Arizona didn’t look particularly impressive hosting the Washington schools this past week. Sean Miller credited that to this team not being able to handle the pressure particularly well.
There will be more pressure now after the Wildcats took over sole control of first place in the conference, and travel to second-place Oregon on Saturday. The Ducks are now 13th in the polls. The UCLA Bruins are 11th in the AP Poll, but 8th in the Coaches poll.
At the top of the rankings is the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who are No. 1 for the second time in program history. The previous instance was in March 2013. The Zags eventually lost to Wichita State in the Round of 32 that year.
“There’s probably not one clear-cut team, there’s probably a dozen, eight, six teams that you could probably say could win it all or should be in the top five,” Sean Miller said on Monday. “They deserve it. Great experience, great size, great coach. We’re very familiar with them and I’m just happy for our non-conference schedule. We played the number one team in the country with what felt like six of our players missing.”
This week, Arizona jumped both Kentucky and Florida State in the AP Poll. Both of those teams each lost two games over the past seven days. FSU was particularly bad, getting blown out by Josh Pastner’s Georgia Tech team, then losing to a struggling Syracuse squad in the Carrier Dome.
Arizona returns to action on Thursday night against Oregon State in Corvallis.