By Arlie Rahn
Arizona Daily Wildcat March 10, 1997
UA men headed south for 1st-round gameLike the spirit of Elvis, the Arizona men's basketball team will be alive and well in Memphis, Tenn., when they face South Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Being swept by the Bay Area schools, including a 79-77 loss to California on Saturday, did not seem to hurt the Wildcats' seeding, which was announced yesterday. Arizona will enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed in the Southeast Region.
"I was thinking that if we won two on the road, we might be a three seed. But, I didn't know what two losses would do," UA coach Lute Olson said. "I think a lot of other teams had tough losses on neutral sites this weekend and that helped us."
The Wildcats will be facing a South Alabama team that is famous for slowing down the tempo.
Arizona and South Alabama do have one thing in common as their respective coaches once faced each other in the Big Ten when Olson was at Iowa and Bill Musselman was at Minnesota.
Arizona's non-conference wins over East Region top-seed North Carolina and West Region two-seed Utah were probably large factors in helping to offset the fact that the Wildcats went .500 in their last eight games.
Five conference teams made the Tournament.
"I was real pleased for the conference. I think that this shows the toughness of the competition this year," Olson said. "I don't see one team going in from the Pac-10 that doesn't have a chance to make some noise in the tournament."