After a handful of extremely disappointing seasons, Pac-12 Basketball appears to be moving its way back into the upper echelon of college basketball. How do the teams stack up early on?
For years, Pac-12 Basketball has been the ugly stepchild of the traditional seven high-major conferences. Not only had the Conference of Champions struggled to get teams into the NCAA Tournament, but some of the teams also struggled to win games against the nation’s worst teams.
This year, however, the Pac-12 looks like it could experience a huge rise in success, and already sports an impressive 54-14 record. The conference is home to four of the nation’s 39 remaining unbeaten teams, with three additional one-loss teams.
While this success is certainly fueled by incoming freshman stars and returning leaders, several of the teams just seem to be playing more consistent basketball. Whether it is the freshman trio of Arizona, the returning core of Colorado, or the high-level transfers of Oregon, every team in the conference has something to be positive about. Even the Washington State Cougars, the only Pac-12 team with a losing record, has shown glimpses of what they can become over new Head Coach Kyle Smith.
There look to be about eight teams with NCAA Tournament aspirations, which will make for a very exciting regular season and tournament title race. Assuming the bottom doesn’t fall out, the Pac-12 should continue to make its case as one of the top three conferences, top to bottom, in the nation.
So, let’s take a look at how the Pac-12 Power Rankings look after three weeks of play.