Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 10/18/12
Sean Miller's Arizona Wildcats will open the college basketball season ranked 11th in the ESPNUSA Today preseason coaches poll. The Wildcats received a total of 411 votes and received their highest preseason ranking since 2006, when they opened the season ranked 10th in both the coaches poll and Associated Press. Arizona was No. 16 in last season's preseason coaches poll. Arizona is the highest-ranked among Pac-12 teams. UCLA is the only conference opponent cracking the Top 25 at No. 13. Indiana is ranked No. 1 and receivied 21 of 31 first-place votes. The other 10 first-place votes were split between second-ranked Louisville and third-ranked Kentucky. Rounding out the Top 10 are Ohio State, Michigan, North Carolina State, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse and Florida. The current preseason rankings are still trickling in, but this is the third notable nod to the Wildcats in recent days. Sporting News has them at No. 8, and Athlon has them seventh. Both cite the addition of Xavier transfer Mark Lyons as an impetus toward a possible Final Four berth. Sporting News: "The Wildcats have a good mix of youth and experience, of athleticism and size, toughness and finesse. Adding hard-nosed veteran Mark Lyons from Xavier to tie it all together at the point could launch this team toward a fulfilling postseason." Athlon: "The acquisition of Lyons turned Arizona from a possible top-25 team to one that believes it can win a national championship. The development of four inside players (Angelo) Chol, (Kaleb) Tarczewski, (Brandon) Ashley and (Grant) Jerrett will determine if this team is good enough for the long haul.
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