he Arizona Wildcats are the consensus number one team in the country right now. With a 16-0 record and tough wins against top ranked teams like Duke and road wins against Michigan and UCLA, the Wildcats are battle tested yet their record remains unscathed.
Across the board, this team is loaded with talent. Nick Johnson is one of the best shooting guards in the country, Aaron Gordon is one of the most versatile forwards in the country, Kaleb Tarczewski is one of the best centers in the league, and Sean Miller is one of the best coaches in the country. This team is deep, athletic, explosive, and well coached – all things that make good teams great.
Arizona has just started the Pac-12 section of their schedule and right now, it appears that the Wildcats’ undefeated season could continue for quite a while.
If any team in the Pac-12 is going to beat Arizona, it will most likely come when Arizona is on the road. The Wildcats have played three true road games this season, and all three have been close. Arizona traveled to San Diego State on November 14 and beat the Aztecs 69-60. Arizona traveled to Ann Arbor on December 14 and beat Michigan 72-70, and last night, the Wildcats beat UCLA 79-75 on the Bruins’ home court.
In games played on Arizona’s home court, the scores haven’t even been close.
Looking at the other teams in the Pac-12, only two teams stand out as legitimate threats to take down Arizona – Oregon and Colorado.
Oregon has one of the most explosive offenses in the country – 88.9 points per game (3rd in the country) – and junior guard Joseph Young is a star. He could give Zona some fits by himself.
Colorado beat Oregon earlier in the year, and what makes them dangerous is their defensive prowess. Colorado is a long, athletic team that creates a lot of chaos on the defensive end of the court. Zona PG TJ McConnell is good, but Colorado’s PG Spencer Dinwiddle is a stud. That matchup could be the difference.
Arizona plays Colorado at home on January 23, but the Wildcats are just too good to lose at home. So looking forward, the game the Wildcats will lose is on February 22 when they travel down to Boulder to take on the Buffalos in Colorado.
At that point, Arizona would be 26-0 on the season, but it’s nearly impossible for teams to go undefeated these days. Losing wouldn’t be the worst thing for this team either, and may actually help them come tourney time.