UA basketball: Margin of error tiny for tournament bid

2012-02-07T00:01:00Z 2014-07-24T10:44:58Z UA basketball: Margin of error tiny for tournament bidBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 07, 2012 12:01 am  • 

After just one sunny weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Arizona Wildcats may have played themselves back on to the NCAA tournament bubble.

A month of regular-season and Pac-12 tournament games remain - including a critical matchup with Colorado on Thursday at McKale Center - but consider this:

The ratings

• Arizona's RPI improved from 85 to 62 after the Wildcats beat Stanford and California last weekend, according to the official NCAA figures updated Monday. With 37 at-large bids available, a No. 62 rating can merit at-large consideration. USC took one of the final NCAA tournament bids last season with an RPI of 67.

• The Wildcats improved to No. 42 in the Sagarin ratings, a power rating also believed to hold weight with the NCAA tournament selection committee. The Wildcats have a 1-4 record against Top 50 Sagarin teams, the lone win coming at California.

• places the Wildcats with a No. 38 rating.

The bracket projections

(Among those with updated projections Monday)

• ESPN's Bracketology moved Arizona into its 68-team projected bracket as one of its last four teams, assigning the Wildcats a first-round (play-in) game in Dayton, Ohio, against Minnesota for the right to continue as a No. 12 seed.

• Sporting News lists Arizona and Colorado among its "bubble boys" as the top teams just outside the field.

• Yahoo's Bracket Big Board has Arizona, Oregon and Stanford as its bubble teams not quite in the field.

• While SB Nation's Blogging the Bracket did not list Arizona in its first eight teams out of the field, it noted that "perhaps Sean Miller's team will continue to be a factor for both an NCAA bid and the conference crown, even with Kevin Parrom lost for the season."

The schedule

Arizona's schedule is favorable the rest of the season. Five of the Wildcats' remaining seven games are against teams below them in the league standings, including home games against struggling Utah and USC. Arizona will get another crack at first-place Washington on Feb. 18 in Seattle and have a chance to avenge its one-point Jan. 21 loss at Colorado on Thursday at McKale.

If the Wildcats can hold serve at home against the mountain schools this weekend and against the Los Angeles schools in two weeks, they will have 20 wins. Add a win in one of three road games and maybe one in the Pac-12 Tournament, and UA could finish with 21 or more wins and a respectable nonconference strength of schedule.

But with Colorado looming Thursday, there's no time for the Wildcats to waste. As UA coach Sean Miller frequently says about his team, and as the numbers indicate, there's little margin for error.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 12 1 0 0.923
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 11 0 0 1.000
California 0 0 0 0.000 10 2 0 0.833
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 9 3 0 0.750
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 9 2 0 0.818
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 8 4 0 0.667
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 8 5 0 0.615
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 7 4 0 0.636
USC 0 0 0 0.000 7 4 0 0.636
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 7 3 0 0.700
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 7 3 0 0.700
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 5 6 0 0.455

AP Top 25

Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Harvard at
Arizona State
12/28 12:00 pm
Cal State-Bakersfield at
12/28 1:30 pm
Cal-Davis at
Washington State
12/28 4:00 pm
12/28 4:30 pm
Stony Brook at
12/28 6:00 pm
Cal-Irvine at
12/29 9:00 pm
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at
12/29 9:00 pm
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