In a vote of media members Thursday who regularly cover the league, Arizona has been selected as the favorite to win the 2017-18 Pac-12 Conference men’s basketball title. Pac-12 media awarded the Wildcats 22 of 23 first-place votes in the annual preseason poll, and also picked Washington to finish 10th and Washington State 12th.
The Wildcats, who received 273 points, return three starters, including 2017 Pc-12 Tournament MVP Allonzo Trier. This is the 15th time since 1989-90 that Arizona has been picked first in the preseason poll and the fifth time in the past six seasons. Arizona has backed up the billing with nine first-place finishes since 1989-90.
Arizona was followed in the vote by USC, which will return five starters from a team that won 26 games last season. Pac-12 media slotted UCLA, which returns a pair of double-digit scorers and added two McDonald’s All-America selections, in third place. Oregon and Stanford trailed the Bruins.
Washington finished 9-22 last year despite featuring the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, Markelle Fultz. The Huskies fired long-time coach Lorenzo Romar following the season and replaced him with Mike Hopkins, who had been an assistant at Syracuse. Romar is now assistant head coach at Arizona.
The Cougars finished 13-18 last year, including 6-12 in conference play.
Media have correctly picked the conference winner 15 times in 25 tries, while the winner has been accurately chosen in 17 of the 28 all-time preseason votes.
The season begin Nov. 10 with 10 games as part of Pac-12 Networks’ Full Court Friday, as well as UCLA battling Georgia Tech in the 2017 Pac-12 China Game on ESPN.
The Huskies open at home against Belmont Nov. 10 while the Cougars open against Texas Southern in Pullman Nov. 12.
Regular-season play begins Dec. 29 and culminates March 7-10 with the Pac-12 Tournament. The preseason media poll:
|Team (First place)||Points|