2012 started as a disappointing year for the Pac-12 in hoops but it ended with hope that 2013 will be much better. Only one team made the NCAA Tournament last season and I believe more than one team will win at least one game this year.
There’s future NBA talent all over the Pac-12 and that’s why when conference play starts this week, there will be intrigue all over the West Coast. Big wins by Arizona and UCLA this past month also ensured that the rest of the nation will be watching to see how deep the conference is.
In the spirit of the new year upon us., here’s my humble and fun predictions for the Pac-12 in 2013.
– Arizona will win the Pac-12 regular season and conference title but will lose at least two games. They’ll enter the NCAA Tournament with a No. 1 seed and keep dancing all the way to the Final Four for the first time since 2001.
– Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA) and Jahii Carson (Arizona State) will be the only freshmen to make the All Pac-12 team but Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson will be Honorable Mention.
– Carson will not only lead Arizona State to an upset win over Arizona, he’ll become a bigger YouTube sensation after the 5-11 dynamo throws down at least two dunks in conference play.
– Cal’s Allen Crabbe will have a 35-40 point game in conference play. He and Brock Motum (Washington State) will have a tight battle for the Pac-12 scoring crown and Crabbe will win by a hair.
– Solomon Hill and Mark Lyons will make the All Pac-12 first team for Arizona but won’t win Player of the Year. However, their coach Sean Miller will run away with Coach of the Year.
– USC will win more than one conference game but it won’t be enough to save Kevin O’Neill‘s job.
– UCLA will meet Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament Final and despite losing, they’ll advance to the Sweet Sixteen and somehow save Ben Howland‘s job for another year.
– Muhammad, Crabbe and Hill will be considered for the All-American team. But Pac-12 Player of the Year? My prediction is Muhammad becomes the third freshman to win it and sneaks on the AP All-America 3rd Team.