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Greatest Games: Nic Wise

September 17th, 2013 News No Comments

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Ezra Amacher

Our Greatest Games series is a look back at some of the most memorable single game performances by some of the best players in Arizona basketball history. Make sure to check PGU for the next installment.

From the fall of 2006 through the spring of 2010, about the only thing that stayed a constant in the McKale Center was the presence of Nic Wise. The point guard played under four coaches in his college career but held down the position that embodies Wildcats basketball. Thanks to Wise’s poise and leadership, those turbulent times that would have derailed most programs ended up resulting in moderate success and no lasting damage.

March 7, 2009, Arizona 101, Stanford 87
27 points (9-9 FG), 9 assists, 3 steals

After losing four consecutive Pac-10 match-ups in the closing weeks of the 2008-09 regular season, it seemed almost certain that The Streak would be snapped. But in the final home game of the year, Wise and Arizona lit up the scoreboard, shooting 70% and keeping whatever slim NCAA Tournaments hopes alive.

The junior point guard made all nine of his attempts from the field and scored 27 points. He also dished out a career high nine assists, which helped explain how Arizona shot such a high percentage. Chase Budinger was the biggest benefactor as he outscored Wise by one with a 28 point performance.

The Wildcats of course went on to extend The Streak to 25 and reach the Sweet 16, something no one could have predicted when Arizona was reeling off loss after loss in conference play.

March 6, 2010, Arizona 86, USC 84 (2OT)
15 points (5-10 FG), 6 rebounds, 4 assists

Nic Wise provided Arizona fans with many memorable moments his senior season but none top the game winner against USC on Senior Day.

After Kyle Fogg smoothly drained three game-tying free throws at the end of regulation, Arizona and USC interlocked in a possession for possession battle in overtime. One overtime wasn’t enough and it looked like two wouldn’t be either until Wise took the inbound pass from Solomon Hill with 12.7 seconds remaining.

Wise dribbled up the left side of the court, anticipating a screen that would allow him to find a hole to the lane. Derrick Williams provided one and Wise moved to the top of the arc. When the USC defender kept tight, Wise crossed over and slithered in between two Trojans, giving him an open look at the hoop.

Then, Wise changed hands and scooped a finger roll into the air. The ball gently tapped off the back rim and swished through the net, all to the raucous applause of a sold out McKale crowd.

With a second remaining, USC couldn’t get a good shot off.

Although Arizona failed to reach the NCAA Tournament, no moment better represented Wise’s time in Tucson than that final drive to the hoop, giving him a victory in his final game at McKale.

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