If you’re an Arizona fan, you can either feel elated or cursed by the tweet that was sent out just before noon on Thursday: Skip Bayless has picked the Wildcats to win the NCAA Tournament.
I'm picking Arizona to win it all as a 4 seed because of Deandre Ayton, who at 7-1 has NBA superstar potential. Plays so hard and smart for his age. Maybe I'm expecting too much too soon, but he's easily the best player in this tournament.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) March 15, 2018
On the one hand, yes, it’s always an excellent sign to have the confidence of those in the media. On the other hand, well, sports fans are notoriously superstitious, and any proclamations of championships are seen to many less as signs of confidence but more as a sure jinx to come.
The Wildcats haven’t won an NCAA title since 1997, though in the years since they have made the championship once (2001) and Elite Eight seven times. A preseason favorite to win, Arizona has had a volatile season — it is not alone in this — due to myriad factors: an FBI investigation, recruiting violations, PEDs, injuries, suspensions.
But the Wildcats are playing their best ball of the season, winners of eight of their last nine, both the Pac-12 regular season champs and the tournament champs.
They open up their NCAA Tournament run with No. 13 Buffalo on Thursday night.