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Monday, July 28, 2014 | Last updated: 3:22am

Staff picks: Spring Break/Tucson Festival of Books



Arizona’s finish in the Pac-12 Conference tournament
The Pac-12 tournament doesn’t really matter to the Wildcats on paper. However, this year they will win, and do so in dominant fashion because of the extra motivation. There’s no doubt Sean Miller and the Wildcats remember “he touched the ball” and the Ed Rush scandal. They’ll take their anger out on the Pac-12.
Champions

Arizona’s finish in the NCAA tournament
The Wildcats can definitely win it all, but their Achilles’ heels (offense and free-throw shooting) could be fatal. If the tournament was a best-of-seven series, Arizona would win no question, but years of watching the tourney have taught me two things: All basketball courts look the same, and the best team usually doesn’t win.
Final Four

Favorite sports book
It’s a bit outdated (it was published in 2000, which is saddening for an Arizona native since the Diamondbacks won it all in 2001), but reading “100 Years of Major League Baseball: American and National Leagues, 1901-2000” has become an annual tradition for me. It combines two of my favorite things: sports and history.
“100 Years of Major League Baseball”

— James Kelley

Arizona’s finish in the Pac-12 tournament
Arizona is taking the trophy home. I’m 99.9 percent sure it will. Arizona is the best defensive team in the Pac-12 and one of the nation’s best teams away from home, so I really think the Wildcats are more than capable of winning the whole thing.
Champions

Arizona’s finish in the NCAA tournament
Arizona will get to San Diego and win. Arizona will get to Anaheim and win there, too. The Final Four is where I’m concerned, but I think it can pull it off. The team has already achieved one of the goals it had — winning the Pac-12 championship — and it will win it all.
Champions

Favorite sports book
“Moneyball” is not only my favorite sports book but my favorite book overall. People consider it the “most influential baseball book ever,” and I have to agree. The moment I opened the book, I was hooked. I must say that the book is even better than the film itself.
“Moneyball”

—Rose Aly Valenzuela

Arizona’s finish in the Pac-12 tournament
Arizona wants redemption and will be working hard to win the Pac-12 tournament. With Pac-12 Player of the Year Nick Johnson, Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Aaron Gordon and Pac-12 Coach of the Year Sean Miller on their side, look for the Wildcats to erupt in Las Vegas all the way to the top.
Champions

Arizona’s finish in the NCAA tournament
The Wildcats only have three losses all season because of heart. Many doubted Arizona after the loss of Brandon Ashley. However, the heart of the team will drive it all the way to the Final Four, and the Wildcats will bring the trophy back to Tucson.

Your favorite sports book
Growing up, my mother and father would always read inspirational picture books to me. My favorite one will always be “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Not only does it feature some of the greatest illustrations in history, but it also is an inspirational tale of a tree just looking to change a little boy’s life. Although it has almost nothing to do with sports, I read it after every sporting event, as it taught me to always look at the positives of life, even after a loss.
“The Giving Tree”

—Matt Wall


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