Do recent events hurt an NCAA bid?

Minutes after news of Hassan Adams' citation for a DUI became public I started getting phone calls. Everyone wanted to know if the UofA was still NCAA bound. My response "yes…most likely."

I still like the UA's resume. They have 18 wins, 11 in conference. No Pac-10 team other than ASU has been denied an NCAA birth with 10 or more wins in conference. More importantly the Cats are 23rd in the RPI and have the nation's 5th strongest schedule.

The Wildcats face Stanford on Thursday, a team they have beaten twice already.

So are the Cats in?

The most pressing question is ‘how do Adams' difficulties affect things?' That question cannot fully be answered because no one knows what penalty Adams will suffer. The violation alone will have no effect on the Wildcats. The committee will not penalize Arizona because of the citation.

A lengthy suspension could very well affect seeding and even a bid. More than likely the Cats would still get in without having Adams available, but there is very little precedent for the Selection Committee excluding a team because they were missing a player.

Where Arizona could get in trouble is if they are deemed as one of the last teams on the bubble. If Arizona is slotted as one of the last two or three teams then any lengthy Adams suspension could conceivably be factored in. If Arizona and another team are considered fairly equal for a spot, then a loss of Adams' services could be taken into consideration.

From what I can gather, there is only one scenario that excludes the Wildcats from the NCAA Tournament. That scenario would be a team other than one of the top four (UCLA, UW, Cal and UA) winning the Pac-10 Tournament. If that is the case it seems doubtful that the committee would take five teams. More than likely either Cal or Arizona would be the team on the outside looking in.

Cal finished higher in the conference and was more impressive in their win over Arizona than the Cats were in their win over the Bears. Cal has superior numbers against the RPI top-25 (3-3 to 1-6) and has been better in their last 10 (7-3 to 5-5). The Cats have the better RPI (23 to 59) and the better schedule strength (5 to 72). Both teams have seven wins against the RPI top-100.

If Arizona loses in the first round, but one of the other top-three teams wins the event, they should get in, though their seed may not be very good.

Of course a first round win in the Pac-10 Tournament would make all Arizona fans rest a little better on Selection Sunday.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories