The entire country has spent the majority of the season bashing on the Pac 12 basketball teams. Things like “this may be the worst basketball season ever for the Pac 12 “and “this power conference may only get 2 bids to the NCAA tournament”. I would like to ask everyone to re think what they supposedly know about the Pac 12 this season. Am I crazy to say this? Maybe, but hear me out.
I want to look at the top 2 teams in the Pac 12 and compare them to the rest of the country. After watching an entire season of basketball it is pretty clear to me that the 2 best teams in the Pac 12 are the Washington Huskies and the Arizona Wildcats. No disrespect to Cal but I believe that the cats and dogs are just a little bit better. Let’s start by comparing Washington and Arizona to other top tier conferences. I will start with the SEC which boats the top ranked team in the country. While it is true that Kentucky is really good the second best team in that conference is Florida. If you remember early in the year, Arizona and Florida played an overtime thriller in which the Cats came up just short. This was way before Arizona had an identity as a dominant defensive team and the team also played without Josiah Turner. That game would be completely different now if they played again. The big team in the SEC is Kentucky and it is true that they are beastly. I think the Washington Huskies would give Kentucky fits though. The Huskies are one team that can match up against Kentucky athletically and physically. Washington rebounds well and they have athletes up and down the lineup. I think if you are this brilliant Kentucky team you are praying to stay away from the Washington draw on selection Sunday.
Ok, well what about the Big East, ACC, Big Ten, and Big 12. Let’s look at some of the great ones from these conferences. Syracuse is the other “dominant” team this year but once again the Pac 12 teams would give the Orangemen fits in my estimation. Our league has some amazing guards and shooters that could break down that Syracuse zone. Washington would look to exploit the offensive rebounds that tend to happen against a zone and Arizona under Sean Miller has played outstanding versus zones. The second best team in the Big East is debatable, but that team wouldn’t scare the Pac 12 duo. The Big 12 has Kansas and Missouri, the Big Ten has Michigan State, and the ACC has Duke and North Carolina. When I look at the matchups against any of these teams I really wouldn’t foresee a blowout in any of these games. I actually think Washington and Arizona would hold their own in the majority of the games and maybe win a few.
I want it to be clear; I’m not saying that Arizona and Washington would beat all of these teams mentioned. What I am saying is that it is March and there is bound to be some madness. When you look at the season now that it is complete, the Pac 12 should still have 2 pretty good teams that will get a chance to turn some heads in the tournament.