Arizona Wildcats still a Top 20 team in both pollsby Anthony Gimino on Feb. 28, 2011, under Arizona basketball, Sports
Arizona, after being swept at USC and UCLA last week, dropped from 10th to 18th in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and in the AP media poll.
I would have thought the Wildcats (23-6) would have dropped further.
As it is, they are the only Pac-10 team in the poll. UCLA, tied with Arizona for the league lead at 12-4, ranks 28th in the coaches poll.
The Wildcats’ record still looks nice, and being tied for the conference lead counts for something. But coach Sean Miller’s team still lacks a signature road victory (winning at Washington State and Cal was nice, but it hardly moves the national needle).
To me, Arizona is more of a fringe-y Top 25 team with a resume that probably doesn’t merit inclusion in the polls. But that’s the state of college basketball this season. There is an excess of teams in that same boat … and some of them have to get ranked.
Not that the rankings mean all that much anyway.
The two losses caused everyone to re-evaluate these Wildcats, but they can still deliver at least a share of the Pac-10 title by beating Oregon State and Oregon at home this week. And that would be a fine accomplishment for Miller in his second season … no matter what the rankings say.
Arizona appeared on 50 of 65 ballots in the AP poll. The team’s highest ranking came from Roger Clarkson of the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald; he put the Cats at No. 12. Check out all the individual votes for Arizona at pollspeak.com