Cats roll to the second round

It was the game Arizona fans have been waiting for. A roller coaster season gets prolonged by at least one game as the Wildcats played their best game of the season in a 94-75 win over Wisconsin.

The Cats scored on their first possession and never trailed in the contest.

Pressure defense and the most efficient offensive performance of the season spelled doom for the Badgers.

Ivan Radenovic paced the Wildcats in the first half and Hassan Adams was the story of the second half.

The junior forward was big on both offense and defense. His jumper was falling and he was a force in the middle. The Cats went with an untraditional man-to-man defense, with Radenovic as the key. The coaches matched him with big man Jason Chappell but had him stay in the paint when Chappell ventured out beyond the arc. Not only was he able to alter shots in the paint, but he also prevented the Badger wings from cutting to the hoop.

Offensively, Radenovic scored 18 points knocking down 8-12 shots.

Adams played just six minutes in the second half after picking up his second foul of the first half attempting to secure a loose ball at midcourt.

The second half was another story.

Adams scored 17 of his 21 points in the final 20 minutes, making a number of 19-foot jumpers. All told he was 10-of-14 from the field.

It was a nice homecoming for Philadelphia native Mustafa Shakur. Shakur played in control, yet aggressive. He scored 17 points and led the Wildcats to a 59.3% shooting night.

It was a milestone day for Lute Olson and the program. The team extended their streak of 20-win seasons. Lute Olson also passed Bobby Knight for third all-time in NCAA Tournament wins.

Arizona came out of the gate as if they were the team that preseason prognosticators had ranked eighth in the land. Thanks to 68% shooting, the Wildcats stormed out to a 35-12 lead. The Cats extended the defense and worked the ball inside. Ivan Radenovic scored six early points and Marcus Williams had two transition buckets off of steals. The Badgers made a push. Down as many as 24, Wisconsin rattled off a 15-2 run and the Wildcats' lead was down to 13.

Following a timeout the Cats scored seven straight. Ivan Radenovic and Mustafa Shakur sandwiched two buckets around a Chris Rodgers three and the Cats went back up 18.

Wisconsin finished the half strong, scoring eight of the final 10 points and trimmed the lead back down to 12 at the buzzer.

The Cats were hot to start the second half and built the lead back up to 20 points before coasting to the 19 point victory. The Cats made Wisconsin's leading scorer Alando Tucker work for his points. He finished with a respectable 19 points, but went 5-15 in doing so.

Arizona will face the winner of the Villanova/Monmouth game on Sunday.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories