If a trophy is all that matters, and to many that is the end-all, being ranked No. 1 in December means nothing more than winning the swimsuit portion of a beauty pageant.
You look good, but where will you be judged in the end?
For the Arizona Wildcats, who went 11 seasons without a top ranking, today’s news means much more than that analogy. To Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky a No. 1 ranking is Page 8 news. To Arizona, it’s headline news and appropriately so.
The No. 1 ranking indicates Arizona is not a one-coach program. The Wildcats are more than Lute Olson, although he is the reason why Sean Miller is experiencing success today with the foundation he built.
Miller and the Wildcats have proven the program can endure coaching turnover much like North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky have mastered success through the decades.
When Arizona played under interim staffs after Olson’s leave of absence and retirement in 2007 and 2008, nobody thought of Arizona as a No. 1 program.
No one envisioned the Wildcats reaching that status after Miller, with only five years of head coaching experience at Xavier, did not reach the NCAA tournament in his first season with the Wildcats in 2009-10, snapping the program’s 25-year March Madness run.