The Pac-12 conference is loaded and ready to shine this year
The Pac-12 is notoriously known for underachieving, especially during basketball season. They have only had one Final Four appearance in the last ten years (Oregon, 2017). But this year, the Pac-12 has plenty of good teams that should make the tournament and could possibly make a run. Here is a quick look at the top teams in the Pac-12.
University of Arizona came in ranked at No. 21 in the preseason AP poll, largely in part due to their highly reagrded freshman class and incoming transfers. Nico Mannion and Josh Green were both top-10 recruits, but it could be Zeke Nnaji who ends up being one of Arizona’s best all-around players. Nnaji is a 4-star recruit from Minnesota, and Head Coach Sean Miller has nothing but praise for him. Miller has mentioned multiple times during press conferences how Nnaji has been better and more developed than they first thought.
University of Oregon was picked in the preseason Pac-12 poll to win the conference, according to a media poll. The Ducks were the only other conference team to make the AP preseason poll and checked in at No. 15. Oregon is led by senior Payton Pritchard, and and they bring in 5-star N’Faly Dante and 4-star C.J. Walker. The Ducks will have plenty of experience, and with three-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year Dana Altman, Oregon will be a top team in the conference.
While Arizona and Oregon were the only two teams ranked in the AP preseason poll, both University of Colorado and University of Washington were picked ahead of Arizona in the Pac-12. The Buffaloes and Huskies were the next two teams receiving votes outside of the top 25. Colorado will have plenty of experience since they only have two freshmen on the entire roster. Washington, on the other hand, will have two top-10 recruits with Isiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels, and, put with two-time Coach of the Year Mike Hopkins, the Huskies have a really good chance to win the regular season championship again.
This is what the entire preseason Pac-12 media poll looks like:
Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, USC, ASU, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Stanford, Washington State and California.
Pac-12 women’s basketball is one of, if not the most, competitive conferences from top to bottom. There are five teams ranked in the preseason AP top 25, including the No. 1 team in the country, the Oregon Ducks. Here is a look at some of the top teams in the Pac-12 this year.
Sabrina Ionescu is the best player in college basketball. She is the all-time leader in triple-doubles and won the 2019 John R. Wooden award along with Zion Williamson. The award is given to the best men’s and women’s basketball players for that year. The Ducks made it to the Final Four last year but fell to Baylor in the semifinals. The team is loaded again this year and has all the pieces to make it to the Final Four — and maybe even further.
Stanford has been one of the best teams in the Pac-12 for years now. They always seem to be ranked in the top 10 and are always near the top of the conference, and this year will be no different. The Cardinal is ranked No. 3 in the preseason poll and won the Pac-12 tournament last year. Stanford are retooled this year with the addition of the No. 1 recruit in the country, Haley Jones. They also added the 15th player in the class, Ashten Prechtel. Stanford made it to the Elite Eight last year but will be looking to go further and possibly even get another championship.
The Beavers check in at No. 7 in the AP preseason poll this year. OSU was able to finish last year with a 24-7 record, which was good enough for a four-seed in the NCAA tournament. They also added two top-100 recruits with Kennedy Brown and Taylor Jones. OSU will be another force to be reckoned with in the Pac-12 and should finish around third or fourth in the conference.
The rest of the Pac-12 preseason media poll is as follows:
Oregon, Stanford, Oregon State, UCLA, ASU, Arizona, Utah, USC, Washington, Washington State, California, Colorado