Oregon edges Colorado as 2019-20 Pac-12 Men's Basketball favorite

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SAN FRANCISCO – In one of the closest votes in Conference preseason poll history, OREGON edged COLORADO as the favorite to win the 2019-20 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball title in a vote of 27 media members who cover the league.

Though both programs received nine first-place votes, the defending Pac-12 Tournament champion Ducks amassed 291 points to earn favorite status for the second consecutive season and third time in the past four years. The Buffaloes, who totaled 288 points, slotted second for their highest preseason standing in the program’s nine-year Pac-12 history.

It marked only the second time in the league’s preseason poll history that two teams received the same number of first-place votes (1988-89). The three points separating the two teams were the fourth-fewest in 36 seasons of Conference preseason polling.

Defending regular-season champion WASHINGTON was picked third for the second year in a row, collecting 273 points and six first-place votes. ARIZONA received a pair of first-place nods and 263 points to come in fourth, while USC earned the final first-place vote and 198 points to place fifth. The five teams to receive first-place votes tied for the most in preseason poll history (2015-16, 1985-86).

ARIZONA STATE rounded out the top half of the preseason poll in sixth for the third straight year. OREGON STATE, UCLA, UTAH, STANFORD, WASHINGTON STATE and CALIFORNIA completed the predicted order of finish.

Media have correctly picked the Conference winner 16 times in 30 tries, while the winner has been accurately chosen in 20 of the 35 all-time preseason votes.

Five Pac-12 teams – Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, USC and Washington – appear on several national media outlets’ early top 25 rankings for the 2019-20 campaign.

Four All-Conference selections, two All-Freshmen Team performers and an All-Defensive Team honoree from last season are slated to return to the league for 2019-20. Additionally, four NBA Draft early-entry candidates elected to return to Pac-12 programs, highlighted by First Team All-Conference pick Tres Tinkle (Oregon State), All-Rookie Team member CJ Elleby (WASHINGTON STATE) and reigning Pac-12 Tournament Most Valuable Player Payton Pritchard (Oregon).

Pac-12 programs also boast five of the top 40 recruiting classes in the country according to 247Sports, including three in the top 10 (Arizona, USC, Washington). The Conference will welcome five 2019 McDonald’s All-Americans – Nico Mannion & Josh Green, Arizona; Isaiah Mobley, USC; Jaden McDaniels & Isaiah Stewart, Washington – which equals the most ever for the league (2006, 2012).

For the first time since 2014-15, three head coaches will make their Pac-12 debuts this season in California’s Mark Fox, UCLA’s Mick Cronin and Washington State’s Kyle Smith. The trio has averaged 20.9 wins and combined for 16 NCAA Tournament appearances and 27 total postseasons in 39 years of head coaching experience.

The Pac-12 regular season tips off with seven games on Tuesday, Nov. 5, the first official contest pitting preseason favorite Oregon against Fresno State on Pac-12 Networks at 6 p.m. PT. Opening week will also feature the fifth annual Pac-12 China Game between Arizona State and Colorado on ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 8, as well as a pair of early power conference showdowns with Washington facing Baylor in the Armed Forces Classic on Nov. 8 and Arizona hosting Illinois on Sunday, Nov. 10.

Pac-12 regular-season play begins on Thursday, Jan. 2 and culminates March 11-14 with the 2020 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

2019-20 PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

Team (First Place Votes) Points
1. Oregon (9) 291
2. COLORADO (9) 288
3. Washington (6) 273
4. Arizona (2) 263
5. USC (1) 198
6. Arizona State 187
7. OREGON STATE 161
8. UCLA 148
9. UTAH 131
10. STANFORD 84
11. WASHINGTON STATE 47
12. CALIFORNIA 35

PREVIOUS PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL POLLS

Year Predicted
Winner
Actual
Finish
Actual
Winner
Predicted
Finish
2018-19 Oregon 4th (TIED) Washington 3rd
2017-18 Arizona 1st Arizona 1st
2016-17 Oregon 1st (TIED) ARIZONA / Oregon 2nd / 1st
2015-16 Arizona 3rd (TIED) Oregon 4th
2014-15 Arizona 1st arizona 1st
2013-14 Arizona 1st Arizona 1st
2012-13 Arizona 2nd UCLA 2nd
2011-12 UCLA 5th (tied) Washington 4th
2010-11 Washington 3rd Arizona 2nd
2009-10 California 1st California 1st
2008-09 UCLA 2nd Washington 5th
2007-08 UCLA 1st UCLA 1st
2006-07 UCLA 1st UCLA 1st
2005-06 Arizona 4th (tied) UCLA 3rd
2004-05 Arizona 1st Arizona 1st
2003-04 Arizona 3rd Stanford 2nd
2002-03 Arizona 1st Arizona 1st
2001-02 UCLA 6th Oregon 6th
2000-01 Arizona 2nd Stanford 2nd
1999-00 Arizona 1st (tied) Arizona /
Stanford
1st /
3rd
1998-99 Stanford 1st Stanford 1st
1997-98 Arizona 1st Arizona 1st
1996-97 UCLA 1st UCLA 1st
1995-96 UCLA 1st UCLA 1st
1994-95 UCLA 1st UCLA 1st
1993-94 California 2nd (tied) Arizona 3rd
1992-93 Arizona 1st Arizona 1st
1991-92** Arizona 3rd UCLA 2nd
1990-91** Arizona 1st Arizona 1st
1989-90** Arizona 1st (tied) Arizona /
Oregon State
1st /
3rd
1988-89** Arizona/Stanford 1st /
2nd
Arizona 1st (tied)
1987-88** Arizona 1st Arizona 1st
1986-87 Arizona 2nd UCLA 3rd
1985-86 Washington 2nd Arizona 8th
1984-85 Washington 1st (tied) USC/Washington 7th /
1st (tied)

**The Pac-12 preseason polls were decided in a vote among league coaches (1987-91).

 
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