With the first Midnight Madness events only days away, more and more college basketball pundits and publications are releasing their pre-season predictions. The general consensus surrounding Arizona is that Sean Miller has a team capable of making a deep NCAA Tournament run, perhaps even talented enough to win the whole thing.
To put October rankings in perspective, the Cats were considered to be a top 25 team this time last year. They ended up losing to Bucknell in the opening round of the NIT, however, it gives fans something to be excited about in the weeks leading up to the season.
While the AP and Coaches polls will not be released until later this month, three outlets have already given out theirs. Lindy’s ranks Arizona #18 while Athlon and Sporting News have the Cats #7 and #8 respectively.
What the rankings indicate is that when much of the Arizona fanbase looks at the team’s schedule, they will expect the Cats to come on top in every game. The scheduled matchups with Florida and far down the road, UCLA, are the marquee games that will test the Cats’ mettle, but fans will expect this team to win every time they step on the court.
But any smart college basketball coach knows how to convince their players just the opposite. And Sean Miller is a smart coach. Don’t think for a second that he will allow his guys to get caught up in rankings, especially the most meaningless ones.