Arizona has made the Elite Eight two out of the past three years but hasn’t reached the Final Four since 2001. In his eighth year at the helm, Sean Miller has arguably his best team and has all the talent and potential to get over the hump and earn a spot in the Final Four.
While the Wildcats boast talent up and down the lineup, all the players seem to buy in and put the team first. Arizona is a very balanced group on the offensive end. Six Wildcats average nine or more points per contest which force opponents to not focus on just one player which makes Arizona very tough to guard.
The addition of freshman forward Lauri Markkanen gives Arizona a lot of flexibility on offense. A native of Finland, Markkanen has made an immediate impact for the ‘Cats as he is able to stretch the floor and hit the outside shot while also excelling down-low with great post moves and strong finishing ability.
Even with all the skill on the offensive end, Arizona tends to struggle against a zone. In the matchup against UCLA on February 25th, Arizona was getting all they wanted on the offensive end and the Bruins decided to switch to a 2-3 zone. The Wildcats started to settle for outside shots and couldn’t get any production during a critical stretch of the game which ultimately resulted in the loss. If Arizona meets up with a team who plays a strong zone like Syracuse, that game could give the Wildcats a ton of issues and knock them out of the Big Dance.
Photo via ArizonaWildcats.com