End of an age: How Pac-12 guys’s basketball will be

Mar 13, 2024, 07:45 AM ET The Pac-12 as we know it will come to an end– in men’s basketball, a minimum of– this week in Las Vegas with its conference tournament. Ironically, the conference tournament, or lack thereof, was among the things that once separated the Pac-12 from the majority of other leagues. The league didn’t have one up until 1987, and that lasted four seasons before it returned in 2002.

After this season, Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington will play in the Big 10; Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah will sign up with the Big 12; California and Stanford will head to the ACC; and Oregon State and Washington State’s basketball programs will carry out in the WCC while still meaning to reconstruct the Pac-12 and keep control of what will be a two-team conference.This week will cap

a rich history that dates to the formation of the Pacific Coast Conference in 1915, a 109-year run that includes 15 championship games and a few of the best players and coaches the sport has ever seen.ESPN’s Myron Medcalf, Jeff Borzello and John Gasaway

talk about the greatest personalities and minutes in the conference’s history, the legacy of the Pac-12 and what might take place progressing. The Lute Olson-coached Arizona Wildcats of 1996-97 were the last Pac-12 group to win the national championship. via Getty Images What is the Pac-12’s place in the history of the sport?Jeff Borzello: Any discussion of

college basketball’s history– or the best

of the very best in the history of the sport– can not occur without consisting of the Pac-12. Or, more particularly, UCLA. UCLA is the program with the most national championships. The Bruins also own the longest dynasty in history, winning 7 straight championship games and going to 10 straight Last Fours. John Wooden is the best college basketball coach of perpetuity. Lew Alcindor is probably the greatest college player in history and Expense Walton isn’t far behind. As an outcome, the Pac-12 will constantly be a consistent style in the sport’s history.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated John Gasaway: The NCAA needs to thank the Pac-12 and specifically UCLA yearly. Wooden’s dynasty developed the NCAA competition as the occasion that awards the real championship game. Prior to the Bruins’very first title in 1964, the NCAA competition was still taking on the NIT for that claim. Even in the midst of the Bruins’run, Al McGuire and Marquette refused the NCAA and played in the 1970 NIT rather. However by the time Wooden retired in 1975, there was no concern in anybody’s mind. A Pac-12 program( Pac-8 at the time )made March Madness what it is today.Myron Medcalf: Yes, the legacy of the Pac-12 focuses on those excellent UCLA groups. However Wooden and many UCLA players likewise made an impact beyond basketball. In 1947, Wood, who was head coach at Indiana State, refused to accept an invitation to the NAIA tournament since officials of the event would not enable Clarence Walker, the team’s just Black player, to get involved. Years later with his UCLA groups, Wooden likewise took a position when he let his popular Black players reveal they might be leaders while likewise being themselves. The image of Lew Alcindor at a meeting with Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and other civil liberties supporters sent out a strong message that UCLA players might utilize their platforms to promote for change. Wood had the best groups in America for more than a years. As some of his peers resisted combination, he not just won with Black players, however shamed other schools for refusing to do the exact same. John Wooden, with Lew Alcindor and Sidney Wicks, constructed one of the best sports dynasties and is still considered one of the best coaches of perpetuity. AP Photo While the league hasn’t won a nationwide title since 1997, it has produced lots of fantastic teams in the past 27 years. Which of them ranks No. 1? Medcalf: A number of outstanding teams have followed that Arizona team of 1996-97. Stanford won 31 games with Casey Jacobsen and the Collins twins (Jason and Jarron)in 2000-01. And a UCLA squad that featured future NBA All-Stars Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook won 35 games and reached the Final Four during the 2007-08 season needs to be considered. Sean Miller had some terrific groups at Arizona too, including the 2013-14 and 2014-15 teams that made back-to-back Elite Eight looks and won 67 games integrated. And it’s easy to forget the 2016-17 Oregon group that lost standout Chris Boucher late in the season but still had an opportunity to upset North Carolina, the ultimate champ, in the Final Four.But the best group the league has produced because 1997 was the Arizona group that tried to win another title a year later on. Michael Dickerson, Mike Bibby, Miles Simon, Jason Terry and A.J. Bramlett all returned for the 1997-98 season after leading the Wildcats to that championship. That group won the Pac-10 champion but lost an uneven game to Utah in the Elite Eight. Still, the Wildcats won 30 games and had a legit chance at a back-to-back go to the national title.Gasaway: I’m hopping aboard this”Arizona groups from a million years ago “bandwagon. With apologies to the Westbrook-Love UCLA dynasty, the vote here is for Arizona 2000-01. Now this was a team: Gilbert Arenas, Richard Jefferson, Michael Wright, Jason Gardner, Loren Woods and Luke Walton. Never ever mind the 8 losses. Lute Olson’s spouse Bobbi passed that January and the coach stepped away for 5 games. If KenPom existed in 2001, the No. 2 seed Wildcats would have been the favorites in the Elite Eight versus Costs Self and top seed Illinois. Arizona reached the title game before falling to Duke.Make one bold prediction for what we’re about to see from the Pac-12 over the next couple of weeks leading up to the national championship Borzello: While I’m not going to state they are going to end the Pac-12’s national championship drought, I think the Wildcats offer the league just its third Final Four look since 2008 and Arizona’s very first since 2001. The Wildcats have had a multitude of disappointment games this season, but I like the balance and range in their offense, and the additions of Caleb Love and Keshad Johnson have offered a much-needed increase in the toughness department. Plus, they’re most likely to play their Sugary food 16 and Elite 8 games in Los Angeles, where they should have a fan advantage.Champ Week 2024 Get basketball competition action: 425-plus games across 26 conferences streaming on ESPN +, including the AAC, Big 12 and West Coast Conference. Guy’s|Women’s – Watch: ESPN+deal for hoops fans – Bracketology: Women|Male – Bubble Watch: Guys |

