs. Connecticut, 1999
+ No. 10: Indiana State vs. Michigan State, 1979

UK fans have long been regarded as some of the most obnoxious in college sports. Sure they support their team like no other fan base, but while a game takes typically two hours to play, the boasting is around the clock all year long.

So it wasn't difficult to enjoy watching Lute Olsen get that March monkey off his back by coaching Arizona to the national championship in 1997 at the expense of Big Blue. The championship game in Indianapolis was loaded with talent; Arizona had Miles Simon, Mike Bibby and Jason Terry, while Kentucky rolled people all season long with Ron Mercer, Scott Padgett, Anthony Epps and a deep bench that accounted for 30 points in the title game.

Epps made a three-pointer late in regulation to send the game into overtime, but once Arizona earned a slight margin, it held on by making free throws. In fact, all 10 of Arizona's points in the extra session came from the stripe, including Simon's four in the final 41 seconds to seal the 84-79 victory. Simon finished with 30 points in the final en route to being named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player.

It was an impressive March for Arizona, which became the first team to beat three No. 1 seeds in a tournament. Had the Catfight not gone Arizona's way, Kentucky might have been the first team to have won three straight titles since the UCLA dynasty of the 1960s and 70s. Pitino guided the Wildcats to the 1996 national championship and Tubby Smith led UK to the crown in 1998.