Arizona Basketball: Despite the Latest Rise, Cats Still Fight The East Coast Bias
Even though rankings are meaningless at this point in the season, it can’t hurt to talk about.
No Arizona Basketball hoop fan can be disappointed at the recent rise the rankings, especially where we sat a few months ago. However, there is still little to no doubt there is still an east coast bias in College Basketball, even with the emergence of UCLA and Oregon in the PAC 12.
As we know, the rankings don’t mean a thing in the eyes of Sean Miller and the rest of the squad. This has been Sean Miller’s finest coaching job with all the obstacles he and his ‘diaper dandies,’ as Dick Vitale would put it, have had to overcome. Now, the addition of Allonzo Trier back in the mix, this team has risen in the national ranks, yet still, are getting overlooked. Let’s take a closer look at the teams ahead of us Gonzaga, Baylor, Kansas, and Villanova.
Arizona’s only two losses are to the number one team in the land, Gonzaga, and the No. 16 team Butler. Two very good teams. Let’s start with No. 3 Kansas. They, like the Cats, have two losses. One of those coming at the hands of the Indiana Hoosiers in OT and the other was to No. 7 West Virginia.
Let’s take a quick look at Villanova their two losses. One also coming to Butler and the other one coming to Marquette. If Villanova wasn’t the defending national champs, there is no doubt UofA would have jumped them in the rankings. With all this being said it’s not where you start it’s where you finish. This group has to be absolutely thrilled at where they stand now.
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Looking at the other top team’s losses, losing to the No. 1 and 16 teams is respectable. Not to mention, our top returning player just got cleared! I love the fact we’re getting less national attention because teams better take notice. We’re deep, tall, athletic, defend the perimeter, and have some of the most mature freshman in the country; oh yeah not to mention we have the best coach in the country in Coach Miller, who has to be a front-runner for National Coach of the Year for what he has done with this group.
From where we saw this team back in early December to now it is a true testament to Coach Miller. He had to prepare a trio of 19-year-old student athletes to play significant minutes. They were asked to mature early, and they responded to their coach’s challenge, and now we stand 20-2, the number 5 team in the country and finally have depth.
This team wouldn’t be where it is today without Kobi Simmons, Rawle Alkins, and, of course, future lottery pick Lauri Markkanen. This team looks poised to get Miller to his first Final Four and what better year to do it than the year it is being held in Glendale, AZ an hour and a half north of Tucson.
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