Published March 16, 2014
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Arizona Wildcats, fresh off losing a heartbreaker in the finals of the Pac-12 Tournament, were named a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Arizona (30-4) will be the top seed in the West Region and will kick off its tournament against Big Sky champion Weber State (19-11) on Friday in San Diego.
The Wildcats opened the season 21-0 before losing power forward Brandon Ashley for the year with a broken foot. Arizona stumbled a bit down the stretch and fell to UCLA, which earned a five seed in the South Region, 75-71 in the Pac-12 Tourney finals.
If UA advances past the opening round, it will take on either eighth-seeded Gonzaga (28-6) or ninth-seeded Oklahoma State (21-12). The Cowboys, at one point in the hunt for a No. 1 seed, have battled through adversity all season, including a season-ending injury to starting big man Michael Cobbins and a three-game suspension to star point guard Marcus Smart.
Wisconsin (26-7), the Big Ten regular season runner-up, will be the No. 2 seed and clash with Patriot League champ American on Thursday in Milwaukee.
Creighton (26-7) and college basketball's scoring champ Doug McDermott earned the three seed after falling to Providence in the Big East Tournament. McDermott, who leads the nation with 26.9 points per contest, currently ranks fifth in Division 1 history with 3,105 career points.
The Bluejays will be met by Sun Belt champion Louisiana (23-11) on Friday.
Mountain West regular season champ San Diego State (29-4) got a four seed and will play WAC champion New Mexico State (26-9) and its 7-foot-5 center, Sim Bhullar.
Two other Thursday tilts will pit No. 7 Oregon (23-9) against No. 10 BYU (23-11) in Milwaukee and fifth-seeded Oklahoma (23-9) against 12th-seeded North Dakota State (25-6) in Spokane.
Friday's other matchup in San Antonio features sixth-seeded Baylor (24-11) against 11th-seeded Nebraska (19-12).