Arizona's sports teams are called the Wildcats. They participate in the NCAA's Division
I-A and in the Pacific Ten Conference; the men's
basketball team is often a contender in the NCAA championships.The University mascot is named Wilbur the Wildcat. The identity of Wilbur is kept
secret through the year as the mascot appears only in costume. In 1986 Wilbur married his longtime wildcat girlfriend, Wilma.
Together Wilbur and Wilma appear along with the cheerleading squad at most
Wildcat sporting events.A strong academic and athletic rivalry exists between the University of Arizona and Arizona State University located in Tempe.The basketball team has been successful since Lute Olsen was hired as head coach in 1982. Since then, the team has had 18 consecutive 20-win seasons, and has only had one
losing-season. The basketball team also holds the record for NCAA Basketball Tournament appearances (64), as well as the record
for Final Four appearances. The team has been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 20 years, which is the longest active and
second-longest streak in NCAA history (University of North Carolina, 27). In 1997, Arizona beat
the defending-champion University of Kentucky to win
the NCAA Basketball Tournament.The football team was somewhat successful in the 90's under head coach Dick Tomey and his "Desert Swarm defense" that was characterized by tough, hard-nosed tactics. In 1998, the team posted a school-record 12-1 season and made the Holiday Bowl in which they defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Arizona ended the season ranked #3 nationally and #2 in several
publications.The baseball team won several national championships in the 80's (1976, 1980, and
1986) and the softball team is typically
ranked as one of the best in the nation. The softball team has won 6 Women's
College World Series titles, in 1991, 1993,
1994, 1996, 1997, and 2001.