No. 8 UCLA picked to win Pac-12 in preseason poll
No. 8 UCLA has been picked to win the Pac-12.
The Bruins received 26 first-place votes from a 33-person media panel in the poll. No. 17 Arizona, No. 21 Oregon, Southern California and Stanford rounded out the top five. The Wildcats and Ducks each received three first-place votes and the Cardinal one.
UCLA has four of its top seven scorers back from a team that finished runner-up in the Pac-12 and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season. The Bruins also added a stellar freshman class, headed by Amari Bailey and Adem Bona, both top-20 recruits.
Arizona won the Pac-12 last season, its first under coach Tommy Lloyd, and also reached the Sweet 16. The Wildcats lost three players to the NBA for the second straight season, but have a strong core returning and added several veterans who should contribute right away.
Oregon is looking to return to the NCAA Tournament after struggling defensively last season. The Ducks added several transfers and 7-foot freshman Kel’el Ware, one of the top recruits in the 2022 recruiting class.