March 31, 1997: Arizona Basketball knocks off Kentucky to win the NCAA Championship

Lute Olson
Lute Olson / Brian Bahr/GettyImages
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Early rounds

Arizona was allotted the No. 4 seed in the Southeast Region and immediately got to work. The first foe was Sun Belt conference champion South Alabama, who was led by head coach Bill Musselman and entered the tournament with a 23-6 (17-4 in Sun Belt) record. The battle of the big cats saw the Wildcats send the Jaguars packing with a 65-57 loss.

The Round of 32 drew a surprisingly imposing No. 12 seed Charleston squad who only had two blemishes on their record to that point. The Trans America Athletic Conference champions entered the game against the Wildcats with a record of 29-2 (19-0 in TAAC), but left with a 29-3 record after Arizona escaped with a 73-69 win.