That didn’t seem to matter in the eyes of the selection committee, who provided us with an update yesterday of who they see on the top four lines.
The committee has Arizona as the 4-seed in the West region as of right now. A lot can change between today and Selection Sunday, which is now less than a month away. But it’s a good sign that the Wildcats are in favorable standing with the committee despite losses to several bubble teams — UCLA, Washington, Colorado, NC State and SMU.
The committee’s Top-16 seed reveal coming a month away from Selection Sunday makes our job today a lot easier. We know who the top four seeds in each region are, as seen below. However, it’s not a great sign that without that reveal on Sunday morning, we would have had things very different.
There are certainly arguments to be made that Duke shouldn’t be a 2-seed, that Michigan State and Ohio State should be higher and that Oklahoma has no business on the 4-line after a horrid week.
Unfortunately, a serious argument can be made that Arizona should no longer be a 4 after they suffered their first home loss of the season. But despite their losses and inconsistent play, the Wildcats have to like where they currently stand with three weeks remaining in the regular season.
As for the rest of the bracket, let’s take a look...
Last Four Byes: Houston, Texas, Virginia Tech, UCLA
Last Four In: Kansas State, Washington, NC State, USC
First Four Out: Boise State, Syracuse, St. Bonaventure, Utah
Next Four Out: Nebraska, Mississippi State, SMU, Western Kentucky
Coming out of a week that featured the Arizona schools taking on the LA schools, the Arizona State Sun Devils find themselves safely in as a 7-seed while UCLA and USC hold on for dear life.
UCLA jumps into the field after their win in McKale Center last Thursday night, though their momentum came to a screeching halt in Tempe on Saturday.
At least they got a win though as the USC Trojans came out of their Arizona trip winless. They are now our final team in the field and even the slightest slip-up could place them on the wrong side of the bubble.
Speaking of bad weeks, it doesn’t get much worse than the Washington Huskies. In the week following a marquee buzzer-beater win over Arizona that put UW in field, they couldn’t get a win on an Oregon road trip. They scored only 40 points in a blowout loss to the Ducks and followed that up with a 97-94 loss to Oregon State.
Every team in the Pac-12 has five or six games remaining in conference play before all meeting up in Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament. UCLA, USC, Washington and the Utah Utes are all desperate for some help to find their way into the Big Dance.
The two schools safest to engage in March Madness, Arizona and Arizona State, renew their rivalry on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. MST on ESPN.