It’s a nice view from the top. But how long will it last?
The Arizona Wildcats have moved to No. 1 in the NET rankings, a metric the NCAA uses to help pick and seed the NCAA Tournament, after Wednesday’s 94-65 blowout win over previously unbeaten Wyoming.
The UA was third in the initial NET rankings released last weekend while Wyoming, which had been 12th, dropped to No. 18. The Cowboys’ current ranking is still good enough to give the Wildcats their first Quadrant 1 win of the season. Quad 1 wins are those against top-30 teams at home, top-50 squads at neutral sites and top-75 opponents on the road.
Arizona has plenty of resume building opportunities over the next few weeks, starting Saturday at No. 33 Illinois (7-2). It also plays at No. 12 Tennessee (6-2) on Dec. 22, at No. 30 UCLA (7-1) on Dec. 31 and No. 8 USC on Jan. 2.
At 8-0, the Wildcats are one of nine remaining unbeaten teams in Division I, and their NCAA title odds are starting to reflect being part of that select company. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the UA is +2200 to win the national championship, down from +6000 before the season and +3500 a week ago.
Also +2200: Illinois, the UA’s opponent on Saturday at 3 p.m. MT on Fox. KenPom.com gives the Wildcats a 43 percent change of winning in Champaign, Ill.