University of Arizona's record thusfar this season. Two of those losses to Arizona State. Arizona has not lost twice to Arizona State in one season since 1995. In the interest of parity in sports jounalism how is it possible that Arizona is still getting votes for the Top 25. The Kitty Kats are not and have not been a Top 25 team in 2007-2008 with the exception of the Overtime loss to Kansas, the wins over then #9 A&M and #9 Washington State and the close loss to Stanford a few weeks ago. Granted, Tucson's Team does play the toughest schedule in all of Division I basketball and has an RPI of 1 (last time I looked). As recently as the 8th of February ESPN released a breakdown of 20 writers and 20 TV broadcasters with their mock NCAA Tournament brackets. In both Arizona was a 4 seed. That would mean both groups believe that Arizona, who at the time was 15-7, (5-4), was a top 16 team in the country.
If I can bust on Duke for media bias and favortism year after year with this year being an exception (Duke's record is always elevated due to a soft non-conference which usually bites them in the ass in the tournament due to not playing much competition) then this is one instance I will do the same to Arizona. Arizona's program has been slipping recently and this year is the free-fall. The program has been in constant andjustment after years solid as rock. Players typically hung around here for four years, not all but most. The coach has been the same since the 80s. Things were comfortable for Cats fans. Recently keeping a player for 4 years has been near impossible and players like (Good Riddance) Marcus Williams are leaving early. The hopes of keeping Sophomore Budinger and Freshman Bayless are looking slim meaning next year should be the same.
New coach O'Neil this year has done an adequate job, and really all you can expect after being thrust into the spotlight and living in the shadow of a Hall of Famer in Lute. The team lacks heart and intensity, which in no way can be attributed to Coach K because he has plenty of it. It's the lack of leadership. But for some reason they are still being ranked as a top team in the country. Sure I'll be excited in March when UA gets an at-large bid to the tournament despite a 20-11 (10-8) record. But when The Cats don't make it past the first weekend I won't be surprised (just like I won't be surprised when Duke gets dropped in the 3rd round). Media bias is one of the worst things in sports, and really the point of this whole thing was to point out that even as a die hard Cats fan, I can admit bias, and I question how it is possible for fans of certain teams out there, who receive undue adulation, coverage, and awe, can honestly with a straight face deny that bias exists. Also, how it is possible for the media to turn a blind eye to this year after year in every sport.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Posted by Dom at 10:40 AM