The Arizona Wildcats appear to have survived the transition from Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson to Sean Miller.
While UA has missed the NCAA Tournament in two of Miller's first three years on campus, he arrived with a nearly bare cupboard in Tucson and had to deal with recruiting violations that limited the number of players he could have on his team.
And let's not forget about the Elite 8 run in 2011, which came a shot short of a Final Four appearance.
The college hoops writers at ESPN recently compiled a list of the best college basketball jobs in the country. Where did Miller and the Wildcats enter in the rankings?
Arizona came in at 10th on the rankings, just edging out other schools such as Michigan State and Florida. Here is part of what ESPN's Eamonn Brennan had to say about the 'Cats.
So why did I choose Arizona? A few reasons. Connecticut's success is impossible to extract from Jim Calhoun, the coach who almost single-handedly built it. Florida has two national titles and a huge boost in brand name under Billy Donovan, but it's hard to be a top-10 program when you're still the younger brother to your school's football team. This same disqualifier applies to Texas (though some argued this was actually a great job, because it paid well, came with huge financial support from the richest athletic program in the country, and didn't feature the pressure of basketball-first schools).
Brennan didn't really highlight too much of why Arizona was such a good job, rather than why it was, in his opinion, better than the other schools in contention for the top-10.
Tucson has better weather (the months of June, July and August aside) than just about any school in the country; while kids who go to UConn or Michigan State walk to practices in the snow, those at UA can wear shorts and sandals. And with the Richard Jefferson Gym and renovations to McKale Center expected in a few years, there are few schools in the country with better facilities than Arizona.
Sean Miller has this program going in the right direction, and we can only hope the coaching job in Tucson does not become vacant for a long, long time.
For more on the Wildcats be sure to check out AZ Desert Swarm.