Thirteen games does not make a season, nor really a comprehensive resume. Yet that doesn’t stop the bracketology crowd from putting forth their NCAA Tournament predictions.
Aggregator BracketMatrix.com currently has 35 projections for the 2023 NCAA tourney, and 11 of those have Arizona earning a No. 1 seed for a second consecutive year. Two projected brackets have the Wildcats (12-1) as a No. 3 seed, while the rest have them at No. 2.
Overall, though, the UA’s average seed of 1.74 is fifth-best behind Purdue, UConn, Kansas and Houston. That average fits with the Wildcats’ current NET rating of 7.
Looking at some of the more high-profile projections, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Arizona as the No. 1 seed in the West Region, opening against MEAC automatic qualifier Norfolk State in Sacramento, Calif. The Wildcats would then face either Marquette or Kansas State for the right to play in the Sweet 16, which for the West is in Las Vegas, where its potential opponents include Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina and Texas Tech. … while a rematch with Houston looms in the regional final.
Bleacher Report also has Arizona as a No. 1, though starting in Denver. Among those in the Wildcats’ projected potential path are Duke, Gonzaga, Texas, Wisconsin and possibly Xavier, where former coach Sean Miller is trying to resurrect his career.
UCLA is a consensus No. 2 seed, per BracketMatrix.com, while ASU is averaging an 8.47 seed but is not on every projected bracket. Same goes for Utah, the only team to beat Arizona, which has an average seed of 10.27 but is not on eight of 35 brackets.
Arizona visits ASU (11-2) on Saturday, the first of four Quadrant 1 NET games currently on the Wildcats’ regular-season schedule. They are 4-1 in Quad 1 games this season, tied for the most Q1 victories in Division I.