The Arizona Wildcats are the first team since 2008 to win the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament championships in the same season.
It wasn’t quite enough to earn the Wildcats a No. 1 seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, but it helped them secure a geographical advantage and set up a possible chance at payback against the team that ousted them from last year’s tourney.
UA was selected as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s West region Sunday and will face 15th-seeded Texas Southern in the tournament’s second round at 11:10 a.m. Thursday at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
If the Wildcats win that game, they’ll face the winner of seventh-seeded VCU and 10th-seeded Ohio State in Portland on Saturday.
Wisconsin is the West region’s No. 1 seed. Last season, the No. 2 seed Badgers beat top-seeded UA in overtime to advance to the Final Four.
The Wildcats will likely have a significant home-court advantage should they advance to the tournament’s regional semifinals and finals. They would play those games at Staples Center in Los Angeles, which is located less than 500 miles from UA campus in Tucson.
Arizona ended the 2014-15 regular season with a 31-3 record and 16-2 mark in the Pac-12. They won their second consecutive conference regular-season championship and earned their first Pac-12 Tournament title since 2002 by beating Oregon on Saturday.
The Wildcats were a No. 2 seed the last time they advanced to the Final Four in 2001. That team fell to top-seeded Duke in the championship game.
Kentucky (Midwest region), Villanova (East region) and Duke (South region) are the other No. 1 seeds in the 2015 tournament.