Most college basketball seasons the last 20 years. the ACC, Big East and Big Ten fight to be the “best” conference that season. Kentucky and Kansas fight off contenders in the SEC and Big 12 respectively. Meanwhile the 6th power conference on the west coast is often forgotten about as they only have 2 or 3 tournament teams and games at on when most of the country is dreaming of their team cutting down the nets in March.
While grab some caffeine and buckle up America, you will be wanting to stay up to watch Pac-12 basketball this fall/winter. the west coast may not be full of a bunch of top 4 seed teams when March comes around but they will be in the top 3 for the number of teams that make the tournament. If it wasn’t for Covid-19, the 2020 Pac-12 tournament was going to be 3 days of the most entertaining basketball with 6 teams having a realistic shot at the automatic bid.
2020-21 wont be any different. Here is the Pac 12 teams in order of the 2020 final standings. a little write up about their upcoming season and where i have them in my Never-Too-Early bracketology which will be released on Friday night (4/17).
Oregon: Losing a program changing player like Pritchard can be hard for most programs. But the Ducks will reload as they always do with some a good result from the grad transfer market. Oregon will be in the 4 team race for the regular season title. Never-Too-Early: 7 seed.
USC: Evan Mobley, the 2nd ranked player of the incoming freshman class and not losing most of their points from the past season. USC always seems to find themselves on the bubble in March and they will be there again. Never-Too-Early: 11 seed (last 4 in)
UCLA: excepted to be the betting favorite to win the conference when the odds come out in August. UCLA will take a step towards being a tourney regular again. Another team in that 4 team race. Never-Too-Early: 7 Seed
Arizona State: Hurley has taken the Sun Devils to not in consideration to on the bubble every season. They were safely in for the 2020 tourney. They will take another step in the right direction. But a tough Pac-12 will see them just avoiding the first four. Never-Too-Early: 11 seed (last 4 byes)
Arizona: UA has seemed like a team that has been under the radar the last couple of years. They will have a solid core back and some quality new additions. no big names so they will stay under the radar but look for them to be one of the top teams in the conference. Never-Too-Early: 9 seed
Colorado: The Buffs lose the most NBA talent/seniors out of everyone on the west coast. After their best season in a long time, they will take a step back. But they will have enough talent to make the big dance. Never-Too-Early: 11 seed (last 4 byes)
Stanford: The leading candidate for most improved teams in 20-21 for the whole country. the 13th ranked recruiting class ranked led by #7 Zaire Williams. The Cardinal made a late charge towards the top of the Pac-12 last season and they will be right in the hunt for the regular season title this winter. Never-Too-Early: 9 seed
Oregon State, Utah, Cal, Washington State and Washington will be towards the bottom again but as always they are a hard win to get especially at home.
A projected 7 teams in March Madness is usually good for top 3 between the conference. Make sure to watch some late night hoops in a couple months as there wont be a lot of blow outs in the Pac-12.