The Arizona Wildcats are the newly crowned Pac-12 Tournament champions, boast arguably the nation's top player in Deandre Ayton, and seem motivated following a tumultuous month.
What does that get them? Not much, according to ESPN.
The College Basketball Power Index gives the Wildcats an 80.3 percent chance of beating No. 13 Buffalo in Thursday's NCAA Tournament opener, but their odds go down after that.
The Cats have a 47.1 percent chance of advancing to the Sweet 16, 9.1 percent chance of making the Elite Eight, 3.2 percent chance of making the Final Four, 1.4 percent chance of making the national championship game — and just a 0.4 percent chance (less than one half of 1 percent. What?) chance to win it all, according to BPI. Arizona's projections fall below the three other No. 4 seeds, three No. 5 seeds (Ohio State, West Virginia and Clemson) and one No. 6 seed (Houston).
Las Vegas oddsmakers see things a little different, installing Arizona as a 6-to-1 shot to win the whole thing. Bovada.com has the Wildcats as a 12-to-1 chance to win it all, and SportsBettingDime.com lists them at 15 to 1 with an over-under of NCAA Tournament games won at 1.5.
BPI, according to ESPN, is is "meant to be the best predictor of performance going forward." It factors in strength of record, pace, travel, rest and (yes) altitude. Numbers update daily.
Arizona fans can take some solace in the fact that BPI practically hates Arizona State's chances of doing much in the tournament.
The Sun Devils are given just a 16.4 percent chance of winning their round-of-64 game (tougher, since the they must win a play-in game first) and 3 percent chance of advancing to the Sweet 16. The Devils have a 0.5 percent chance of making the Elite Eight, 0.2 percent chance of making the Final Four, 0.1 percent chance of making the title game and a 0 percent chance of winning it all.
These and many other interesting stats are available at the BPI landing page, accessed here. ESPN Stats & Info has been tweeting up a storm about tournament odds, too. Check these out:
There is a 10% chance that a Pac-12 team reaches the Elite 8. https://t.co/anPa62lRlV— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 13, 2018