Arizona, winners of eight games in a row, climbed to No. 10 in the AP media poll and the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll on Monday.
The last time the Wildcats were in the Top 10, Lute Olson was still coaching. It was Jan. 8, 2007. Arizona was 10th in the AP poll and eighth in the coaches poll.
That was three head coaches ago.
On that day — Jan. 8, 2007 — Bret Brielmaier, a hard-working reserve power forward, underwent knee surgery. Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger were freshmen. Mustafa Shakur was still running the point.
From that top 10 perch in 2007, the Wildcats stumbled. They proceeded to lose five of the next seven games, including an embarrassing 92-64 wipeout at home to North Carolina. Arizona staggered into the postseason as a No. 8 seed and lost a first-round NCAA Tournament game to Purdue.
That was the last game Olson coached.
You know the rest of the story.
Here the Cats are again, under Sean Miller, in first place in the Pac-10 by two games with an 12-2 record. Seems like old times.
Arizona can clinch its first regular-season Pac-10 title — and 12th overall — by sweeping a road trip to the Los Angeles schools this week … or by various other scenarios.
“We still have major games coming up,” said sophomore forward Solomon Hill. “The last two home games were big for us but the next two homes games are what we are concentrating on and what we are looking forward to.”
Arizona was 12th in the AP poll last week and 13th in the coaches poll.