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Arizona Wildcats Basketball

Arizona Wildcats Basketball Tickets

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Arizona Wildcats Basketball

College: University of Arizona

Conference: Pac 12

Stadium: McKale Center (capacity 14,688)

Head Coach: Tommy Lloyd (2021-present)

2022-23 Regular Season Record: 28-7

2023 Postseason Record: (defeated 59-55 by the Princeton Tigers Basketball)

Legendary Alumni: Steve Kerr, Damon Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry

National Championships: 1 (1997)

Arizona Wildcats Basketball

In the eyes of most college basketball fans, the Arizona Wildcats were long a relatively unknown regional team until they suddenly soared into the collective national basketball consciousness in the early 1980s. Under the tenure of their legendary coach Lute Olson, the Wildcats began winning conference championships and this soon translated into the team becoming regular contenders in the NCAA postseason March Madness tournament. While they would only qualify three times before the 1980s, the Wildcats have since gone on to appear in March Madness a total of 37 times, progressing to the Sweet 16 on 20 occasions, the Elite 8 on 11, and the Final Four on 4. Those Final Four appearances have seen the team progress to two NCAA championship finals, defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 84-79 in a dramatic overtime victory in 1997 to win their first-ever NCAA championship before stumbling 82-72 at the hands of the Duke Blue Devils in 2001. Along with these team accolades successes as a team, the University of Arizona has been nicknamed Point Guard U in honor of the high number of top point guards from the Arizona Wildcats basketball program who have gone on to star in the NBA, including Steve Kerr, Damon Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves, Mike Bibby, and Jason Terry. Kerr in particular went on to become one of the most decorated NBA players and coaches of all time, winning 5 NBA titles as a player (including one with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1997 when he sunk a last minute title-winning shot) and 4 more as head coach of the Golden State Warriors (where he remains in the job to this day). In recent years, the Wildcats have returned to winning ways after a few humdrum seasons, winning the Pac 12 tournament in 2022 and 2023 and making a Sweet 16 in 2022. Last season, in 2023, the Wildcats were upset 59-55 in the first round of the March Madness tournament by the Princeton Tigers. Wildcats fans cannot have been happy with the upset, but the fact that it is considered an upset these days indicates how drastically the fortunes of the two teams have reversed since old times! Still, those devoted Wildcats fans will definitely be hoping for more in 2024. 

How can I get cheap tickets to Arizona Wildcats games?

The Arizona Wildcats play in McKale Memorial Center, most commonly known simply as McKale Center, in Arizona’s second largest city, Tucson. Due to their prominence over the past four decades and dramatic NCAA title in 1997, the Wildcats are a huge source of local pride and inspire fierce loyalty and devotion around Tucson and the surrounding area. Tickets can be difficult to come by, particularly for postseason tournament games, key conference deciders, or rivalry matchups (see below). To find the cheapest tickets to Arizona Wildcats games, search  through the TicketX listings on this page and use our helpful TicketX seating chart to compare prices and locations. You can purchase tickets from TicketX with just one click for the lowest commission fees! 

Arizona Wildcats Basketball Rivalries

While the Arizona Wildcats’ main local state rivals are the Arizona State Sun Devils, the matchup is generally considered to be a bit one-sided, which is fair given the Wildcats’ all-time record of 160-87 in the fixture. Pac 10 (now Pac 12) rivals UCLA Bruins provide a far more serious rivalry, with the two teams not only vying for conference honors nearly every season but also serving to inform national opinions of the strength of the conference based on their March Madness performances. While UCLA does lead the all time series 63-49, Arizona won the teams’ most recent meeting in January 2024 by a score of 77-71. The UCLA record Arizona really wants to overtake is the Bruins’ list of an NCAA-leading 11 championships. While the Wildcats might have 10 to go to even the score, they can take some solace in the face that their first championship (1997) is slightly more recent than the Bruins’ 11th (1995). 

Are Arizona Wildcats basketball games exciting?

Visitors to McKale Center will be amazed by the passionate zeal of the team’s basketball fans, who generally stand up for the entire game and cheer on their team along with the marching band, which surrounds the court in four separate groups to flood the venue with sound. The crowd and the band are well known for their many methods for distracting and taunting opposition players, including a rousing rendition of “Another One Bites the Dust” whenever an opposition player fouls out as well as chants of “Go start the bus!” if the Wildcats are winning by a lot.


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