Arizona hasn’t done much this season the easy way. Why would Saturday be any different?
The Wildcats (21-9, 12-5 in Pac-12) needed huge games from seniors Kyle Fogg and Jesse Perry to beat UCLA, 65-63, and keep its slim hopes alive for an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. A loss would’ve been … tough.
They’re already the last team in our projected field of 68, That leave no room for error.
But hey, in a season where your sixth man (Kevin Parrom) first deals with a gunshot injury, then go out for the year because of an injury; where one prized freshman transfers; where your back-up point guard has to shake off injuries and your best freshman takes until February to play consistently, this probably should be a surprise.
Here’s how Arizona breaks down, according to Dave Ommen:
Arizona (21-9 | 12-5) | RPI: 70 | SOS: 101 | – Arizona has won 7 of 8 games and remains in the hunt despite some very questionable power numbers (RPI and SOS). Other than a win at California, the Wildcats have no wins over projected at-large teams right now. UA was swept by Washington. If there’s a plus, it’s a 6-8 mark vs. Top 100 teams, but again most of those are not NCAA teams right now. The Wildcats are 7-4 on the road, which is a bonus. Arizona closes with Arizona State. The Wildcats need to win that entering into the Pac-12 tournament.
A win against ASU gets the Wildcats to 13 conference wins. It’s been fashionable to rip the Pac-12 this season, but in a year where it’s another weak bubble, leaving out Arizona seems like a stretch.
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