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Preseason college basketball rankings: Arizona ranked No. 8 by Sporting News

The college basketball preseason rankings are beginning to come out. The Arizona Wildcats are close to being a consensus top-10 team.

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Amidst all of the college football madness, the college basketball season is set to begin in about a month. Following a frustrating season for Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats in 2011-12, UA returns four players who saw big minutes and bring in one of the nation's best recruiting classes. Add in the transfer of senior point guard Mark Lyons from Xavier and you've got a team in Tucson many think could make a run to the Final Four.

The preseason rankings for the upcoming 2012-13 season are beginning to come out. The Sporting News ranked the Wildcats 8th in the country and are intrigued by their solid blend of veteran play on the wings and a couple of young post players with very high ceilings.

Arizona is the highest ranked west coast team in Sporting News' top-25 poll. The UCLA Bruins are ranked 11th and were the only other Pac-12 ranked. The Wildcats will face No. 16 Florida at McKale Center in December, while they could also face No. 19 San Diego State in the Diamond Head Classic on Christmas night.

The Cats will begin their season on Nov. 11 against Charleston Southern. Practice is scheduled to begin in less than two weeks.