The RPI doesn’t carry the same kind of weight with the NCAA selection committee as it used to, but it is now suggesting the Arizona Wildcats get a No. 1 seed if they beat Oregon tonight.
UA sits in the No. 3 RPI spot after beating UCLA on Friday in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals, and it appears likely that the winner of the championship game will get to stay in the West region along with Gonzaga.
The Zags are expected to hold the West’s No. 1 seed, though the winner of the Pac-12 title game will certainly have an argument.
As of now, UA is forecasted by both ESPN and CBS to pick up the Midwest’s No. 2 seed, with Oregon getting the 2-seed in the West behind Gonzaga. According to an average of bracket forecasts compiled by the Bracket Matrix, UA is projected just below the No. 2 seed line, however.
UA is rated No. 20 in the Sagarin power ratings and 21 in Kenpom’s predictive ratings. Kenpom gives UA a 47 percent chance of winning tonight’s game while betting on Arizona has pulled down the line from Oregon being a five-point favorite to a two-point favorite.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright came off the bench for the third straight game and had a starter’s impact, with four assists, three rebounds, three steals and just one turnover in 29 minutes.
As usual, he says he’s OK with that.
“I think my mindset’s the same,” he said. “I just want to contribute any way I can. If I come off the bench I want to come off the bench and provide a spark and keep the flow going that the starters have. I believe in the starters a whole lot and I believe in my ability to come off the bench and do may job.”
Dillon Brooks played just 21 minutes because of foul trouble Friday, and he found that a positive in a way – because the Ducks won without him.
“It is a great thing,” Brooks said. “A lot of reporters and analysts say the Ducks ain’t nothing without Dillon and we show every time that we can play without me, or even if we’re having a bad game or I’m having a tough game guys can pick it up.
“It’s the next man up. Chris (Boucher) came in and gave us big minutes. Casey (Benson) came in and handled the basketball, gave us good minutes. Dylan (Ennis) was clutch and Jordan (Bell) was being the defensive player that he is.
“It’s as team game and I’m gonna be ready for next game and contribute a little bit more the next game.”
Lots of buzz over that "payback" timeout Sean Miller called late in Friday's game.
We had a note on it in our online-only scouting report (our print deadline had passed before the coaches reacted) while Yahoo noted how the Wildcats cheered and Bruins looked stunned during the unexpected break.