For a team that went 27-4 in the regular season, it seems like the Arizona Wildcats actually rode quite the roller coaster from November to March.
We’ve already touched on what we thought the best moment of the year was, so let’s go the other way and remember what the lowest point was.
Here’s what we think, but let us know if you have another one or agree with these!
Alec Sills-Trausch: The worst moment is undoubtedly Ray Smith’s career-ending knee injury. A player with so much promise on the court as well as a good head on his shoulders off of it, Smith would have been a huge factor this season either off the bench or in the starting role. It’s a shame we’ll never get to see the potential he held.
James Schlittenhart: Bill Walton. Any of them. Especially this one. I wish he would stop saying words and thinking thoughts.
Brandon Hill: Hard to argue with Smith’s injury, as it was heartbreaking. But I’ll go with the Oregon loss. In the sole regular season meeting of the two, the Ducks obliterated the Wildcats. The loss ended up costing Arizona the top seed in the Pac-12 Tournament and probably any shot at a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament (though both could prove relatively moot). Never good optics to lose by 27 as the No. 5 team in the country.
Ryan Kelapire: The College of Idaho exhibition game where Ray Smith got hurt was definitely the worst, but technically we’re supposed to talk about the regular season, so for me it was Parker Jackson-Cartwright’s injury.
That pushed Arizona down to seven scholarship players and it made the game against Gonzaga un-winnable since the Wildcats had like two days to prepare for the Zags without their starting point guard.
Luckily, Jackson-Cartwright came back earlier than anticipated because if that injury would have bled into Pac-12 play, the Wildcats may have lost a game that they probably shouldn’t have early in the conference schedule.
Jason Bartel: First off, James may never be allowed to write here anymore after that blasphemy. Honestly, I think Parker Jackson-Cartwright’s injury may have been the low point of the year, especially considering the timing. This essentially gave Arizona no shot at taking out Gonzaga later that week, and looking back on it, that was a huge missed opportunity now that UCLA is the only true quality win this year. It’s hard to argue against the Oregon game, but just about every team in the country would have lost by that much on that particular day. Nothing you can do about shots falling like that.