As mentioned in the Miles Simon interview Thursday, the 1997 Arizona Wildcats are the only team to knock off three No. 1 seeds en route to the National title.
Could Louisville – which beat a No. 1 seed, Michigan State, last night, duplicate that feat?
The Cardinals lost three of four to end the regular season and finished 7th in the Big East … then went on to win the Big East tournament. In 1997, Arizona finished fifth in the Pac-10 (11-7).
Other quirky nuggets:
* 1997 Arizona won its first game by eight over South Alabama, then beat College of Charleston by four
* 2012 Louisville won its first game by seven over Davidson, then beat New Mexico by three
* 1997 Arizona was led by the terrific guard trio of Miles Simon, Mike Bibby and Mike Dickerson (plus Jason Terry was coming off the bench); they had a solid big man in AJ Bramlett.
* 2012 Louisville is led by the terrific guard trio of Kyle Kuric, Peyton Siva and Chris Smith (plus Russ Smith is coming off the bench); they have a solid big man in Gorgui Dieng (seven blocks against Michigan State).
[Strangely, those four players are near clones of each other, except Bibby was better than Siva, and Dieng is better than Bramlett.]
* 1997 Arizona defeated North Carolina in the Final 4, then Kentucky (in overtime) in the title game.
* 2012 Louisville could play Kentucky in the Final 4, then North Carolina in the title game.
Quasi-fun fact: In 1997, Arizona beat Providence in the regional final to get to the Final Four. In 2012, Louisville will play Florida in the regional final. Florida’s coach – Billy Donovan. He was a player on Providence in 1987 when the Friars went to the Final Four.
If you’re curious, Louisville is a 1-point underdog against Florida Saturday. I really like the Cardinal in a 60-57 slobberknocker.