You saw it coming, and it's finally here. For the first time in more than 10 years, the Arizona Wildcats are ranked first in the nation in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls. And it was nearly unanimous.
All but two of the 65 AP voters and two of the 35 coaches picked Sean Miller's team as the best in the nation following the fall of the Michigan State Spartans, who lost last week to North Carolina. The Wildcats' top-10 ranking to start to the season combined with a perfect 8-0 record has made them the only choice. What's behind them is a bit muddled.
Syracuse is ranked No. 2 in the AP poll, while the Ohio State Buckeyes are second in the coaches poll.
There's a bit of good news for Arizona being ranked first overall in a historical context.
Arizona has advanced to at least the Elite 8 in four of the previous five seasons they have been ranked No. 1. (Last #1 ranking 2002-03.)— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) December 9, 2013
Sean Miller has been accepting of the ranking, viewing it as a compliment to the program rather than a distraction. While it means little this early in the season, it doesn't validate Miller's personal investments in the program.
According to the Arizona Daily Star's Bruce Pascoe, this is the 31st time UA has been ranked No. 1 in its history.
|25||San Diego State||7-1||159|
- Others receiving votes: UCLA 104, New Mexico 62, Pittsburgh 47, Boise State 34, Michigan 26, Virginia Commonwealth 17, Dayton 11, Cincinnati 5, Harvard 5, Saint Mary's 3, Indiana 3, George Washington 2, Creighton 2, Oklahoma 1, Toledo 1
- Dropped from rankings: UCLA 18, Michigan 22, Dayton 25
USA Today Coaches Poll
|RANK||TEAM||RECORD||POINTS||FIRST PLACE VOTES||PREVIOUS RANK||CHANGE||HI/LOW*|
|24||San Diego State