If the Arizona Wildcats were eligible for the NCAA Tournament this season, they would be worthy of a bid right now.
Take it from renowned ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, who tweeted that if not for the self-imposed postseason ban, UA would have been a 9-seed heading into Thursday’s game at ASU, which the Wildcats wound up winning at the buzzer.
January 21, 2021
I would love to tell you where Arizona would slot following that victory, but they are not included in Lunardi’s latest bracket projection for obvious reasons.
The victory moved the Wildcats to 11-3 overall and No. 31 in NET, the NCAA’s official metric. While they are only 1-2 in Quadrant 1 games, they are 2-1 in Quadrant 2 games and don’t have any bad losses, going 8-0 in Quadrant 3 and 4 games.
What is interesting is that if you go by ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index—a metric that is supposed to represent how many points above or below average a team is—Arizona profiles as the No. 42 team in the country, which would place them as an 11-seed in the tournament, not a 9-seed like Lunardi projected.
A big drag on Arizona’s resume is that it has the No. 106 strength of schedule. Not that it actually matters this season.