2005 Pac Ten Basketball Preview
2005 Pac 10 Preview
The PAC-10 is considered to be in the top half of all conferences but it does not have the same reputation for rigorous play that the Big East or Atlantic Coast possesses. Of the ten major conferences, it’s ranked fourth by many analysts behind the Big East, Atlantic Coast, and Big 12. There’s less parity amongst teams in the PAC-10 than in the other three and the top trio of teams tend to attract more quality players. This also means there’s less parity between those primary three conferences and the Pacific 10.
Of the four PAC-10 teams that made it to the NCAA Tournament last year, two were eliminated in a Regional first round, one in a Regional semifinal and one in a Regional final. 1997 was the last time a PAC-10 team won the NCAA Championship; since that time, except for one year, either a team from the Big East or the Atlantic Coast has earned the final honor.
This doesn’t mean the PAC-10 doesn’t offer talented players, fine coaches, and hard fought games. Arizona, Stanford, UCLA and Washington all have quality programs that are capable of competing.
In the conference Arizona looks like the team to beat once again, with Stanford at their heels and possibly passing them by. UCLA and Washington may offer resistance to these frontrunners, but they don’t have the strength or talent that’s possessed by Arizona or Stanford. Of the ten teams in the Pacific three are consistently ranked in the top twenty-preseason polls. However these teams tend to show up somewhere between 11 and 20 and not 1-10.
For things to change the PAC-10 needs to attract more quality players and gird up the entire field. If victories are tougher to come by for the top teams in the conference because of higher standards amongst all clubs, the PAC-10 will be able to fight it out and win more contests in the Championship Tournament.
All the teams are covered in depth below this conference preview where it says "2005 PAC 10 team previews." For the official Pacific Ten conference website click here.