Coming into this huge week on the road for the Arizona Wildcats which began with a tough three point loss to the Colorado Buffaloes and finishing with a date with 22nd ranked Utah, the Wildcats have not been projected by many nationally to be a top three or four seed despite being at the top of the Pac-12 standings. CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm for instance had them as a sixth seed going up against Wichita State in the Midwest region when the week began.
Palm joined ‘The Brad Cesmat Show’ this week to discuss the Wildcats resume which includes a lack of marquee wins.
“Really the only thing that is holding them back is they have only two top-50 RPI wins,” Palm told Cesmat. “Those are the only two teams they have beaten who are a sure thing to be in the NCAA Tournament and actually, Oregon State might be stretching that definition of sure thing.”
Right now with the conference RPI laid out. Oregon is fifth who snapped Arizona’s long home win streak earlier this season, Utah is ninth, Cal is 18th who Arizona lost to in Berkley, Colorado is 29th who got the win over UA on Wednesday. The two wins Palm mentions that Wildcats have against the conference’s top-50 RPI teams are Oregon State who is at 31 and USC at 38. The Wildcats enter the weekend with their RPI at 30.
Despite having lost to all the teams that Arizona is behind in the RPI, they are ahead of most in the standings which Palm finds fascinating and speaks to the depth of the conference this season.
“It is actually a remarkable thing,” Palm mentioned. “They are in a league that has six other top-50 teams in the RPI besides Arizona and they are in first place having only beat two of them. But the Pac-12 is a really good league and for Arizona, that’s the only weakness in their resume.”
“They don’t have any bad losses, they don’t even have that many losses,” he added. “It’s just a team with a gaudy record that doesn’t have a whole lot backing it up at this point…there will be plenty of chances to improve on that.”
Those chances he mentions begin on the road Saturday against Utah and then Arizona wraps up their regular season with games against Stanford and California before heading to the Pac-12 tournament.