Thursday didn’t offer much in the form of compelling college basketball games. Arizona was the only ranked team in action — and the Wildcats were 17.5-point favorites at Oregon State. So the order of the Top 25 And 1 wasn’t expected to change.
You know what happened next, right?
Yep, Jordan Pope hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Oregon State to an 83-80 victory over Tommy Lloyd’s Wildcats that sparked the sport’s latest court-storm. That’s a Quadrant 3 loss, the type elite teams always want to avoid and usually do. The surprising defeat is why Arizona is down to No. 16 in Friday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings, where Purdue remains No. 1 for the 16th consecutive day.
“I wish the game would have got to overtime and we could have seen if we could get over the top,” Lloyd said. “But we didn’t get the opportunity.”
Arizona started the season 8-0 with wins over Duke and Wisconsin, which helped the Wildcats rise to No. 1 in the NET. But they’re only 6-5 in their past 11 games with two losses to schools ranked outside of the top 100 of the NET.
That’s not good.
Regardless, KenPom.com continues to project Arizona to win the Pac-12 by multiple games with a 15-5 record in the league. So the big picture remains positive even if the recent results are discouraging. Either way, if the Wildcats can’t stop taking questionable losses like this one over the next six weeks, they might fail to get the type of seed in the NCAA Tournament that typically accompanies power-conference champs even if they add a nice trophy by winning a league that ranks sixth nationally, according to the NET.