clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arizona Wildcats voted best team in college basketball in 2017-18 by coaches

New, 4 comments

Expectations cannot get any higher

Xavier v Arizona Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Ever since Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins announced their return to the Arizona Wildcats, UA has widely been considered college basketball’s best team heading into the 2017-18 season.

College basketball’s coaches agree.

CBS polled over 100 college basketball coaches and 40 percent of them said Arizona will be the best team in 2017-18.

Michigan State, which came in second in the poll, received 28 percent of the vote.

Here are the full results:

Who will be the best team in 2017-18?

1. Arizona — 40%

2. Michigan State — 28%

T3. Duke — 9%

T3. Kansas — 9%

5. Louisville — 6%

Wichita State, Villanova, and Kentucky also received multiple votes

Here’s what a few anonymous coaches said about Arizona:

"One, I think Sean Miller is a hell of a coach. They return their backcourt, which I think sometimes gets overlooked in terms of the importance of a good backcourt. They obviously sign (DeAndre) Ayton. Ristic is coming back, the big kid that started for them. I think they added the right pieces. I think they were really tough last year. If they consistently shoot the ball from the perimeter I think they're the best team in the country."

"They have experience and talent. I love DeAndre Ayton. He went from the No. 1 player to an afterthought because of (Duke's Marvin) Bagley and (Missouri's Michael) Porter. But I think he could be better than both. This should be Sean's best team."

"With the amount of returners and incoming talent, they are primed to be at the top of college basketball all year. Especially with how depleted the rest of the pack is. Should be Sean Miller's first Final Four."

Duke was tied for third with 9 percent of the vote, which makes me believe the coaches were asked for their opinions before the Blue Devils landed No. 1 recruit Marvin Bagley III, who is planning to reclassify to 2017.

“If he is eligible, I'm going Duke,” one coach told CBS Sports. “He will make the difference."

CBS Sports’ selected Duke as its No. 1 team, plus Bovada gave Duke the best odds to win the national championship.

Either way, expectations are sky-high for Arizona in 2017-18.

As former UA coach Lute Olson said, this Arizona team is the most talented team he’s seen at the UA.

Sean Miller has yet to reach a Final Four and Arizona has not made one since 2001, but their chances this year are possibly better than ever before.


Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire