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Arizona Wildcats

Updated Dec 19, 2012 - 6:31 pm

Jay Bilas: 'Arizona's got all the pieces necessary to make a run'

Arizona's Mark Lyons (2) drives the lane against Oral Roberts' Steven Roundtree (22) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz., Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. Arizona won 89-64. (AP Photo/Wily Low)

ESPN NCAA basketball analyst Jay Bilas feels the Arizona Wildcats are the best team in the Pac-12.

The Wildcats have started the season with nine straight wins, including a come-from-behind victory over then-No. 5 Florida.

Bilas said that was the type of win where a team grows up a little bit because they rallied late after trailing for basically the entire game.

"To hang in there and find a way to win, that's the sign of a good team, and Arizona's a really good team that is going to keep getting better and have a chance at the end of the year to do something special in a year where there's probably not a great team out there," Bilas told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Wednesday.

Indeed the Wildcats, who are ranked fourth in the Associated Press Poll and fifth in the USA Today Coaches Poll, are looked at as one of the country's better teams. They appear to have the requisite size and depth to make a deep NCAA Tournament run, but what may set them apart is the leadership they receive from seniors like Mark Lyons, Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom.

"I think Arizona's got all the pieces necessary to make a run later on in the season," Bilas said. "Looking nationally with the teams they're going to have to play and compete against once you get to the NCAA Tournament, I think this is one of those years where nobody's great and if you are healthy and playing well at the end of the year you're going to have a chance."

Bilas said this season reminds him of 2010, when "there just wasn't a great team out there."

If that's the case, a deep and talented team like Arizona -- which still has plenty of room to improve -- could find itself in the conversation when people are discussing Final Four contenders.


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