Late-season skid could be costly for Wildcats

2013-03-13T11:31:00Z 2013-03-13T12:08:10Z Late-season skid could be costly for WildcatsBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 13, 2013 11:31 am  • 

The NCAA selection committee stopped formally considering a team's record in its final 10 or 12 games several years ago.

That’s good news for Arizona, which hasn’t beaten a Top 40 team (in Sagarin) since Christmas.

But the committee still looks at how teams do in the late season, according to committee chair Mike Bobinski. Just not in a simplistic sense of wins and losses down the stretch.

That’s the bad news for Arizona, unless the Wildcats have a good week in Las Vegas.

 “Is how you finish important?” Bobinski said. “Of course it is.”

Bobinski said on a conference call today that the “last 10-12” criteria was formally removed because it required context, with all the variances in strength of schedule and home/road games down the stretch.

“We took it off because folks in the media were really fixating on that as an overly weighted factor,” Bobinski said.

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ESPN “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi, however, said on a later conference call today that a team’s late-season record “seems to be less of an issue every year.” He has UA seeded fourth in the South (with first-weekend games in San Jose) and says they will get a No. 4 if they win the Pac-12 Tournament.

 “The Pac-12 to me is a little bit muddled because Arizona didn’t play as well in the league as it did in the nonconference,” Lunardi said. “But I look for them to get it in gear.”

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Bobinski, incidentally, hired Sean Miller as Xavier's head coach in 2004 but will not have to excuse himself from conversations about Arizona, as committee members typically do with their own teams.

"With Sean having been gone for four years, that no longer applies," Bobinski said. "I'll be able to participate fully in any discussions about Arizona."

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Colorado will start Andre Roberson today and is hoping Askia Booker gets his shooting touch back.

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Jon Wilner picks Arizona to beat Cal in the championship game, and wonders about the Pac-12's decision to play ball in gambling environment.

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Chris Dufresne also wrote about the gambling element in the L.A. Times.

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Bovada.com lists Arizona as the favorite to win the Pac-12 Tournament.

Their full list:

Arizona 19/10

UCLA 4/1

Oregon 5/1

California 5/1

Colorado 7/1

Stanford 10/1

Washington 18/1

Arizona State 33/1

Washington State 33/1

USC 50/1

Utah 100/1

Oregon State 100/1

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Arizona is listed as a 30-1 shot to win the NCAA tournament.

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Today's Pac-12 Tournament schedule (all games on Pac-12 Networks):

Stanford vs ASU, Noon

Colorado vs Oregon State, 30 minutes after first game ends.

USC vs. Utah, 6 p.m.

Washington vs. Washington State, 30 minutes after USC-Utah ends

 

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