The Arizona Wildcat basketball program has made their share of deep post-season runs.
Now the football team could be crashing the Final Four party.
It’s far from a sure thing and the ‘Cats will need to get some help along way but in a season which started with little expectations (Arizona picked pre-season to finish fourth in the Pac-12 South), who would have imagined Rich Rodriguez’s team could be this close (seventh in the latest poll)?
“Ultimately, for them to get in the top four I think they need one upset in addition to them beating Oregon,” ESPN college football insider Brad Edwards told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Wednesday. “They would have two wins over Oregon in addition to beating ASU and Utah who are also ranked in the committee’s top 25. It’s a good resume.”
Edwards believes UA (10-2) also benefits from being the only two-loss team to not have a “bad loss,” with setbacks to both ranked UCLA (15th) and USC (25th). He says the Wildcats would be better positioned with a slightly stronger non-conference schedule (wins over UNLV, UTSA, Nevada) but won’t be punished because of it. Like every other team in the Top 25 UA has its’ warts (close, last-second wins over Cal and Washington).
Edwards points to fifth-ranked Ohio State’s match-up with Wisconsin and number four Florida State’s battle with Georgia Tech as two games which could go either way. A slip up by either team above them could catapult UA into one of those cherished top four slots when the selections are made Sunday.
First things first is a rematch with second-ranked Oregon who the ‘Cats upset in Eugene earlier this year and are riding a two game-winning streak against the Quack Attack dating back to last season’s blowout win in Tucson. The 11-1 Ducks have won seven-straight since their October 2nd loss.
Check back the rest of the week for complete pre and post-game coverage from Santa Clara right here on Sports360AZ.com.