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Arizona Women’s Basketball is back in the NCAA Tournament

Posted at 10:05 PM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 01:05:01-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona Women’s Basketball will open up the 2021 NCAA Tournament by playing Stony Brook, in the first round, in San Antonio.

It’s the Wildcats first trip to the Tournament since 2005, and it was a long time in the making. The program’s turnaround can be traced to the 2016 hiring of head coach Adia Barnes, who’s the Wildcat program’s all-time leading scorer.

“I chose Arizona twice,” Barnes has said repeatedly at news conferences.

Pac-12 Player of the Year Aari McDonald, who Barnes once recruited to Washington, ended up following her to Arizona. With the recruitment of McDonald’s All-American Cate Reese, as well as Sam Thomas, the Wildcats built a core that has taken them from Pac-12 cellar dweller, to national contender.

There have been successes along the way, like the 2019 WNIT title, but there was also this year’s bout with COVID-19, forcing the cancellation of multiple games.

In this half hour digital-only special, we “Bang the Drum” with the Wildcat Women’s Basketball program.