The college basketball season is finally over after Kentucky cut down the nets on Monday evening, knocking off Kansas by a score of 67-59. Very little went right for the Arizona Wildcats this past year, but there is a lot to look forward to, most notably the No. 1 ranked recruiting class that will make its way to Tucson in the coming months.
Many have written that the UA could make a Final Four run in 2013 given the talent assembled on the roster. While there are still numerous questions that remain as players decide their futures with the program, that did not stop ESPN's panel of college hoops experts from giving them high marks in their first preseason rankings for next year.
Where was Arizona ranked? Which team was picked No. 1? What about Kentucky?
Here is what Andy Katz had to say about Arizona, ranked No. 12 overall.
The Wildcats had to deal with a number of issues this season from injuries to attrition, but they were still close to mounting a Pac-12 regular-season title challenge and made the NIT. Arizona should lean heavily on Solomon Hill as a lead returnee (along with Kevin Parrom's return), but this will be a team heavy on newcomers. The recruiting class is currently ranked No. 1 in the country by ESPN, with Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett, Brandon Ashley and Gabe York heading to Tucson. This team will be young in November but should make its mark in March.
Nothing really to argue with here. This team will likely take its fair share of punches early in the year -- very rarely do young teams gel right out of the gate -- but very few squads will have more talent than the 'Cats in 2012-13. Sean Miller always gets the most out of his players and a deep NCAA Tournament run could be in the cards assuming the point guard situation gets worked out with Josiah Turner and Jordin Mayes.
As for the No. 1 team in the land come next November? The Indiana Hoosiers. Kentucky comes in at No. 4 on the list, joined by Louisville, Kansas and Ohio State to round out the top-five.
No other Pac-12 teams made the top-25. San Diego St. and Gonzaga were the only other west coast schools to make the list.
These rankings are pretty silly, especially with the season still six months away, but it's always fun to see where the "experts" think your favorite team is going to end up.