Lute Olson's squad was led by junior forward Sean Elliott and senior guard Steve Kerr. The Wildcats were deep too. Tom Tolbert, Anthony Cook and Jud Buechler would all go on to play in the NBA.
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Expectations were high in Tucson as the Arizona Wildcats entered the 1987-88 season ranked #17 in the AP Poll.
Arizona finished the regular season 31-2 boasting both the regular season Pac 10 championship and the Pac 10 Conference Tournament crown. The NCAA Tournament Committee rewarded their regular season dominance with a No. 1 seed in the West Region.
Two easy victories against No. 16 Cornell and No. 8 Seton Hall but Arizona in the Sweet 16. Waiting on them was B.J. Armstrong and the No. 5 seed Iowa Hawkeyes. After only leading by 4 at the half, Arizona blitzed the Hawkeyes in the 2nd half to cruise to a 20 point win.
North Carolina was the only thing standing between Arizona and their first ever trip to the Final Four. Elliott and Tolbert combined for 45 points to put the Tar Heels to bed, 70-52. Next stop, Kansas City.
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