UCLA near-unanimous favorite in 2021-22 Pac-12 men's basketball preseason media poll
SAN FRANCISCO – Coming off a trip to the 2021 NCAA Final Four, UCLA is a near-unanimous choice to win the 2021-22 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball title in a vote of 34 media members who cover the league.
The Bruins, who return five starters and all significant contributors from last season's NCAA semifinal run, received 32-of-34 first-place votes to top the preseason media poll for the second straight season.
Two-time defending regular-season champion Oregon received the two other first-place votes to finish second in the prediction. It marks the seventh consecutive polling the Ducks are picked inside the top 4.
2021 NCAA Elite Eight participant USC comes in third to match its second-best preseason ranking, bettered only by the Trojans' runner-up pick in 2017-18.
Fellow Elite Eight qualifier and reigning Pac-12 Tournament champion Oregon State tied with Arizona for fourth. For the Beavers, it is their best preseason position since 1992-93 (3rd).
Colorado rounds out the top half of the poll. Arizona State, Washington State, Stanford, Utah, Washington and California complete the predicted order of finish.
The 2020-21 season saw the Pac-12 land a league-record five teams in the final USA TODAY Coaches poll and finish third in the final KenPom.com conference rankings following a 2021 NCAA Tournament in which four league programs advanced to the Sweet 16, three to the Elite Eight and UCLA reached the Final Four to help the Conference match its all-time mark of 13 NCAA Tourney victories.
Media have correctly picked the Conference winner 17 times in 32 tries, including five times in the Pac-12 era (since 2011-12), while the winner has been accurately chosen in 21 of the 37 all-time preseason votes.
2021-22 PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
|Team (First Place Votes)||Points|
|1. UCLA (32)||404|
|2. OREGON (2)||373|
|T4. OREGON STATE||245|
|7. ARIZONA STATE||224|
|8. WASHINGTON STATE||221|
PREVIOUS PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL POLLS
|2016-17||Oregon||1st (TIED)||Arizona / Oregon||2nd / 1st|
|1999-00||Arizona||1st (tied)||Arizona /
|1989-90**||Arizona||1st (tied)||Arizona /
|1984-85||Washington||1st (tied)||USC/Washington||7th /
**The Pac-12 preseason polls were decided in a vote among league coaches (1987-91).