The Arizona Wildcats failed to reach the NCAA Tournament for the second time in nearly three decades last March, something that has made those in Tucson very hungry for a return to the postseason. Given a strong core of returning players and a top-ranked recruiting class, the Wildcats will be a trendy dark horse candidate to reach the Final Four in 2013.
Yahoo! Sports released a list of 10 teams primed for a big turnaround next year. The UA was among the teams listed, and they discussed the roster a bit.
Why it will be in the NCAA tourney next season: A loaded recruiting class lends hope that the Wildcats will return to the top of the Pac-12 standings. Arizona loses two of its top three scorers, but brings in the nation's No. 2 class, headed by three five-star big men. C [K]aleb Tarczewski and PFs Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett should transform the Wildcats into a frontcourt-dominated team. There's also a solid incoming freshman guard in Gabe York. The key guy might be holdover G Nick Johnson, a five-star recruit last year who had an inconsistent freshman season. He may be asked to play point guard; can he handle the role? Coach Sean Miller looks as if he will have a big, athletic squad.
There really is a lot to like about this team on paper, although a ton will hinge on just how strong the point guard play is. The wings and forward positions will be solid, but it's tough to go very far without a legitimate ball handler at the college level, as we all saw last season.
For more on the Wildcats, head over to AZ Desert Swarm.