Arizona Wildcats Basketball: How Today's Top 10 Songs Are in Unison with Arizona
The Arizona Wildcats' basketball program and today's chart-topping songs share a bond with each needing rhythm to produce a winning beat.
Renowned jazz musician Miles Davis once said, "For me, music and life are all about style". Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller could say the same thing about his basketball team and how the players conduct themselves on and off the court.
The style of teamwork and unselfishness they exhibit speaks—or maybe sings—volumes of their character and ability to handle challenges in every aspect.
Today's Top 10 songs, as listed by the iTunes Official Music Charts, each have a message that can be related to sports, including the Arizona Wildcats' basketball program.
The following slideshow ties together the lyrics of the popular songs and the soul of Arizona Wildcats basketball. The list reflects the latest ranking of the Top 10 hits.
No. 10: Timber: It's About to Go Down
"Timber (feat. Ke$ha)", Pitbull
With only three weekends remaining in the regular season, the Arizona Wildcats know it's about to go down.
They're yelling "Timber".
They better move. They better dance ... to be prepared for the “Big Dance.”
Arizona continues to have No. 1-seed potential in the NCAA tournament, but the Wildcats know every opponent will try their best to knock them off their perch in the Pac-12. They know it's about to go down.
No. 9: Let Her Go: Don't Let Light Burn Low
"Let Her Go", Passenger
This is the time of season when the Arizona Wildcats can reach their goals and experience the fruits of their labor.
The NCAA tournament is less than a month away. The Arizona Wildcats don't want to let her (the season) go without laying it on the line.
They have worked too hard and persevered through too much following the injury to starting forward Brandon Ashley. They don't want to know what it's like when the light is burning too low. They want to keep that light burning bright.
No. 8: Say Something ... No Giving Up
"Say Something", Christina Aguilera, A Great Big World
Communication is the key to any relationship, especially in sports where teammates must talk with each other and coaches maintain an open-door policy.
Saying something in terms of the Arizona Wildcats means keeping things loose by speaking up. Whether it's a leader like Nick Johnson or T.J. McConnell shouting assignments or the coaching staff offering constructive criticism to freshmen Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, communication is the key,
Given the leadership qualities of Johnson and McConnell and the way Sean Miller has kept the team close, there's no giving up on anybody with the Wildcats.
No. 7: Let It Go ... Let the Storm Rage on
"Let It Go", Idina Menzel
The best teams shut out the noise and let go of their inhibitions. What should matter most to the Arizona Wildcats is playing their style and operate full steam ahead without hesitation.
"I don't care what they're going to say," Menzel sings. "Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway."
With the fiery Sean Miller as coach, the Arizona Wildcats will not care what the naysayers will say. They will continue to show their resolve with their offensive execution in the wake of Brandon Ashley's season-ending injury. Pressure never bothered them anyway.
No. 6: The Man ... This Is Sean Miller's World
"The Man", Aloe Blacc
The best college basketball programs have "The Man", the leader, the figurehead who keep young talented players in tow and create a sense of worship from the fanbase.
Sean Miller is "The Man".
He coached Arizona to the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight in his first four seasons. In his fifth season this year, Miller coached the Wildcats to their first No. 1 ranking in 11 seasons and they stayed on top of the polls for eight straight weeks.
He has Arizona poised to be a high seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.
"It's time to do what must be done," Blacc sings. "Be a king when kingdom comes."
Miller, a solid recruiter and efficient with the X's and O's, has it in him to be just that ... "The Man".
No. 5: Pompeii ... Stay Proactive
Bastille's popular song about Pompeii symbolizes how society does not learn from its failures, and falls apart because of that ignorance.
Citizens of Pompeii perished because they failed to heed the warnings of Mount Vesuvius' gases, which signaled the volcano's pending explosion.
That relates to sports and the Arizona Wildcats this way: A team must learn from its experiences, good and bad. The coach must address the shortcomings to build confidence, not to paralyze the team with doubt and confusion.
Stubbornness can lead to discord and a lack of unity, which translates to a lack of production.
Sean Miller admitted recently that he must use his bench more to keep his primary rotation fresh. Not too many coaches would come forward to the media like that less than two weeks from March.
No. 4: All of Me ... Giving It Their All
"All of Me", John Legend
"Even when I lose I’m winning," Legend sings. "'Cause I give you all of me. And you give me all of you."
What better way to describe a strong relationship or impeccable teamwork?
Arizona has lost only twice to this point. In each last-second loss to Cal and ASU, the Wildcats battled through difficult elements and circumstances on the road and almost pulled off the victory.
Through the first 26 games of the season, no one can say the Wildcats lacked effort or desire. Arizona may not always execute well and it misses too many free throws, but the Wildcats' will to win never comes into question.
This team embodies the non-stop motor of freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and the confidence of Nick Johnson.
No. 3: Talk Dirty ... No, Don't
"Talk Dirty (feat. 2 Chainz)", Jason Derulo
How can a song like this tie into sports and the Arizona Wildcats?
It can't. The words dirty and basketball do not mix.
The best stab at it: Talking dirty can get a player in trouble. No need for that in a game or practice.
Just ask Josh Pastner, who suspended one of his players at Memphis because of profanity.
In the mantra of Lute Olson, keep it clean.
No. 2: Dark Horse ... No Going Back
"Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J)", Katy Perry
This song is all about commitment and not tempting fate once a person shows the desire to co-exist with another.
The same can be said of a recruit who comes on board with Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats. It also indicates the steadfast bond between the players and coaches and sticking to their goal of winning it all.
"Do you dare do this?" Perry asks in her song. "Because I'm coming at you like a dark horse. Are you ready for a perfect storm? Because once you're mine, there's no going back."
Arizona is by no means a dark horse having been ranked in the Top 5 most of the season. But the Wildcats can have the heart of a dark horse when it comes to sticking together and staying on course for Arlington, Texas, come early April.
No. 1: Happy ... Can't Nothing Bring Them Down
"Happy (from "Despicable Me 2")'', Pharrell Williams
What better words for the Arizona Wildcats to live by in the midst of their toughest stretch of the season without injured starter Brandon Ashley?
"Can't nothing bring me down," Williams sings. "My level's too high."
After losing two of their last five games (in the last seconds in nail-biters against Cal and ASU), the Wildcats are becoming the target of criticism from national media pundits. Some of their own fans are questioning how good they really are because of cold-shooting spells from the field and free-throw line.
If the Wildcats listened to the noise, they would hear that they are losing their mojo, undeserving of their rank and incapable of reaching the Final Four. That's enough to drive a team steaming mad.
Instead, Sean Miller and Co. will take the high road and understand what their happiness means to the program.
In response to the swirl of doubt by outsiders, Nick Johnson, T.J. McConnell, Gabe York, Aaron Gordon, Kaleb Tarczewski, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and the rest can take heed to Williams' "Happy" lyrics and continue to play with confidence:
"Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah ... Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back, yeah ...
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah ... No offense to you, don’t waste your time ... Here's why ... because I'm happy."
Please check out Javier Morales' blog at AllSportsTucson.com