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CBS Sports: Arizona basketball has 4th-best chance to succeed next 5 years

Arizona coach Sean Miller gestures from the bench during the first half against Texas Southern in the second round of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Portland, Ore., Thursday, March 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

Sean Miller has set the Arizona basketball program up for success, and CBS Sports’ stable of college basketball writers ranks the Wildcats fourth on their list of programs that will succeed the most in the next five years.

The list compiled by writers Gary Parrish, Sam Vecenie, Chip Patterson and Matt Norlander is based on three points:

1. Is the coaching situation solid?

2. What kind of young players are enrolled now?

3. Is recruiting headed in the right direction or not?

Miller has brought in top-6 recruiting classes the past five seasons, according to 247 Sports, and he has adopted the past tradition of Arizona to keep the brand strong despite the turmoil following former coach Lute Olson’s retirement.

The success on the recruiting trail should continue with victories on the court. Arizona has two Elite Eight finishes and a Sweet 16 appearance in the past three seasons.

From CBS Sports:

Translation: Miller is dominating west of the Mississippi, and the only thing that could derail what he has going at Arizona would be if an A-level job opened east of the Mississippi and made an offer that lured him closer to his Pennsylvania roots.

That bit may be one reason Arizona doesn’t rank higher.

On the list, Arizona sits behind Duke, Kentucky and Kansas. Perhaps the Blue Devils’ ranking ahead of John Calipari’s NBA mill in Lexington is the biggest surprise, but Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s most recent recruiting class — and national title — showed he’s still got the magic touch.

Virginia, Gonzaga, Louisville, North Carolina, Michigan State and Ohio State round out the rankings.

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