Defense is the name of the game in Arizona, because without it coach Sean Miller knows his team won't even get close to the Final Four.
In each of the past two seasons, the Wildcats have gotten closer to the promised land, with a Sweet 16 appearance in 2013 and a one-point loss in the Elite Eight loss to Wisconsin last season.
Arizona's plans to smother opposing offenses will be led by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, point guard T.J. McConnell, low-post presence Kaleb Tarczewski and the return of Brandon Ashley, who suffered a right foot injury in February.
The Wildcats allowed teams only 58 points a game and held them to 38 percent from the floor last season. That defensive strategy will be tested early with non-conference games against Top 25 foes Gonzaga and Michigan.
- HANNER & WINN: Ranking the top teams in college basketball: 351-1
For more on the college basketball preview, check out this week's Sports Illustrated (subscribe here).
Also in this issue, features on the San Francisco Giants' title run, the Arizona Cardinals' defense and a preview of the women's college basketball season.
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