The Arizona Wildcats are 24-6 overall and 13-4 in the Pac-10 heading into tonight's season finale against the Oregon Ducks, and a victory in tonight's game would give the Wildcats their first regular-season Pac-10 championship since 2004-05. This team, however, aims to do much more than just win the regular-season title. Led by star forward Derrick Williams, Arizona will be looking to make a deep run in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Let's take a look at how the Wildcats are positioned for the Big Dance.
ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi's most recent piece (updated Friday) has the Wildcats holding the fifth seed in the East region, with a match-up against either Boston College (18-11 overall, 8-7 in ACC play) or Michigan (18-12 overall, 8-9 in Big Ten play) set for the first round. A further look at this bracket reveals that the Wildcats could take on four-seed St. John's in the second round; if the Wildcats can best the Red Storm, then they would most likely take on Lunardi's projected top overall seed Ohio State in the Sweet 16.
Of course, bracketolgists have different views on teams. In his latest bracket (also updated Friday), SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean ranks Arizona slightly lower than Lunardi, placing the Wildcats as the sixth seed in the West region. Dobbertean's bracket features the Wildcats against last year's runner-up Michigan State in the first round, with a match-up against third seed Syracuse possibly looming in round two. The Wildcats could see second-seeded San Diego State in the Sweet 16 if they manage to advance that far.
Only this month's NCAA Tournament will tell which, if either, of these two brackets correctly predicts Arizona's postseason path. One thing remains constant between these two brackets though: the Wildcats will have to play well to advance far in the always unpredictable NCAA Tournament.