It was the last home stand of the season for the Arizona Wildcats and for five of them it was the last of their careers. Jesse Perry, Kyle Fogg, Brendon Lavender, Alex Jacobson and walk-on Dondre Wise suited up for the final time at McKale (vs. USC on Thursday and UCLA on Saturday). Kyle Fogg was not going to let this opportunity pass him by. He averaged 18.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from three-point range and 75.0 percent from the free-throw line. The cats needed to sweep this weekend and Fogg was going to make sure that happened. Fogg’s courageous performance earned him Pac-12 player of the week along with my Stamp of Approval. It was a fitting way for a player who has given so much to the program to say goodbye to Tucson fans. Thank you to Fogg and all the seniors for the great memories they provided over the years at McKale center. It has been a privilege and joy watching you play with such passion and integrity.
The Wildcats (12-5, 21-9) have put themselves back in the NCAA tournament picture by winning 8 of the past 10 games. Their only two losses coming to first place, Washington. They have one regular season game left against their rival, Arizona State, and then the Pac-12 tournament. The Wildcats are considered a bubble team right now. They were included in 54 % of expert brackets as of Monday night. The “experts” are basically saying that right now there is a coin flip chance that Arizona will be dancing in March. I think everyone can agree that Sundays game against the Sun Devils is a must-win; after that there is room for debate. I believe that if Arizona beats ASU and wins one game in the Pac-12 tournament that they will definitely be dancing. This scenario would put them at 13-5 in the Pac-12 and 23-10 overall, including a finish of 10 of 13. The Wildcats had the toughest non-conference schedule in the conference and are playing like a tournament team when it counts. In my opinion, the only scenarios that would put the Cats on the outside looking in is a loss at ASU on Sunday or an Oregon or Colorado run to the final of the Pac-12 tourney. Let’s take a look at some projections, including the Zona Zealots staff (as of Feb 27):
- My Projection: 11 seed
- Celebrity Pick: Ryan Recker (KVOA News 4 Sports): 10 seed
- Matt Schmidt (Lead Editor): 11 seed
- Nick Mueller (writer): 8 seed
- Jeff Beran (writer): 11 seed
- Pablo Ceron (writer): 10 seed
- Erik Ortiz (writer): 12 seed
- Vincent Mendoza (writer): 12 seed
Only 54% of national experts have Arizona making the tournament as of today. As you can see, 100% of the Zona Zealots staff thinks the Cats will be dancing. Do the local bloggers have more insight than the national scene or is it just a fan bias? Thoughts?
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