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Top 5 Contenders In Pac 12 For 2014-15 College Basketball Season

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Top 5 Contenders In Pac 12 For 2014-15 College Basketball Season

Zona Basketball
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 comes into the 2014-15 college basketball season with several consistently elite teams in the process of rebuilding. This being said, there is a clear difference between the top few teams in the conference and the bottom half. Here are the top five contenders in the Pac-12 for the upcoming season.

5. California Golden Bears

Cuonzo Martin
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

5. California Golden Bears

Cuonzo Martin
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Cuonzo Martin is a fantastic coach and will take a fairly talented California Golden Bears team to at least the NIT. Don’t be surprised if this team is all the talk around the NCAA Tournament bubble as March nears.

4. Oregon Ducks

No. 4 Oregon Ducks
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

4. Oregon Ducks

Joseph Young
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon loses a lot of their squad from last season, but returns leading scorer Joseph Young. Young will have to lead this team to several victories early, but the rest of the team should come together towards the start of PAC-12 play.

3. UCLA Bruins

UCLA basketball
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

3. UCLA Bruins

UCLA basketball
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA lost so many key players to the 2014 NBA Draft, it’s hard to see a scenario in which they win the PAC-12. However, Steve Alford is a great coach and will get this team into NCAA Tournament shape by the end of the regular season. Don’t be surprised if UCLA finishes fifth or so in the regular season, but wins the PAC-12 tournament.

2. Stanford Cardinal

Stanford basketball
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

2. Stanford Cardinal

Stanford basketball
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Good coaching and good defense leads to good things. The Cardinal don’t have many big-name players on their roster, but will do some damage in the PAC-12.

1. Arizona Wildcats

Arizona Basketball Coach
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Arizona Wildcats

Arizona Basketball Coach
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Without Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon, I’m not sure the Wildcats can be legitimate contenders for the 2015 NCAA Tournament. That being said, the Wildcats are always an extremely talented team. Arizona will stumble a bit, but come out on top of the PAC-12 in the end.