The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcats’ win streak turns heads

    The Arizona men’s basketball program doesn’t typically find itself sweating the NCAA Tournament projections from so-called “”bracketology”” experts.

    Up until last year, the Wildcats earned comfortable at-large berths into the field of 65 teams consistently under Lute Olson’s reign.

    The program’s 24th straight tournament appearance, though, was far from comforting. Arizona earned a 10 seed last season with an at-large bid, barely surviving the proverbial bubble, thanks to a strong strength of schedule and ratings percentage index.

    With four weeks of regular season play remaining, the Wildcats once again find themselves not only resurrected from a 11-8 record, but in contention for the program’s 25th straight tournament berth.

    And once again, they’ll have to survive the bubble.

    “”There are a bunch of (teams) with 15, 16, 17 wins,”” UA interim head coach Russ Pennell said of the jumbled postseason future. “”We’re right in that mix. What I have told the team is, ‘All we’ve done is kept ourselves in the picture for whatever we’re trying to get to at the end.'””

    Having won five straight games, the Wildcats enter a critical weekend against the Los Angeles schools with a newfound glimpse of national attention.

    According to ESPN.com’s bracketology, the Wildcats are projected to be the “”last team in”” the tournament’s at-large bids at the No. 12 seed in the West (Phoenix) region against Ohio State. ESPN has six Pacific 10 Conference teams in its field.

    According to Bracketography.com, the Wildcats are projected to be a No. 11 seed against Villanova in the East (Boston) region. The Web site has five Pac-10 teams in contention.

    Arizona currently has an RPI of 53 and strength of schedule of 57, according to RealTimeRPI.com.

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