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Ranking the Pac-12 Number Seeds in throughout the history of the NCAA Tournament

Arizona, Stanford and UCLA are primarily the only Pac-12 teams who have had number seeds in the NCAA Tournament.


Sunday, Arizona is going to become the first Pac-12 team to be given a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament in six years. What used to be a frequent occurrence has rare recently in the conference and the 2014 Wildcats will join an elite fraternity of stellar Pac-12 teams that have earned number one seeds.

Here they are ranked:

1. 1995 UCLA 25-2 (16-2) National champions

The eventual national champions did it from a top seed in the tournament after having lost just two games all regular season. The Bruins were led by the O'Bannon brothers along with Tyus Edney and had six players on their roster who ended up getting drafted into the NBA.

2. 2003 Arizona 25-3 (17-1) Elite 8

A combination of veteran, tournament-tested players like Luke Walton and Jason Gardner and young stars like Channing Frye, Salim Stoudemire and Andre Igoudala, this team seemed destined to win a national championship, but faltered early in the Pac-12 Tournament and couldn't quite get to the Final Four.

3. 1998 Arizona 27-4 (17-1) Elite 8

This Arizona team looked poised to win back-to-back national championships as they returned a ridiculous amount of talent (Dickerson, Bibby, Terry, Simon, oh my!) and experience from the 1997 title-run squad. They lost some showdowns out-of-conference, but lost only one game in-conference by one point before a disappointing tournament run.

4. 2004 Stanford 29-1 (17-1) Knocked out in second round

This Stanford ran the table all the way to the final game of the regular season when they got beaten by Washington. Led by dead-eye shooter Matt Lottich, swing man Josh Childress and point guard Chris Hernandez, they were one of the best regular season Pac-12 teams ever, even if they disappointed in the tournament.

5. 1988 Arizona 28-2 (17-1) Final Four

The first Wildcat team to get a number one seed, Lute Olson's team was ultra-talented and lost only twice during the regular season. The roster was loaded with talent with Sean Elliott, Tom Tolbert and Steve Kerr all on the roster.

6. 2008 UCLA 31-3 (16-2) Final Four

The best of Ben Howland's three-peat Final Four teams, the 2008 team was the only to earn a top seed and they did it with a ridiculous starting line-up that had Kevin Love, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Darren Collison and Russell Westbrook on it. They lost only two games in-conference in a very strong year for the conference.

7. 1989 Arizona 27-3 (17-1) Sweet 16

The second great Arizona team led by Elliott, this version also only lost one game in conference and dominated the Pac-10. They probably weren't quite as good as the 88 team, but they were very close, with Jud Buechler becoming a bigger factor.

8. 2001 Stanford 28-2 (16-2) Elite 8

Led by Casey Jacobsen and the Collins twins, this was a deep, deep Stanford team with tons of talent and impeccably coached by Mike Montgomery. The fact that they won the conference over an insanely talented Arizona team that made the national championship game is a testament to their strength.

9. 1981 Oregon State 25-1 (17-1) Second round

Probably the least well-known of any of the teams on here, it's hard to think of a time when the Beavers were an excellent basketball program, but they were the only conference team to get a top seed in the 80s, a bad decade for Pac-10 basketball. One of the greatest Beaver teams ever and coached by Ralph Miller, they didn't do well in the tournament but won 25-straight during the regular season, nearly running the table before losing their final game.

10. 2000 Stanford 25-3 (15-3) Knocked out in second round

Led by mad dog Madsen and Casey Jacobsen, the 2000 Cardinal team played hard and also had a nice influx of young talent. They ended up winning the conference in a great year for the Pac-10.

11. 1979 UCLA 23-4 (15-3) Elite 8

Led by David Greenwood, Brad Holland and Kiki Vandeweghe, this Bruins group was the last great UCLA team before the run of teams in the 90s.

12. 1992 UCLA 25-4 (16-2) Elite 8

UCLA's bounce back team that got them back to a top seed in the tournament was led by a superb frontcourt that featured Don MacLean and Tracy Murray up front.

13. 2000 Arizona 26-6 (15-3) Second round

A bit young, but so talented, this team was the one that laid the ground for Arizona's 2001 squad that made it to the national championship game. This was the first great year of their big five of Loren Woods, Michael Wright, Richard Jefferson, Gilbert Arenas and Jason Gardner.

14. 2005 Washington 27-5 (14-4) Sweet 16

Like the 81 Beavers, an oddball in the big group of Bruins, Cardinal and Wildcats, this is the best team of the Lorenzo Romar Husky era and was led by the deadly duo of Nate Robinson and Brandon Roy.