Hundley wild about 'Cats basketball

Rockies catcher ready to cheer on Arizona in NCAA Tournament

Hundley wild about 'Cats basketball

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The brackets will be passed around the clubhouse soon and Rockies players will make their NCAA Tournament picks, but for catcher Nick Hundley there is only one choice.

While a collegiate baseball player at Arizona, Hundley fell in love with Wildcats basketball. His affection will never wane.

"You always support greatness -- it's a really good program," Hundley said. "They've done a great job. [Head coach] Sean Miller and his staff have established a pipeline of talented NBA players that not only contributed on the court, but off the court.

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"Guys like [former Wildcat player] Richard Jefferson, who built the Richard Jefferson Gymnasium, have done great things, not only on the court, but off the court for basketball and Tucson."

The city of Tucson, where the Rockies once trained, will forever bask in the glow of the NCAA title the Wildcats won in 1997 and the title game appearance in 2001, when Duke took the title.

Interestingly, the baseball program for which Hundley played has actually done better, with College World Series titles in 1976, 1980, 1986 and 2012. But how can Hundley begrudge the basketball Wildcats all their attention when he admires them just as much?

"We've got four national championships in baseball, but basketball is a much bigger draw there," said Hundley, who played a little basketball but stopped in eighth grade to concentrate on baseball, football and wrestling. "They've done a great job having the community rally around them. That's the big ticket in Tucson, for sure."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.