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Pac-12 Network special on 2020-21 Arizona women’s basketball team wins regional Emmy Award

“Our Stories: Made For It: The 2020-21 Arizona Wildcats” takes the Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy Award

NCAA Womens Basketball: Final Four Semifinal-Arizona at Connecticut Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020-21 season was a historic one for Arizona women’s basketball program. It was only fitting that the Pac-12 Network would produce an episode of “Our Stories” about the team that reached the Wildcats’ first national championship game. The television special about a special group of women impressed the entertainment industry, too, as the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Academy of Televisions Arts & Sciences honored “Our Stories: Made For It: The 2020-21 Arizona Wildcats” as the best in the Sports Program Post-Produced or Edited category.

The 2020-21 season was a difficult one for everyone. Played during the height of the pandemic, Pac-12 arenas were nearly empty for the entire season. Arizona’s players, coaches, and fans didn’t get to experience the usual thrill of the women’s tournament that would have included home games in McKale Center for the first two rounds. Instead, the tournament was relocated to San Antonio, Tex. and played within a semi-bubble environment.

That didn’t stop the Wildcats. Arizona pushed its way through the bracket, reaching its first Elite Eight and Final Four. Once the team reached the Final Four, it was time to face the heavily favored Connectut Huskies. Arizona was so overlooked that ESPN put out a promotional tweet that only included the other three teams in the national semifinals.

In the Pac-12 Network special, former Arizona head coach Joan Bonvicini said, “I believe the four most important words you can ever say to someone are, ‘I believe in you.’ And I believe in Adia Barnes.”

Barnes and her players believed in each other when no one else gave them a chance. They controlled the game against UConn to become half of the all-Pac-12 national final versus Stanford.

Once again, Arizona was the heavy underdog. Aari McDonald, Sam Thomas, and their teammates would have none of it, as they fought the Cardinal to the bitter end in a one-point loss.

The special about the Wildcats’ first Final Four was produced and edited by Ashley Adamson, Jessica Altman, and Jack Winton.