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Arizona ranked No. 5 in preseason coaches poll

The Wildcats received two first-place votes

USC v Arizona Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats are ranked No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, it was announced Thursday.

The Wildcats were one of four teams to receive first-place votes, garnering two of them.

The four teams ahead of them are the Duke Blue Devils, Michigan State Spartans, Kansas Jayhawks, and Kentucky Wildcats.

Here is the poll in its entirety:

  1. Duke Blue Devils (20)
  2. Michigan State Spartans (9)
  3. Kansas Jayhawks
  4. Kentucky Wildcats
  5. Arizona Wildcats (2)
  6. Villanova Wildcats
  7. Florida Gators (1)
  8. Wichita State Shockers
  9. North Carolina Tar Heels
  10. West Virginia Mountaineers
  11. USC Trojans
  12. Miami Hurricanes
  13. Cincinnati Bearcats
  14. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  15. Minnesota Golden Gophers
  16. Louisville Cardinals
  17. Xavier Musketeers
  18. UCLA Bruins
  19. Gonzaga Bulldogs
  20. Northwestern Wildcats
  21. Purdue Boilermakers
  22. Saint Mary’s Gaels
  23. Seton Hall Pirates
  24. Baylor Bears
  25. Alabama Crimson Tide

The Pac-12 has three ranked teams, with USC and UCLA ranked 11th and 18th, respectively. Unfortunately, Arizona only plays those teams once this season due to the Pac-12’s rotating schedule.

It’s worth noting that Alabama is ranked 25th, as Arizona hosts the Crimson Tide on Dec. 9. That game was deemed a “can’t miss” non-conference game.

Arizona may also play No. 6 Villanova or No. 21 Purdue in late November depending how the Battle 4 Atlantis bracket shakes out.

It’s a little surprising Arizona is only ranked fifth, as many considered them to be the top team in the country before Duke landed Marvin Bagley III, but the injury to Rawle Alkins likely affected the perception of the team.

Alkins, who broke his foot in late September, will return sometime between late November and late December.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire