CBS Sports came out with its list of nine teams that earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2018 that won’t make a return trip to the big dance in 2019.
Among the squads to earn the dubious honor was the Arizona Wildcats, who were a No. 4 seed in the bracket after winning the Pac-12 a season ago, before being upset by No. 13 seed Buffalo in the first round.
Here is why Matt Norlander thinks UA will miss the dance in 2019:
Arizona got uppercutted out of the 2018 tournament by No. 13 Buffalo, which delivered one of the most overwhelming, lopsided upsets by a double-digit seed in tournament history (89-68). While it’s true that Sean Miler’s program is setting up beautifully in the class of 2019, the roster for the upcoming season is a sharp drop-off from the talent a year ago. Gone is No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton. Rawle Alkins and Allonzo Trier also left college eligibility on the table to chase pro dreams. The team’s two other starters from last season, Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Dusan Ristic, graduated. There is still some talent in Tucson, but this is asking a lot and Arizona’s non-conference schedule is so challenging that it might be submerging.
Wichita State, Miami, Texas A&M, Rhode Island, Creighton, Oklahoma, St. Bonaventure and Arizona State joined the Wildcats on CBS Sports’ list.
Arizona and Wichita State were the two highest seeds in the NCAA Tournament last season to garner the distinction, both claiming No. 4 seeds in 2018.
Arizona was picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12, its lowest preseason conference ranking since 2009-10.