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Bonus time: Arizona finishes No. 9 in the USA Today coaches poll

Arizona probably won't mind paying out more bonuses to Sean Miller in the future.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats basketball team finished ninth in the final USA Today coaches poll … for whatever that’s worth.

Well, actually it was worth a $30,000 bonus for coach Sean Miller.

That’s what is in his contract for a top 10 final ranking in the USA Today poll (there is no re-vote after the NCAA Tournament for the AP media poll.) Miller’s “poll” bonus would have been $20,000 if the Cats finished between 11th and 15th.

(Meanwhile, does Duke take any comfort in finishing two spots ahead of Arizona?)

Arizona was 18th in the coaches poll before the NCAA Tournament, but moved up nine spots after its run to the West region final in Anaheim, Calif., which included a destruction of Duke in the Sweet 16.

The Wildcats lost to eventual national champion UConn 65-63 as Jamelle Horne’s 3-pointer in the final seconds would not fall.

This is UA’s first top 10 finish in the USA Today poll since 2005, when the Wildcats were sixth after a painful loss to Illinois in the Elite Eight.

Here’s what Miller is trying to replicate at Arizona: For seven consecutive seasons — from 1997 to 2003 — the Wildcats ended the season in the coaches’ top 10.

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