The PAC-12 Conference has struggled top-tiered teams high in the coaches and AP polls. Now, with the emergence of the Arizona Wildcats, the PAC-12 is at the highest peak it can achieve thus far in the young season.
Coach Sean Miller thinks that his Wildcats are playing the best basketball in the country right now and viewers are agreeing with him.
For the first time in over a decade, Arizona is now atop the AP and Coaches polls. Wildcats fans are finally regaining national prominence in basketball, something they have not had since Lute Olsen’s retirement.
The reason for the success is the relentless defense that the Wildcats bring night-in-and-night-out. On the season they have yet to allow any team score over 70 points; that includes tonight’s victory over the New Mexico State Aggies.
Thus far the team’s MVP is Nick Johnson, a sharp-shooting guard that is the veteran, senior leader of the team. The Wildcats have great chemistry and distribute the ball well—to everyone, mind you. Freshman phenom Aaron Gordon has been the most entertaining entity of this Arizona team and has the most NBA potential, but he’s not the reason for the ranking.
The Wildcats win in grind-it-out fashion that is instilled by coach Miller every night is what carries them. It’s clear, after the win over the Aggies, the next step forward is against an uber-talented Michigan Wolverines team.
Right now Arizona is the best team in the country, can they keep those honors throughout the long and grinding season? It can happen.
John Lloyd is a PAC-12 Basketball Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII