We are running a bit late as it took quite awhile for us to get our bill after dinner.
We walk into McKale just in time to see one of the twins on the women's team dunk. It was a legit dunk at that.
Joan Bonvicini boasts that the team will have "low promises and high results". She then says she has a "great team". I would hate to see what a "high promise" would be.
I am told that the only thing we missed was the introductions of the women's team. After that they begin the autograph session and the rest of McKale Madness comes to a screeching halt.
The cheerleaders come out, giving some entertainment for those who are not getting autographs. Their routine is a little rough, you can tell it is the preseason for them as well.
I just realized that there is no host this year. No Tom Arnold, no guy from Extreme Dodgeball, not even the guy from Entertainment Tonight who used to be on ESPN and Fox Sports.
The band stops playing and now we have a D.J. spinning records. Nothing like bad club music to fire a crowd up.
The players are still signing autographs.
The cheerleaders throw t-shirts into the crowd. It is the most (only) energy since the girl dunked.
Everybody love t-shirts…especially free t-shirts.
Mercifully, the autograph session ends.
The player introductions begin. Nic Wise is first, he comes out and heads right to the scorer's table to salute the crowd.
Chase Budinger comes out with a beach towel and sunglasses.
David Bagga comes out and quickly sheds his shirt. He flexes for the crowd before doing a series of push-ups.
Before the seniors are introduced, we are treated to a really well done movie trailer spoof. They make fun of "Snakes on a Plane", giving us "Cats on a Court".
The seniors descend from the upper deck, not the corner locker room area. Kirk Walters hits the hardwood and does the worm. It is far better than the one he attempted a few years back.
While Lute is addressing the crowd, the Zona Zoo starts chanting "Final Four".
I suddenly feel old as Lute reminds us this year is the 10th anniversary of the national championship.
After a brief warm-up the men and women team up for the two-ball competition. Ironically enough, the p.a. announcer keeps having to remind the teams that they are only using one ball.
Nic Wise and Jessica Arnold knock down six three pointers in a row.
I just realize that it is Nic and Jessica on one of the teams. I did not pick up on it right away. I guess I need to read more "People Magazine".
Marcus Williams' team and Nic's team tie after a 60 second final. They will play 30 seconds more.
Williams sinks a 10-point, half court shot to ice the event.
The dunk contest is about to start. Your judges tonight are Kirk Walters, Ivan Radenovic, Wilbur, Linda Pace and a fan who won a contest.
David Bagga throws down his first attempt, but fails to make another dunk.
Mohamed Tangara goes between his legs and off the backboard for his first dunk. He then tries to showcase his soccer skills by kicking the ball off the backboard. He can't get a handle on the rebound after two kicks and settles for a hard slam.
Jordan Hill throws down his first two dunks, including a 360 Statue Of Liberty. He still has time and dunks one more time for good measure.
Fendi Onobun and Chase Budinger advance to the finals with impressive dunks. I though Onobun was just a tad better, but Budinger wins the first round 50-49.
For his first dunk attempt Onobun asks J.P. Prince to throw him a lob pass from the bench. The first attempt actually goes in the basket. Onobun is not able to make a dunk in the allotted 30 seconds and Budinger has the upper hand.
Budinger makes his next two dunks and wins the contest, despite a 49-point dunk from Onobun.
The event will conclude with a 20-minute scrimmage. It will be the underclassmen (Tangara, Wise, Williams, Onobun and Budinger) against the upperclassmen (Radenovic, Brielmaier, Shakur, McClellan and Dillon)
From here on out the entries will be done with the game clock, not the time.
Budinger scores the first five points. He nails a three and adds two free throws.
Budinger with the follow. He has scored the first seven for the underclassmen. They lead 7-2.
McClellan with the steal and dunk. It is good to see Jawann on the floor again.
Tangara nails a 14-footer. That is something we have not seen much of from MoTang. Is this a sign of things to come?
Wise and Williams misconnect on an inbounds pass. Wise tracks down the ball and sticks a long three. Wildcat fans are going to love this kid.
Hills shows off his athleticism as he scores on the drive to the hoop.
Marcus Williams draws the foul and sinks the free throw. It is his second "and one" three-point play in three possessions.
Shakur with a sweet pull-up jumper. The Cats would love to see that from him this season.
At that point the underclassmen led 22-17. The upperclassmen tied the game up at 26 but the underclassmen pulled away and won the scrimmage 51-44.
Final Stats (courtesy of Arizona Sports Information)
M. Williams 16
C. Budinger 12
N. Wise 6
J. Hill 6
F. Onobun 2
J. McClellan 12
I. Radenovic 11
M. Shakur 9
B. Brielmeier 6
D. Dillon 3
F. Onobun* 3
*Played on both teams