clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pac-12 Power Rankings: Arizona Wildcats The Favorites To Win Conference

Sean Miller's first three years in Tucson have been something to behold.

His first season consisted of a complete rebuilding job, one in which saw UA miss postseason play altogether.

Miller's second year in Tucson saw the Wildcats advance to the Elite Eight, headlined by a complete annihilation of Duke and a last-second miss against eventual champion Connecticut.

With expectations as high as they've ever been in season three, Miller and the 'Cats failed to meet expectations due to a lack of freshmen production and injuries.

Now, with the best recruiting class in school history and a couple of elite transfers electing to come to Tucson, many are thinking Final Four in 2012-13.

According to ESPN, who previewed the Pac-12 this week, they like the Wildcats to win the conference. That would mean knocking off UCLA, who many project as the No. 1 team in the country entering the season.

1. Arizona Wildcats

The Cats fell into Mark Lyons, who graduated from Xavier with a year of eligibility left, and it makes them national title contenders this season. It's not that Lyons is great -- he isn't -- but he knows Sean Miller from playing for him before and is a sound ball-handler at the point. He also has exactly what Miller craves -- toughness. Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley instantly give the Cats a great front line to combine with Lyons and a bevy of wing players.

While there is no denying Arizona will have a ton of talent next season, it'll be Miller's toughest coaching job to date to get all of his players to mesh into the system. It won't be easy and there will likely be a few hiccups along the way, but all signs point to bright days ahead for the Wildcats.

In case you were wondering, the Arizona St. Sun Devils entered at 11th in the Pac-12 preseason rankings.

For more on UA athletics, check out AZ Desert Swarm.