The Arizona Wildcats have hit a wall in their climb to the top of the polls, one that likely also could impact their NCAA Tournament journey.
The UA (28-3) stayed at No. 2 in the latest Associated Press Top 25, the third consecutive week it has held that spot. And in each week the lone team above them is Gonzaga, which has been No. 1 for the past four weeks and seven weeks overall this season.
The Bulldogs (24-3) got 52 first-place votes, while Arizona got six—its most this season—and No. 3 Baylor got three.
Gonzaga, which hasn’t played in more than a week, faces San Francisco in the West Coast Conference tourney semifinals Monday night in Las Vegas. A win there would move it to the WCC finals on Tuesday night against either Santa Clara or No. 17 Saint Mary’s.
Arizona, which is the top seed in the Pac-12 Tournament and faces either ASU or Stanford on Thursday in Las Vegas, is in great shape for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tourney. But as long as Gonzaga keeps winning, its path isn’t likely to go through the West Region.
BracketMatrix.com has Arizona as a No. 1 seed on 119 of 123 projected brackets, which averages out to 1.03. That’s third-best behind Baylor (1.00) and Gonzaga (1.02), which if that held could mean placing the defending champion Bears in the South Region—which has its regional in San Antonio—and Gonzaga in the West (San Francisco), leaving the East (Philadelphia) or Midwest (Chicago) for the Wildcats.