This date in FOX Sports Arizona history

The D-backs take the field for their first official game at Bank One Ballpark.

On Sept. 7, 1996, FOX Sports Arizona hit the airwaves with our first telecast — a Pac-10 football showdown between Washington and Arizona State. Check back with us daily as we recount some of the top sports moments in Arizona during our 20 years of serving the state’s sports fans.

March 31

Led by the tournament’s outstanding player, Miles Simon, Arizona defeats Kentucky 84-79 in overtime to win the NCAA basketball championship.

The Wildcats celebrate with head coach Lute Olson.

It was the third No. 1 seed Arizona knocked off en route to the first and only championship of Lute Olson’s illustrious coaching career.


 The expansion Diamondbacks suffer a 9-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies in the franchise’s inaugural game in front of 50,179 fans at Bank One Ballpark. Andy Benes started and took the loss. First baseman Travis Lee singled in the first inning for the first hit in franchise history, then homered in the sixth for the team’s first home run, run and RBI.


Arizona overwhelms defending champion Michigan State 80-61 in the semifinals of the NCAA Basketball tournament in Minneapolis, advancing to the championship game for the second time in school history.

March 30

Steve Nash had a triple double with 12 points, 12 assists and 13 rebounds as the Suns clinched their first division title since 1995 with a 116-87 victory over Philadelphia.

Steve Nash

March 29

Miles Simon scored 24 points as Arizona defeated North Carolina 66-58 in the NCAA Basketball semifinals to reach the national championship game for the first time.


Jason Kidd scores a career-high 43 points in the Suns’ 90-85 win over Houston.


Top-seeded Arizona suffers a 64-63 overtime loss to Wisconsin in the NCAA West Regional final.

Arizona guard T.J. McConnell reacts after Arizona’s overtime loss to Wisconsin in the NCAA West Region final.

March 28

Arizona is sent home from the NCAA basketball tournament by Wisconsin for a second consecutive year, losing 85-78 to the Badgers in the NCAA West Regional final. Wisconsin made 10 of 12 3-point shots in the second half to deprive the Wildcats of a trip to the Final Four.

March 27

The Coyotes clinch a playoff berth, ending an eight-year postseason drought, and Ilya Bryzgalov became the first goaltender in Coyotes history with 40 wins in one season as Arizona defeats Colorado 6-2.

March 26

Almost three months after Bobbi Olson died of ovarian cancer, Arizona defeats Illinois 87-81 in the Midwest Regional final to advance to the Final Four for the first time since winning the national championship in 1997.

Jason Gardner


Arizona blows a 15-point lead in the game’s final four minutes and suffers a 90-89 overtime loss to top-ranked Illinois in the NCAA Chicago Regional final, denying the Wildcats a berth in the Final Four.

Deron Williams shoots against the Wildcats.


Arizona suffers a 65-63 loss to eventual national champion Connecticut in the NCAA West Regional final.

Derrick Williams

March 24

Derrick Williams scores 25 of his 32 points in the first half as Arizona overwhelms third-ranked Duke 93-77 in the NCAA West Regional semifinal in Anaheim.


Arizona State fires basketball coach Herb Sendek after nine seasons. Sendek had a 159-137 record at ASU and took the Sun Devils to two NCAA tournament appearances — in 2009 and 2014.

March 23

Miles Simon scores 30 points as Arizona recovers from blowing a seven-point lead in the final 1:15 of regulation and outlasts Providence 96-92 in overtime to win the Southeast Regional and head to the Final Four.

Jason Terry prepares to cut down the nets.


Kevin Johnson, who retired in 1998, comes out of retirement to help the Suns playoff push, playing in the final six games of the season as a replacement for the injured Jason Kidd.


Amar’e Stoudemire returns after a 66-game absence and tallies 20 points and nine rebounds in just 19 minutes of the Suns’ 125-108 victory over Portland. But after just three games, Stoudemire would be shut down for the rest of the season.

Amar’e Stoudemire


In his final appearance in Phoenix, Kobe Bryant scores 17 points in the Lakers’ 119-107 loss to the Suns.

Kobe Bryant waves to the fans as he leaves the court following the March 23, 2016, game against the Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

March 22

Jason Kidd breaks his ankle in the Suns’ 114-93 victory over the Kings, joining Tom Gugliotta on the sidelines with season-ending injuries.

