NCAA® March Madness®

Season 1997 Episode 63

Kentucky vs. Arizona

Aired Thursday 12:00 PM Mar 31, 1997 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • Head Coaches:
      Kentucky: Rick Pitino
      Arizona: Luther Olson

    • Final Score
      Arizona 84 Kentucky 79 (OT)

    • Arizona Guard Miles Simon was named the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

      Joining Simon on the All-Tournament team were Mike Bibby (Arizona), Bobby Jackson (Minnesota) and Ron Mercer and Scott Padgett (Kentucky).

    • This was Arizona's first appearance in the National Championship game and their first national title.

      This was Kentucky's ninth appearance in the National Championship game.

    • The Arizona Wildcats became the first team in NCAA Tournament history to defeat three #1 seeds. They beat the West Region #1 seed Kentucky Wildcats in the Final, the East Region #1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels in the Semi-Final and the Southeast Region #1 seed Kansas Jayhawks in the Sweet 16.

  • Quotes

    • Arizona Coach Lute Olson: The whole thing we always talk about is the toughest team, mentally and physically, is going to win this basketball game. They've gone through three No. 1 seeds, and in every one of those cases, that was the point: 'Are we tough enough? Can we be the ones that run other people out of gas? Can we get the tough rebound down the stretch, when you're exhausted?'
      Arizona Coach Lute Olson: This was one, tough young group of Cats.

    • Kentucky Coach Rick Pitino: We didn't press for the first five and half minutes of the game, and if I had it to do over we wouldn't have pressed at all. We couldn't press this team. And Miles Simon, his up and under moves are so quick, so good. You see them on film, but to watch them in the game is another thing. That got them a lot of fouls.
      Kentucky Coach Rick Pitino: We don't have a first-place trophy, but I'm just as proud of this team as I was of last year's team. Maybe even more.

    • Arizona Guard Miles Simon: They kind of wore me down in the first half. I called for a sub three times. In the second half, after a mediocre first half, I just had to suck it up. I was able to get some easy shots and go to the free-throw line.

    • Kentucky Forward Ron Mercer: We didn't do a good enough job of handling their quickness, but I will credit them because they were prepared and had a plan and stuck with it. Every time I curled off a screen, they were there. Every time I tried to break loose, I had hand or a body to get around. They made it tough.

    • Kentucky Guard Anthony Epps: We played hard. Sometimes you can press and sometimes you can't and sometimes you foul and sometimes you don't. The penetration of their guards was the key. But it wasn't just the guards. They are quick on the front line, too. That team even has a quick bench.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

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