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. Tourney Challenge Gasaway: Write it down: Washington State reaches its first Elite 8 because 1941. It will be the first time for the Cougars. In 1941, you reached the Elite Eight by getting a quote, duration. The entire field had 8 teams.(Heading that March:”Fans dislike growth concept: Going to 16 thin down the field!”)Powered by the resulting buzz, the Cougs bring the Pac-12 name forward to a brand-new conference with Oregon State that debuts in 2026 and does for non-coastal West hoops what Dave Gavitt did for the East in 1979. You said vibrant, right?Medcalf: A team outside the three listed in Lunardi’s bracketology (Arizona, Washington State, Colorado)will earn a bid by winning the Pac-12 tournament title. Isaiah Collier appears like an NBA draft lotto pick again and USC has actually won four of its previous five games. Could the Trojans make a go to the league’s competition title? This is as strong as I can get due to the fact that I don’t see a situation where the league ends the NCAA competition drought with another title.What will the impact of the freshly shown up Pac-12 groups be in their brand-new leagues next season? Will we see a team do in 2025 what Houston did in 2024? Gasaway: On the one hand, it’s unlikely any Pac-12 export can be to 2025 what Houston’s been this season. Arizona has the best five-year KenPom ranking in the departures lounge, and next season the Wildcats will contend versus … Houston. However let’s see this glass as half complete. The Big 10 gets a sweet big-picture offer. We’ll wait a very long time until UCLA, USC and Oregon are as down as they are now. Washington State and Oregon State offer the WCC a statistical bump. And do

n’t despair, ACC: Mark Madsen has Cal on the right track.Borzello: Houston is going to go into the NCAA tournament as a 1-seed and a preferred to cut down the nets, so I think it’s a stretch to believe any existing Pac-12 team will do that in their brand-new digs next season(although Arizona has the very best shot). I concur though that the Big Ten will get much deeper with the new schools, while the Big 12– the very best conference in college basketball– is simply getting better with the Arizona addition. The one caution: If Washington State manages to keep Kyle Smith

— which’s a huge if, perhaps an unlikely if– the Cougars will have the ability to push Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s from the first day in the WCC.

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