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Arizona is No. 24 in KenPom’s preseason ratings, the best in the Pac-12

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

KenPom’s preseason ratings are out, and the Arizona Wildcats check in at No. 24 in the country, the highest among Pac-12 teams, though the Oregon Ducks (30) and Colorado Buffaloes (37) are not far behind.

The analytics site projects Arizona will feature the No. 28 offense and No. 30 defense in the country. The Wildcats finished 153rd and 63rd last season, respectively. (Ken Pomeroy explained a few years ago how these preseason projections are devised.)

The win probabilities for each game were released too. Per KenPom, Arizona’s toughest games are at Baylor on Dec. 7 (32%), vs. Gonzaga on Dec. 14 (50%), at Oregon on Jan. 9 (39%), at Washington on Jan. 30 (47%), and at USC (47%) on Feb. 27.

In the end, KenPom projects Arizona will go 21-8. The cumulative win probabilities say Arizona will finish 13-5 in the Pac-12, but a 12-6 projection is given for the conference projections. (Not too sure why there is a discrepancy.)

Arizona finished 94th in KenPom’s ratings last year, its worst rating since Sean Miller’s first season in 2009-10, so it isn’t just UA fans who expect major improvement in Tucson this year.