Jason Kidd’s 2000 season was cut short by a broken ankle in a March 22 victory over the Kings.


The Diamondbacks and Dodgers become the first major league teams to open the season in Australia, with the D-backs losing 3-1 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the first of two games played abroard.

The D-backs and Dodgers open the 2014 season at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

March 21

Freshman Mike Bibby leads the way with 21 points and five assists as Arizona upsets top-seeded Kansas 85-82 in the NCAA Southeast Regional in Birmingham, Ala., setting up an Elite Eight matchup vs. Providence.

Arizona players celebrate after knocking off top-seeded Kansas.


Arizona’s hopes of repeating as NCAA Basketball champions are dashed when the Wildcats are thumped 76-51 by Utah in the West Regional semifinal in Anaheim. The Wildcats were unable to solve Rick Majerus’ triangle-and-two defense, making just 28 percent of their shots (17 of 60).


Adrian Aucoin scores in the fourth round of the shootout as the Coyotes tie a franchise record with their ninth consecutive victory — 3-2 over Dallas.

Adrian Aucoin.

March 20

Keith Tkachuk scores all four goals for the Coyotes in a 4-2 victory over the Blackhawks.

Keith Tkachuk


Having patched up a contentious relationship with Jerry Colangelo a year earlier, Charles Barkley is inducted as the 10th member of the Suns Ring of Honor.

Charles Barkley

March 18

Cotton Fitzsimmons, who coached the Suns to 341 victories in three different stints as head coach, is posthumously inducted into the Suns Ring of Honor.


The Coyotes set a franchise record for most victories in a season (44) with a 4-3 shootout win over the Panthers in Florida. The Coyotes rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the third period. Radim Vrbata tied the game with 59.7 seconds left, then scored the winning goal in the shootout.

March 13

The Coyotes trade Keith Tkachuk to the St. Louis Blues for Michal Handzus, Ladislav Nagy, the rights to Jeff Taffe and a first-round draft pick.


Ilya Bryzgalov ties Nikolai Khabibulin’s Coyotes franchise record with his eighth shutout of the season — a 4-0 victory at Carolina.

March 12

After losing in his first five games played in Phoenix, LeBron James gets his first victory in the desert — leading the Cavaliers to a 119-111 win over the Suns with 34 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.

March 10

Tom Gugliotta’s second season with the Suns comes to a premature end when he suffers a season-ending knee injury in a 99-96 loss to Utah, costing him an opportunity to play in the Summer Olympics.

March 9

Just a year after retiring as one of the most popular players in franchise history, “Thunder Dan” Majerle is inducted into the Suns Ring of Honor and his No. 9 is retired by the team.

March 8

Michael Wright’s layup with three seconds left  lifts Arizona to a 76-75 victory over top-ranked Stanford, handing the Cardinal only their second loss of the season.

March 7

Kevin Johnson becomes the seventh player in the Suns Ring of Honor as the team retires the No. 7 worn by their longtime point guard.

March 6

Mike Gartner scores twice in a 5-0 victory over Tampa Bay — giving him 1,300 career points and 30 goals for an NHL record 17th time in his career.


Following a short, unsuccessful stay with the New York Giants, Kurt Warner signs a one-year, $4 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals — the first step in a career revival that would lead to the Cardinals making their only Super Bowl appearance and Warner earning a place in Pro Football’s Hall of Fame.


Gerald Green erupts for a career-high 41 points, including 25 in the fourth quarter, to send the Suns to a 128-122 over Oklahoma City.

March 5

Boris Diaw registers the second triple-double of his career — 24 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists — as the Suns defeated the Dallas Mavericks 115-107 to extend their winning streak to 10 games.

March 4

Jason Kidd had 19 assists without a turnover to lead the Suns to a 101-93 victory at Seattle.

March 2

Kevin Harvick solidified his place as the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver in the history of Phoenix International Raceway, leading 224 of the 312 laps to win The Profit on CNBC 500 — his fifth Sprint Cup win at PIR.

March 1

The Coyotes trade veteran defenseman Keith Yandle to the New York Rangers in a deal  that sends prospect Anthony Duclair to Arizona.