Arizona selected to defend Pac-12 crown
SAN FRANCISCO -- The ARIZONA Wildcats are picked to finish first in the 2015-16 Pac-12 Conference men’s basketball race, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-12 men’s basketball.
Arizona, led by senior Kaleb Tarczewski (9.3 ppg/5.2 rpg), secured the top spot in the poll for the fourth-straight year and received 18 first-place votes. CALIFORNIA picked up nine first-place votes and finished in the second spot just 18 points ahead of UTAH at No. 3. The Bears return the league’s top backcourt with senior Tyrone Wallace (17.1 ppg/7.1 rpg) and junior Jordan Mathews (13.6 ppg/3.4 rpg) and welcome in one of the top recruiting classes in the country. The Utes, who grabbed seven first-place votes, return four starters from the 2014-15 squad, including senior guard Brandon Taylor (10.6 ppg/3.3 apg) and sophomore forward Jakob Poeltl (9.1 ppg/6.8 rpg), one of the Pac-12’s best big men.
OREGON, the runner-up finishers at the 2015 Pac-12 Tournament, were picked to finish fourth in the poll, followed by UCLA at fifth, after it advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2014-15. The Ducks and Bruins picked up one first-place vote each. OREGON STATE rounded out the top half of the poll, weighing in at sixth while COLORADO came in at seventh.
ARIZONA STATE is tabbed at eighth, followed by STANFORD at ninth and USC at 10th. WASHINGTON was picked to finish 11th, while WASHINGTON STATE rounds out the poll at 12th.
Media have correctly picked the Conference winner 14 times in 23 tries. Arizona has correctly been selected in nine of the previous 13 times it has been slated to capture the league crown.
The 2015-16 season gets underway for the Pac-12 with 11 games on Friday, November 13. All but one of those games will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks as part of this year’s Full Court Friday. The Pac-12 China Game featuring Washington and Texas will take place in Shanghai, China, at 7 p.m. PT on ESPN. For more information, including a composite schedule, visit www.pac-12.com.
2015-16 PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL MEDIA POLL
|Team (First Place Votes)||Points|
|1. Arizona (18)||406|
|2. California (9)||378|
|3. Utah (7)||360|
|4. Oregon (1)||338|
|5. UCLA (1)||304|
|6. Oregon State||235|
|8. Arizona State||165|
|12. Washington State||65|
PREVIOUS PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL POLLS
|1999-00||Arizona||1st (tied)||Arizona /
|1989-90**||Arizona||1st (tied)||Arizona /
**The Pac-12 polls were decided in a vote among league coaches (1990-1992).