Is Arizona far and away the No. 1 team and if so, how much have the Wildcats separated themselves from the pack?
Bryan Doherty: Perhaps contrary to others I'm going to say Arizona is not far and away #1 in America. The Wildcats have proven the most in college basketball. That is something I have no issue saying. With that said I think putting them on a different class from the rest of the country is a little premature. The Wildcats have had a few less than stellar showings (Drexel, Cal Poly) and played tight, competitive games with Duke and Michigan. If the Wildcats even drop one of those games, are we asking this question? The talent on Arizona is undeniable but I want to see a little more before I go ahead and crown them the overwhelming #1 team.
Michigan State, Syracuse, among a few others certainly seem capable of playing with Arizona and I think there's still situations Arizona hasn't yet faced for me to definitively put them above the field. With a handful of talented opponents in Pac-12 play, we'll get a better idea of how consistent this team can be when the schedule shrinks the breaks and the Wildcats face back to back road challenges in a short time frame.
Jason Bartel: I don't think Arizona is far and away the No. 1 team right now. They do have better wins than some of the teams right behind them, but not to the point where I would say they've separated themselves from the pack.
Syracuse has been pretty impressive, and they'll have a huge test when they play Villanova on the 28th. I think Villanova's been the third-best team in the country behind UA and 'Cuse to this point with their wins over Iowa and Kansas. And they've dominated pretty much every other team that they've faced so far. Wisconsin's right there too, although I wouldn't put them in the top-three. Ohio State had an impressive comeback win against Notre Dame yesterday which helped save them, but they didn't look particularly great until the last minute of the game.
There's definitely a group of five or six that are at the top of the heap right now, and Oregon may be on the verge of jumping in that group. Arizona's at the top of that elite group, but it's close right now.
Kevin Zimmerman: Am I the only one thinking the Wildcats are pulling away? Certainly, the Pac-12 schedule will clear this up quite a bit, but as of now, I think it's hard to say Arizona has a weakness (though Zeus' injury lingering changes things for the time being). Shooting could be an issue, depth is a concern, and the Pac-12 teams certainly have confidence and experience in how to beat UA. Yet when you talk completeness, Sean Miller's team is it.
And I know you could argue Arizona has looked bad in some games (Drexel) and pulled out some tough ones against Duke and Michigan, but what other team has played three quality nonconference opponents away from home and won all of them?
Adam Butler: Far and away is a tough title to bestow on any team when we are so far and away from Dallas. Many teams are still learning about themselves and will truly begin to cut their teeth in conference play. But the reason I think we're even tossing around this idea is that the Wildcats seem to have a pretty firm grasp on their identity. This team plays its brand of basketball about as well as anyone plays their basketball. What's more, this is the strongest Pac-12 we've seen in quite some while, providing Arizona a chance to face some great challenges en route to wherever it is they might be heading.
So let's hear your thoughts. Do you think Arizona is separating itself, or are other teams in the mix with the Wildcats?