The preseason publications and other on-line outlets have split over the question: Is Arizona or UCLA the favorite in the Pac-12 basketball season?
The media is split, too, but the Wildcats eked out the first-place vote in voting released this morning in advance of the league’s Media Day in San Francisco.
Arizona earned 15 of 36 first-place votes en route to 403 total points. The Bruins had 16 first-place votes and finished with 402 points.
UCLA received good news Wednesday, when the NCAA cleared star freshman forward Kyle Anderson to play this season. The Bruins are still awaiting word on even bigger star freshman Shabazz Muhammad, who is being investigated by the NCAA for possible improper benefits.
For the record, my pick for No. 1 in the league is Arizona.
As far as the rest media poll goes, it’s hard to understand why Washington would get a couple first-place votes. ASU was picked 11th. I could see them finishing a few spots higher.
While the league might not have other Top 25-worthy teams after Arizona and UCLA, this will be a deeper conference in the middle and toward the bottom.
Here is the Pac-12 media poll:
1. Arizona (15 first-place votes), 403 points
2. UCLA (16), 402
3. California (3), 325
4. Stanford, 296
5. Washington (2), 278
6. Colorado, 262
7. Oregon, 217
8. Oregon State, 166
9. USC, 163
10. Washington State, 111
11. Arizona State, 107
12. Utah, 78