Sports Throwback Thursday: 1997 NCAA National Title Game

The 1997 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game between the Arizona Wildcats and Kentucky Wildcats at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

The Wildcats came into this game defending their crown. They won the previous year by defeating Syracuse. 

During the 1997 tournament, Kentucky beat the No. 1 Minnesota. As for Arizona, they beat No. 1 seed Kansas and North Carolina. The two wildcats had a solid roster on their squad. Arizona had Miles Simon, Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, and Jason Terry. Kentucky had Ron Mercer, Scott Padgett, and Nazr Mohammed. 

Arizona won 84-79 in overtime to win their first national championship. Miles Simon was named the Most Outstanding Player of the game. Mike Bibby added 19 points. 

Scott Padgett led Kentucky with 17 points. This game marked the last game of Rick Pitino’s head coach for Kentucky. 

Some of these players went on to play in the NBA. Mike Bibby had a solid NBA career and was part of the 2002 Sacramento Kings team that was one win away from going to the NBA Finals. Ron Mercer played for the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers. Nazr Mohammed and Michael Dickerson also played in the NBA. Jason Terry had a successful NBA career out of all of them. He won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, and he was their second-best player on the team. 

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