Arizona Wildcats the New No 1
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For the third time in six weeks, there's a different team atop the NCAA Division I leaderboard.
The Associated Press' college basketball poll has Arizona Wildcats (9-0) ranked No1. The Wildcats gained the top spot for the first time this season, whizzing past the Michigan State Spartans.
They were the clear choice by a landslide. The Wildcats received 63 of 65 AP first-place votes. Syracuse got the other two votes, and Ohio State slid into No 3. Arizona also garnered 30 of 32 first-place votes in the USA Today Coaches pol.
The last time the Cats were ranked No 1 in both the polls was on 10 March 2003. That season, Arizona spent much of the 2002-03 season at the top but lost to UCLA in the Pac-10 tournament and then to Kansas in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament.
How are they doing it this season?
- A star in the making: TJ McConnell, the point guard from Duquesne, is off to a strong start and get everyone involved.
- Great supporting cast: Brandon Ashley, Nick Johnson, and Kaleb Tarczewski are bringing it every game.
- No one else is worthy. Arizona is the only team right now that hasn't shown any obvious flaws, but watch out for Syracuse.
The Wildcats have to date notched notable wins against both San Diego State and Duke.
After all the talk during football season about soft schedules and ducking marquée opponents, college basketball offers a refreshing change of attitude. Power teams actually seek out other power teams to harden their squads for the Big Dance, and, more poignantly, show the NCAA tournament selection committee that they've played a challenging schedule.
We can but hope the college football teams have taken note and that the playoff selection committee from next season forward induces the same effect.