Arizona's loss to Oregon revealed weaknesses we already knew were there, and as expected, the Wildcats took a minor hit in the NCAA polls. A 29-2 Florida squad and historic 34-0 Wichita State team remained the 1-2 punch, but even though the Shockers and Gators are cleaning up in their respective conferences, Sean Miller's team is still in solid shape.
The Wildcats fell behind Villanova to No. 4 in both the Associated Press and USA Today rankings, but the wide belief among bracket-builders is that UA could still earn a No. 1 seed. Of course, sweeping through the Pac-12 Tournament would be the best bet to earn that position and contend for the top overall seed.
Still, it's a good sign that Arizona's nonconference schedule is still keeping its resume strong.
SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean, ESPN's Joe Lunardi and USA Today all place the Wildcats in the West Regional that would start in San Diego and move to Anaheim. CBS Sports' Jerry Palm even considers the Wildcats the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
How the Wildcats do with Utah or Washington and thereafter will have a lot of stock into securing a No. 1, favorable regional placement and even a No. 1 overall seed. And that's especially the case if Florida falls -- Wichita State won the Missouri Valley Conference on Sunday.
The loss to the Ducks on Saturday perhaps will spark a fire that leads Arizona through a Pac-12 tournament where any opponent UA faces will already be playing for its postseason life. Rankings mean little for the Wildcats now, but here they are anyway.
AP Top 25 Poll
|1||Florida Gators (50)||29-2||1610||1|
|2||Wichita St. Shockers (15)||34-0||1574||2|
|7||Duke Blue Devils||24-7||1185||4|
|8||San Diego St. Aztecs||27-3||1143||10|
|15||North Carolina Tar Heels||23-8||709||14|
|16||Iowa St. Cyclones||23-7||572||16|
|18||Saint Louis Billikens||26-5||433||17|
|20||New Mexico Lobos||24-6||344||21|
|22||Michigan St. Spartans||23-8||318||22|
|23||Va. Commonwealth Rams||24-7||205||27|
|24||Ohio St. Buckeyes||23-8||165||33|
Others Receiving Votes: Gonzaga 82, Stephen F. Austin 56, Oregon 39, Texas 31, Harvard 27, Kentucky 19, Baylor 18, UCLA 14, Nebraska 8, Iowa 4, Tennessee 2, George Washington 1, North Carolina Central 1
USA Today Coaches Poll
|USA Today Coaches Poll|
|2||Wichita State (7)||34-0||775|
|7||San Diego State||27-3||584|
- Others receiving votes: Kentucky 43, Gonzaga 32, Texas 27, Oregon 21, Southern Miss 21, Stephen F. Austin 17, Baylor 15, Iowa 10, Harvard 8, Massachusetts 8, Nebraska 5, Pittsburgh 3, Louisiana Tech 3, Kansas State 1, George Washington 1, Oklahoma State 1
- Dropped from rankings: Kentucky 24, Iowa 25