The other noteworthy regional host snub was Arizona, and the Wildcats are steamed. Arizona ranks 10th in the RPI and finished 38-17 overall, 12-12 in the Pacific-10 Conference (good enough for a tie for fourth place with California, which won the head-to-head series against Arizona). The Wildcats won back-to-back series against Stanford and Arizona State down the stretch, though they lost earlier series to California, Oregon State, Washington, UCLA and Southern California. Arizona coach Andy Lopez issued a statement about the snub:
"Obviously we’re disappointed not to be selected as one of the 16 regional site hosts, but we are looking forward to the selection show tomorrow morning to find out where we’re going to play and for the upcoming tournament in general.
"We feel that we put together a pretty good resumé for the NCAA to consider, including what looks to be a top 10 RPI and 38 wins against a very challenging nonconference schedule and a pretty good conference in the Pac-10. We won weekend series against three regular season conference champions (Georgia, Cal State Fullerton and Arizona State) and played tough opponents away from home. Based on that, I don’t honestly know what it takes for us to get a regional in Tucson.
"Last year we finished second in the Pac-10 with 40 wins overall and a strong RPI and we were sent to Wichita. This year we improved our overall RPI, our strength of schedule and will finish no worse than fourth in one of the top two conferences in the nation–and are still going out on the road. It’s extremely frustrating for me and I really feel for our players who did everything they possibly could to secure a host bid.”
Arizona would have had a better case if it hadn’t lost five of its first six conference series, but Lopez has a good gripe nonetheless.
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