It was no surprise that Arizona was named a no. 1 seed in the West region of the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday.
Now with only 16 teams left, ESPN.com college basketball writer Myron Medcalf has re-seeded the field and says that the Wildcats are deserving of the top overall seed, based on their first and second-round performances — replacing Florida as his true no. 1 seed.
Arizona toyed with Weber State in the round of 64. That was expected. But Gonzaga was a legitimate opponent as a No. 8 seed that appeared to possess the tools to give Arizona a fight. That didn’t happen. The Wildcats topped the Zags by 23 points in a lopsided win that allowed them to showcase their championship potential. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Aaron Gordon each finished with 18 points. Nick Johnson, a shooting guard, had four blocks. Arizona is athletic and versatile and ranked No. 1 in adjusted defensive efficiency, per Ken Pomeroy. The Wildcats played better than any team in the field this weekend.
Arizona cruised in their first game of the NCAA Tournament, defeating 16th-seeded Weber State 68-59 behind Pac-12 Player of the Year Nick Johnson’s 18 points and a team total of 12 blocks.
The Wildcats advanced to the round of 32, and won against eighth-seeded Gonzaga 84-61, outscoring the Bulldogs 31-2 off turnovers, to push forward to the Sweet Sixteen.
Arizona is slated to play fourth-seeded San Diego State on March 27, in Anaheim, CA for a chance to play in the Elite Eight for the first time since 2011. If the Wildcats advance, they will play the winner of Baylor and Wisconsin for a trip to the Final Four.