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Arizona basketball ranked third in 2017 preseason AP Poll

Arizona guard Allonzo Trier (35) and Parker Jackson-Cartwright during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Arizona Wildcats open the 2017-18 season third in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, moving up one spot from the fourth-ranked slot to end last season.

Despite entering the year under a cloud of uncertainty due to the FBI’s investigation into a fraud and bribery scandal that involves former UA assistant coach Book Richardson, coach Sean Miller’s team picked up 18 first-place votes.

Arizona enters the year ranked behind the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils (33 first-place votes) and No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (13).

Kansas (1) and Kentucky (0) round out the top five teams in the poll.

The Wildcats open the year No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

The only other Pac-12 teams in the AP rankings are the No. 10 USC Trojans and No. 21 UCLA Bruins.

Miller’s team will be led by junior guard Allonzo Trier, freshman big man Deandre Ayton — a projected top-five 2018 NBA Draft pick — and swingman Rawle Alkins, who will begin the year on the sideline due to a foot injury.


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