7. Arizona (15-5)
There’s significant talent at Arizona this season, much like there’s been these last few seasons since Tommy Lloyd has run the program. We’re not concerned with talent, because Lloyd has gotten the best out of this team for the most part across the last three years. This season’s edition of the Wildcats have had a slew of fantastic performances, but some less than ideal losses as well.
Yet another one of those losses came at Oregon State on Thursday night as Jordan Pope hit a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in an 83-80 loss for Arizona. The Wildcats got 23 points from Caleb Love and shot 53% from the field but didn’t do enough on the defensive end, falling to the Beavers. Fortunately, Saturday went much smoother, as the Wildcats traveled to Eugene and delivered an 87-78 win against Oregon. Love was even more fantastic, scoring 36 points to spearhead the bounce back for Arizona.
Arizona had already lost road games to Stanford and Washington State prior to this week and now sit just 6-3 in the Pac-12. All things considered, Arizona is by far the best and most talented team in the conference, but they keep faltering in these road environments. It was porous defense that doomed them again in Corvallis and they’ll need to sort that out before March Madness. Fortunately, it’s easy sailing next week, with California and Stanford paying a visit.