Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats hoops countdown slideshow: We’re at 22 days and counting to tipoff


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Dickie V. is still doing this after all these years.

Vitale published his preseason Top 40 yesterday and Arizona was his third-highest team from the Pac-12 ranked at No. 16.

The Wildcats followed Pac-12 foes California (No. 12) and Utah (No. 14). The Pac-12 media differs with those selections, picking Arizona to win the title during the conference’s media day last week. The most shocking of Vitale’s picks: Arizona State, with former Duke guard Bobby Hurley as head coach, ranked No. 38? That’s Dookie V for you.

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“A challenging rebuilding job for Sean Miller, but transfer (Boston College) Ryan Anderson will help,” Vitale writes.

Some people might blow this off and say, “It’s only Vitale.” But he is a gauge for the way people are thinking on the East coast. He picks North Carolina No. 1, followed by Maryland at No. 2, Duke at No. 4, Virginia at No. 5 and Villanova at No. 8.

He does rate Gonzaga, who will host Arizona this season, as the No. 10 team in the country.

Of Cal, Vitale writes, “Youth and experience will blend together to give Cuonzo Martin the team to beat in the Pac-12.”

Arizona would like to think it’s better than No. 3 in the Pac-12 and No. 16 in the country. The Wildcats’ play on the court will speak much louder than Vitale’s words, and he can be very loud.

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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
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