Tucson natives Arlene and Dan Muniz have been married 23 years, and, naturally, have their occasional disagreements — especially when it comes to sports.
While Dan Muniz is a lifelong UA fan, his wife is a diehard Sun Devil. There’s more: He also cheers for the Dallas Cowboys, while she supports their rival, the Washington Redskins.
“Let’s just say we watch a lot of sports separately,” said Arlene Muniz, who also cheers for Notre Dame. “We don’t watch a lot of it together.”
They were together at The Shanty on Fourth Avenue on Sunday afternoon as the seedings for the NCAA tournament were announced on the CBS Selection Sunday broadcast. They weren’t exactly celebrating for the same reason or giving each other high-fives, even as the majority of Tucson celebrated a No. 1 West Region seed and a trip to San Diego.
“We’re on opposite ends of the spectrum or the rainbow,” Dan said.
Even so, Arlene, 51, couldn’t deny the UA deserved the No. 1 seed. She was also happy to see Arizona State as the 10-seed in the Midwest Region, and said she’s keeping high hopes the Sun Devils can go on a run to possibly meet the UA in the Final Four.
For his part, Dan was still recovering from Arizona’s 75-71 loss to UCLA in the championship game of the Pac-12 tournament on Saturday. He was glad to see the Wildcats end up with the top seed as expected, but is hoping they can tighten up some issues before facing No. 16 Weber State on Friday.
“It was disappointing because they beat themselves,” he said. “I’m sure they’ll do well, but if they go on missing free throws, they’re going to blow it. They’re definitely going to have to do something about their free-throw shooting.”
Dan, also 51, said he sees some similarities in this year’s team with the same team that won the national championship in 1997 but he felt that squad was a little more consistent. He added that Arizona can only blame itself for all four losses rather that its opponents.
If the Cats do win Friday —which is highly likely given that No. 1 seeds are 116-0 all-time in openers — they would face either No. 8 Gonzaga or No. 9 Oklahoma State.
After discussing the potential matchups with bartender Corey Chase, Dan said he’d be cheering for Gonzaga because of troubles the Cowboys could pose against the UA, but he insisted Arizona controls its own chances at a title.
“I hate to sound like a broken record,” Muniz said. “But if they get their stuff together as far as free throws, I don’t see them having a problem going all the way. If they get their offense going right on the money, they could be unstoppable.”