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Quick notes: What to know before No. 3 seed Arizona women’s basketball ends 16-year NCAA tournament drought

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Claudio Cerrillo | The Daily Wildcat

Aari McDonald prepares an offensive drive agaisnt TCU in McKale Center. The UA defeated TCU 59-53.

For the first time since 2005, the Arizona women’s basketball team heard their name called to play in the program’s eighth NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats were called as a No. 3 seed, ending a 16-year drought since Arizona has played in the tournament. The Wildcats will play No. 14 seed Stony Brook on Monday, March 22, at 11 a.m. MST. 

Several Wildcats earned Pac-12 honors

Arizona was well represented in the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball All-Conference honors. Aari McDonald led the pack winning the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Pac-12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year, All Pac-12 team and Pac-12 All Defensive Team. 

Sam Thomas was a part of the All Pac-12 Team, All Pac-12 Defensive Team and Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Cate Reese was a part of the All Pac-12 Team. Trinity Baptiste was named to the all Pac-12 honorable mention, and Lauren Ware was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention. 

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Arizona committed to Adia Barnes for the future

Head coach Adia Barnes signed an extension on Thursday, March 18, to coach the team through the 2025-2026 season. Barnes started her legacy at the University of Arizona as a star player on the team from 1994 to 1998 and was the first WNBA draft pick in program history.



Barnes led the Wildcats to a 16-5 record this season and the No. 3 seed in the tournament. That is the highest seeding since she was leading the team in her senior season in 1998.

“It means the world to me because it shows the commitment to women's basketball,” Barnes told Arizona Athletics. “I'm excited for my future at Arizona and it's just a great opportunity that [Dave Heeke] and President [Dr. Robert C.] Robbins gave me.”

Arizona opens up the first round against the 14-seed Stony Brook on Monday, March 22, at 11 a.m. MST. 


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Updated April 10, 2021