Arizona Wildcats receive No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament West Region

2014-03-16T15:14:00Z 2014-03-20T19:16:48Z Arizona Wildcats receive No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament West RegionBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Arizona Wildcats were given their first No. 1 NCAA tournament seed since 2003 as expected today, and deemed the second overall seed behind Florida.

But the Wildcats will have to beat Oklahoma State or Gonzaga in order to reach the Sweet 16 in Anaheim, Calif.

The Wildcats will face Weber State, which is is 19-11 after winning the Big Sky Tournament title, in an all-Wildcat first game on Friday in San Diego. A win would put UA against the winner of an 8-9 game between Gonzaga and Oklahoma State next Sunday.

Already this afternoon, several national analysts were suggesting that game could be trouble for the Wildcats.

"Oklahoma State is a dangerous, dangerous team," CBS's Clark Kellogg said.

On ESPN's "Bracketology" show, analyst Jay Bilas said the Cowboys would be a "nightmarish" matchup for Arizona. 

"You're talking about a superior athletic team that can get up and down," Bilas said. "I think that’s a very difficult draw, a very difficult matchup."

Fellow ESPN analyst Digger Phelps said he thought Oklahoma State could win the West Region. And of the three analysts on the CBS Selection Sunday show, Kellogg and Seth Davis picked Wisconsin to win the West Region while Doug Gottlieb went with Arizona.

If seeding holds to form in the West, the Wildcats would face a rematch with fourth-seeded San Diego State in the Sweet 16 and second-seeded Wisconsin in the Elite Eight. Also in the West Region is Creighton and national player of the year frontrunner Doug McDermott.

UCLA, which beat Arizona to win the Pac-12 Tournament on Saturday, will join the Wildcats in San Diego but play in a separate South Region pod. The Bruins were rewarded for their victory by receiving a No. 4 seed in the South and a first-weekend placement in San Diego.

The Pac-12 received six NCAA tournament bids overall. UCLA, Colorado (8) and Stanford (10) were all assigned to the South Region while Oregon was given a No. 7 seed in the West and ASU was made a 10 seed in the Midwest.

California, which handed Arizona its first loss of the season, was left out of the field. The Bears were the only one of the four teams who beat Arizona this season not to receive an NCAA tournament bid.

The Wildcats have been named a No. 1 seed during five previous NCAA tournament, but made the Final Four only the first time it happened, in 1988.

In 1989, the Wildcats lost to UNLV in the Sweet 16. In 1998, they lost to Utah in the Elite Eight. In 2000, they lost to Wisconsin in the second round and in 2003, they lost to Kansas in the Elite Eight.

However, UA coach Sean Miller has his own history. He's never coached a team that lost to a worse-seeded team in the NCAA tournament, at Xavier or Arizona.

UA has reached the Final Four as a No. 1 seed in 1988, as a No. 2 in 1994, as a No. 4 in 1997 and as a No. 2 in 2001. 

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