Arizona Has Rich History as No. 2 Seed In NCAA Tournament

Arizona Has Rich History as No. 2 Seed In NCAA Tournament
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Arizona Wildcats officially qualified for their 37th berth in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on Sunday, thanks to capturing the Pac-12 Tournament title over UCLA on Saturday night.

The Wildcats (28-6, 14-6) will be the second seed in the South Region, facing off against Ivy League champion Princeton in the first round Thursday afternoon.

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When the Wildcats and Tigers meet in Sacramento in the Round of 64, it’ll represent the 25th game Arizona’s played as a second seed since the Big Dance expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

Arizona sportsbook oddsmakers are riding high on the Tommy Lloyd-coached squad, listing the Wildcats at -1200 and -14.5 against the Tigers.

As for overall odds, Arizona currently is listed in a tie with UCLA for fifth on the BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona odds board at +1200, behind Houston (+550), Kansas (+800), Alabama (+800) and Purdue (+1100)., your home for the best coverage of Arizona sports betting apps, wanted to take a trip down memory lane to see how the Wildcats have done as a No. 2 seed in recent history.

Wildcats Record as No. 2 Seed Since 1985


  • vs. 15 seed Princeton in Sacramento on Thursday

2017: 2-1 overall 

  • Beat 15 seed N. Dakota (100-82) in Round of 64
  • Beat 7 seed St. Mary’s (69-60) in Round of 32
  • Lost to 11 seed Xavier (73-71) in Sweet 16

2015: 3-1 overall 

  • Beat 15 seed Texas Southern (93-72) in Round of 64
  • Beat 10 seed Ohio State (73-58) in Round of 32
  • Beat 6 seed Xavier (68-60) in Sweet 16
  • Lost to 1 seed Wisconsin (78-65) in Elite 8

2001: 5-1 overall  

  • Beat 15 seed E. Illinois (101-76) in Round of 64
  • Beat 10 seed Butler (73-52) in Round of 32
  • Beat 3 seed Ole Miss (66-56) in Sweet 16
  • Beat 1 seed Illinois (87-81) in Elite 8
  • Beat 1 seed Michigan State (80-61) in Final Four
  • Lost to 1 seed Duke (82-72) in NCAA Championship

1994: 4-1 overall  

  • Beat 15 seed Loyola MD (81-55) in Round of 64
  • Beat 7 seed UVA (71-58) in Round of 32
  • Beat 3 seed Louisville (82-70) in Sweet 16
  • Beat 1 seed Missouri (92-72) in Elite 8
  • Lost to 1 seed Arkansas (91-82) in Final 4

1993: 0-1 overall 

  • Lost to 15 seed Santa Clara (64-61) in Round of 64

1991: 2-1 overall 

  • Beat 15 seed St. Francis PA (93-80) in Round of 64
  • Beat 10 seed BYU (76-61) in Round of 32
  • Lost to 3 seed Seton Hall (84-69) in Sweet 16

1990: 1-1 overall 

  • Beat 15 seed South Florida (79-67) in Round of 64
  • Lost to 7 seed Alabama (77-55) in Round of 32

Overall W-L record

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How Wildcats Compare To Their Predecessors

Being No. 2 hasn’t usually been an issue for Arizona in past tournaments, with the Wildcats making it to the Sweet 16 in five of their previous seven trips in such a position.

Aside from Arizona’s infamous loss to Steve Nash and the Santa Clara Broncos in the 1993 tournament and a second-round defeat to Alabama in 1990, each of the teams made it to the second weekend of the Big Dance.

Two such teams (1994 and 2001) made it all the way to the Final Four and national championship game, respectively, with the ’01 squad pushing Duke to the limit, before falling, 82-72.

That 2001 team also happens to be the last in school history to reach the Final Four, becoming the fourth Wildcats squad to reach the national semifinal.



Christopher Boan is the lead writer at after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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