Sunday Selection Show lacks drama

Arizona was thankful that Sunday's Selection show lacked drama, as it awaited only its seed and placement. Read on for Sean Miller's initial thoughts on the seed, location, and more.

The drama that existed last season around this time was not present on Sunday, as the only anticipation was where Arizona would be seeded in the NCAA tournament. As it turns out, the Wildcats will face the Belmont Bruins in Salt Lake City on Thursday.

"We are obviously honored to be a part of the NCAA tournament," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said. "At the University of Arizona, because our program has been a fixture for so long in college basketball, you almost sometimes can take for granted in being in the tournament. I am grateful and I know our team is grateful for being in it.

"The only thing you need to look to be reminded of how fortunate we are is to look at Kentucky. The machine that they were a year ago, they were an overall number one seed and the National Champions, but then a year later, they aren't even a part of the tournament. It shows you the parity of college basketball.

"That's why March Madness is so special and that's what we're so excited about; the fact that we're going to Salt Lake City, an area that we're familiar with in the west, the wheelhouse of our great fans. It only enhances this next game for us."

This is not the first time that Miller has coached against Belmont, as his Xavier squad in 2007 was able to blow out the Bruins.

"I have coached against Belmont, they have one of the best coaches in college basketball, and he's been at it a long time," Miller said. "They are a terrific shooting team and they are not just a good team, but a great program. We have the ultimate respect for them. You can play the game as good matchup, bad matchup, but when you play in the NCAA tournament, it's all about advancing, so in any game you play, it is going to be difficult."

Miller believes that it is difficult to view any game as a good matchup at this point of the season because of the quality of the teams involved.

"I don't know if any of us looks at the opponent and says, `Boy that's a great matchup, this is going to be easy'," Miller said. We know it is going to be a challenge; we're not even looking beyond that game. We are excited to be in Salt Lake City, like I mentioned. I am really excited for our team to have the opportunity to play on Thursday in this great tournament."

In terms of seeding, Miller did not have much to complain about, as he understands the route that the committee took.

"One thing the seeding reflects is the quality of the season that you had," he said. "A sixth seed, you times that by four, you are viewed as the top-20 or top-24 teams in the country. If you consider overall how we performed in the season, that's pretty accurate.

"Whether we could have been one higher or lower, when you are in and around the seed that we're at, I don't think that really matters. The first round game is difficult."

In addition, Miller is happy that Arizona has been placed in the west region, as it allows the UA to be in a familiar environment.

"We're excited to play so close to home in a city that is a part of our conference," he said. "From our guys' perspective, everything, from traveling there to staying at a hotel that we've stayed at before, plays somewhat as an advantage to us.

"If the selection committee sent us to another location, we would have gratefully gone there and I would be saying the same thing, except we might have not been playing as close as we are. The fact that we're in Salt Lake City, like I said, we are thrilled to be a part of that community and the respect that we have for Belmont I've already mentioned before. In particular, being able to play in front of as many as our great fans, that to me is something that we're fortunate to have on our side."

Wildcat Authority Top Stories