If the NCAA Tournament field was selected today, the Arizona Wildcats would be in line to host the first two rounds. The NCAA selection committee revealed its top 16 seeds at halftime of the Oregon-UConn game on Monday, and the Wildcats squeaked in at No. 13.
Last season, 14 of the 16 teams the committee announced in its first reveal ended up being in the top 16 on Selection Monday.
Arizona is No. 12 in the AP Poll, its highest ranking since 1998, but 27th in RPI due to a weak non-conference schedule that ranks 337th in the country based on opponent winning percentage.
Arizona’s ability to draw upwards of 10,000 fans makes it an appealing NCAA Tournament site because of the financial implications that come along with that. The Wildcats sold out McKale Center during their WNIT championship run last season.
ESPN analyst Charlie Creme also noted that Arizona’s quality of losses helps its case. The Wildcats’ three losses are all to top-10 teams, two of which were decided by single digits.
Arizona has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2005, a drought that will end this year barring a major collapse. UA has won five straight heading into this weekend’s road trip at No. 3 Oregon and No. 9 Oregon State.