Pac-12 Conference Play Predictions


We have been writing our Arizona Wildcat basketball blogs this year with a common theme of how bad the Pac-12 conference is in basketball.  This theme has everyone in the Pac-12 panicking that the conference may only end up getting two teams into the NCAA tournament.

Jeff, I think there is no way that the Pac- 12 will only get two teams in.  You have to remember that the NCAA has expanded to 68 teams and that there aren’t that many elite conferences, so the NCAA has to round out the field with teams.  My guess is they will choose some larger conference teams with big names.  I am going to predict the standings for the Pac-12 at the end of conference play and show which teams will make the tournament.  The glass will be half full for some of the teams in the Pac-12 and half empty for a LOT of them.

Glass is half full:  California, Arizona, Stanford, UCLA

Let’s start off the list with the team that I believe will win the Pac-12 title this year.  The California Bears are still a good team.  Yes, it is true that they have some bad losses on their schedule, but were their losses really that bad?  A one point loss at SDSU isn’t looking horrible right now and while it is true that they got beat down by both UNLV and Missouri, neither of those games were at home.  This team still has talent, a nice leader in Allen Crabbe, a defensive stopper in Jorge Gutierrez and scorers throughout the lineup.  They have a little more than most of the Pac-12 teams.

The glass is definitely half full for the Arizona Wildcats.  I know that the team gets beat down low too much but the Wildcats have a lot of talent and have not even brushed their surface.  We know all about this team so I will cut it short and say we barely miss out on the pac-12 title this year.

I think UCLA will end up in the top three of the Pac-12 standings and that the glass is still half full for this team.  The Pac-12 is down a couple talented players and a really good coach will get you a lot of wins.  Add their front line that no one else in the league can match up with, they can pull out a lot of  Pac-12 wins this year.  Their front line runs 6’ 10” (Travis Wear), 6’ 10” (Joshua Smith), 6’10” (David Wear), and 6’10” (Anthony Stover).  That front line gives them depth that a lot of teams throughout the country can’t deal with.  Beyond the front line the team has six guys that are close or over double digit scoring.  Ben Howland has installed a great defensive approach over their five game winning streak where they have only allowed a 56 point average to the opposition.  If this team doesn’t get enough wins in the regular season, watch out for them in the Pac-12 tourney because they are capable of making a run.  I know a lot of people are selling on this team, but if there is one thing that my dad always taught me, it is buy low and sell high.  I would buy on this team right now for sure.

I think the glass is still half full for the Stanford Cardinal because of their ten wins out of conference.  If the team can gather ten wins in the Pac-12 then they will be a bubble team for the NCAA tourney.  They are a good defensive team that actually was winning against the #1 ranked Syracuse Orangemen for the majority of their meeting earlier this year.  I don’t think the talent is there for this team to pull out a league record far above .500 though.

Glass half empty:  Washington, Oregon State, Oregon, Colorado, Washington State, USC, Arizona State, and Utah

The glass will end up half empty for every other team in the Pac-12, although Washington has a lot of talent and may be the dark horse right along with UCLA to make a run at the conference.  Good luck next year to most of the Pac-12, good luck to the teams that make the tourney and good luck to you Jeff because this conference is hard to figure out.  This league is definitely having one of the worst years in existence but the expanded field may give the league a shot at four berths in the postseason (we can only hope).

Final Conference Standings:

  1. California:  14-4
  2. Arizona:  13-5
  3. UCLA:  13-5
  4. Washington:  11-7
  5. Stanford:  10-8
  6. Oregon State:  9-9
  7. Oregon:  8-10
  8. Washington State:  8-10
  9. USC:  6-12
  10. Arizona State:  5-13
  11. Utah:  2-16