Pac-12 Basketball is in much better shape than it was last season, with upwards of six or seven teams looking like they will be vying for NCAA Tournament bids in 2020.
Hopefully, we can finally put all those tired Pac-12 Basketball jokes to bed.
Yes, last year was an awful showing for the league, saved only partially by Oregon’s shock run through the league tournament all the way into the Sweet 16.
But this year, the Ducks won’t be taking anybody by surprise.
Led by potential All-American senior guard Payton Pritchard, the Ducks have established themselves as the clear favorites to win the league in 2020. But as the Ducks float on the surface, the waters are murky beneath them.
There does seem to be a series of tiers beginning to form in the league, however. The Pac-12 can be split evenly into groups of four, though teams at either end of the middle section could play themselves into another group.
But mostly, the top four are cemented. Those four teams have been in the Top 25 this season and are all either in or very near it still.
Past them, there are talented teams with good records, but most of them haven’t beaten anybody really good yet. Or, they’ve beaten good teams and been trampled by bad ones. In any case, they’ve shown that they won’t be confined to the cellar, but they won’t win the league, either.
The last group has a pair of familiar faces being joined by two teams that are not used to such lowly digs. These are still power-conference schools, so the talent is here, too. But these teams just don’t have enough of it — or in some cases, they don’t have the chemistry — to truly compete against the rest of the Pac-12.
Without further adieu, here are the Pac-12 power rankings for the New Year. We start with a few teams whose fans may be drinking away their sorrows come midnight.