Greg Hansen, a writer for www.azstarnet.com, wrote a very good article today, which I suggest you read for yourself, about what needs to happen for the Wildcats to get into the tournament. He agrees with myself in thinking that a first round loss in the Pac-10 tournament will put the Cats on shaky ground. They will need help from elsewhere in the country to ensure that they're seen as one of the strongest of the bubble teams.
In the article, Mr. Hansen gave 5 things that all Wildcat fans can look for this week to ensure that we'll be filling in Arizona in our brackets:
Arizona's in-or-out fate spins on five variables:1. Beating Arizona State in Thursday's Pac-10 tournament opener. "If we keep winning," UA interim head coach Russ Pennell said Monday, "they can't keep us out."2. Utah or BYU must win the Mountain West Conference title and, preferably play one another in the championship game. That would probably eliminate New Mexico and San Diego State, neither of whom played a non-conference schedule worthy of Big Dance consideration.3. Butler cannot lose to Cleveland State in tonight's Horizon League championship game. Butler, 26-4, is a lock, but Cleveland State, with 10 losses, won't get in (and take a valuable bubble space) unless it stuns the Bulldogs.4. The selection committee must ignore the Cinderella groundswell for conference-tournament losers Davidson and Creighton, both 26-game winners, and similarly dismiss schedule-lite 27-4 Utah State's chances if it loses to home-standing Nevada, as appears likely, in the WAC title game.5. Favorites must dominate in both the Big Ten and Big East tournaments. The earlier 19-12 Michigan, 21-9 Minnesota, 21-10 Penn State, 18-12 Providence and 18-13 Cincinnati are eliminated, the more bubble space will be cleared for someone like Arizona.
Personally I'd just prefer it if U of A could just follow step 1 on Thursday.