USA TODAY Sports
The Oregon Ducks and the Arizona Wildcats are ready to rise together as the main Pac-12 basketball title contenders.
Does Oregon getting swept in the Bay change your perception of them? Has Arizona regained the Pac-12 conch?
Jack Follman, Pacific Takes: No. I had thought that the Ducks had been playing over their head most of the season and were overdue for a let down game, or two. I still think they are one of the best teams in the conference, but they weren't far and away the best as they had been in the standings going into last week.
Jack Blanchat, Rule of Tree: Yes. The Ducks looked like a team that could have been interesting come tournament time, but now they look like a team that doesn't need to make travel plans post the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Andy Wooldridge, Building The Dam: Yes, but more so because of the blowout, and not just because they lost both games. I already thought the loss of their point guard Dominic Artis was going to be an issue; it stretches a thin team. I don't know if Arizona has regained the "conch" though, as Oregon's favorable schedule could well allow them to rebound. And anyone that thinks the Ducks are going to fade away is probably only going to get beat by them. I will say the "conch" is back on the table though.
Adam Butler, Pac Hoops: I think the conch is back in Tucson but my impression of Oregon as a very good team has not changed at all. These things happen to basketball teams and when you wear the target of top team in the conference, you're going to get people's A game. Oregon never was a Top-10 team but they're a very good team and a program that isn't going away anytime soon.
NorcalNick, California Golden Blogs: It has certainly changed my perception of Dominic Artis, who now appears to be the MVP of the Pac-12 based on Oregon's night -and-day performances. But no, although I had long ago been convinced that Oregon was a good-not-great team. They certainly deserve to be ranked, but did anybody truly feel that they were a top 10 team along with teams like Syracuse and Ohio State?
That said, I still think they should probably be the favorites to win the Pac-12 title. Hell of an unbalanced schedule this year.