The NCAA isn’t releasing a bracket this year but at Swish Appeal we’ve decided to make one anyway, based on this formula created by our Zack Ward. Here’s a recap of one of the 64 teams who made the cut according to the Swish Appeal bracket:
No. 7 Arizona Wildcats
The Arizona Wildcats went 24-7 (12-6 Pac-12), which was good enough for a fourth-place conference finish. The Wildcats showed they were a threat in the Pac-12 by earning regular-season wins against Stanford, UCLA and Oregon State. Our bracket had the Wildcats as a No. 2 seed, which is quite a feat for a program that has just three winning seasons in the last 10. A trip to the Big Dance would have been the program’s first since 2005.
The Wildcats were led by Aari McDonald, who was first in the Pac-12 in scoring (20.6 points per game) and steals (68) in her junior redshirt season. McDonald’s efforts on the defensive end were acknowledged with the 2020 Pac-12 Defense Player of the Year Award, as well as an All Pac-12 selection and an All-Defensive selection. McDonald was also named an WBCA All-American and was an AP Second Team All-American. To top off the list of honors, McDonald was awarded the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year award.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the @WBCA1981 congratulate @ArizonaWBB player @AariMcdonald. She is the receipt of the 2020 @AnnMeyers Award. #MeyersAward pic.twitter.com/uetYzi2wDp— Basketball HOF (@Hoophall) April 6, 2020
Sophomore forward Cate Reese averaged 13.6 points, and her 7.5 rebounds per game was seventh in the conference. Reese was named All Pac-12 one year after making the All-Freshman team, showing no signs of a sophomore slump.
Top Moments: #⃣5⃣— Arizona Women's Basketball (@ArizonaWBB) May 2, 2020
On Dec. 29, we came home with a win over ASU in Tempe for the first time since 2000 to extend our winning streak to 18 games.@cate_reese had 17 points and 10 rebounds.#MadeForIt | #BearDown pic.twitter.com/H7uVgYelCT
McDonald’s defensive accolades were certainly at the forefront, but do not let them overshadow just how good the Wildcats were as a team on the defensive end of the floor this past season.
DEFENSIVE MINDSET— Arizona Women's Basketball (@ArizonaWBB) May 8, 2020
This season, we set new school records in
➡️ Opponent points per game
➡️ Fewest total points allowed
➡️ Opponent Field Goal Pct. #MadeForIt | #BearDown pic.twitter.com/Lt49ya83yQ
With Dominique McBryde and Amari Carter graduating, the Wildcats will have two new starters. Joining the squad next season is the 2020 ACC Sixth Player of the Year: Trinity Baptiste from Virginia Tech. Additionally, McDonald will be back for her final year of eligibility, which should help keep the Wildcats on their upward trajectory into the 2020-21 season.