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Pac-12 men’s basketball doesn’t scare anybody

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ASU beats Kansas, but strength of conference is not good

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes things just are what they are. The Pac-12 mens basketball is in a state of “eh” right now. There is just not a lot of high quality teams in the Pac-12 basketball teams that have the ability to make a big run in the post season. Pac-12 men’s basketball is not going to scare anybody come tournament time.

Let’s face it, Pac-12 basketball is in a down trend currently.

The FBI probe that is looking into the dark underworld of college hoops and the fraud trial that is exposing what shoe companies, sports agents, and their sneaky go-betweens have been doing has named roughly half the Pac-12 Conference in their inquiry.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Buffalo vs Arizona Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

When the FBI is naming teams in your conference that has an affect on the perception of the league with fans and potential future players.

Enough about the feds for now.

The play in the conference, the lack of big time players, and the lack of quality wins is something that is holding the Pac-12 from gaining respect from the rest of the country.

I’ve talked with a few writers and even a few people associated with the conference chimed in their opinions with me.

These writers and I’m paraphrasing here, said the teams in the West need wins, the teams in the Pac-12 need wins, and that the quality of basketball is substandard to the rest of the country.

You can scream “East Coast bias” all you want, but currently the rest of the country doesn’t respect the Pac-12 in basketball. A nickname for Pac-12 men’s basketball is out there. Since this a family website, I won’t repeat it. It’s out there though.

Three teams made the NCAA Tournament last year. Three.

Arizona State and UCLA could not get past the First Four games and Pac-12 Champion Arizona got bounced by Buffalo.

The current season begins and there is absolutely no buzz about teams in the conference. There was no talk of a dominant team anywhere. The only talk about the teams in the conference came from the fanboy fans who read to much into recruiting and their own bias to objectively look at their own teams.

The current Top 25 teams in the country only have one Pac-12 team ranked. Arizona State is holding up the flag for the Pac-12. There isn’t a Pac-12 team even listed in the “others receiving votes” category.

No Utah, no Oregon, no Arizona. Nobody else.

Intimidating right? Hardly.

Arizona State is playing the best basketball in the Pac-12 right now, so their ranking which went up after the upset of number one Kansas is deserved.

Hold on, Sun Devil fans. I know you’re feeling your oats after taking down Kansas on Saturday night, but we all remember what happened last season. Great start, but a whimper of an ending. We will see how the team does once conference play begins, but this is a much different team in Tempe than last season. However, the proof is in the pudding for ASU moving forward.

NCAA Basketball: San Diego at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon has had a ton of talk coming out of Eugene, but nothing impressive so far this year. I know you’re all fired up about Bol Bol, but it takes a team to win. Is he Bol a world beater? Not so far. Bol has been more up and down than anything. Even though he is most likely a one-and-done player he still has stirred a big debate with NBA scouts, NBA executives, and fans. He’s not the savior that many people thought he was going to be. As a team, Oregon isn’t making any coaching staff shake in their sneakers.

Let’s talk about the usual “power” in the Pac-12, Arizona.

FBI wiretaps. Sean Miller reportedly on the phone offering talking money about getting a player to come to his school brings some uncertainty to the program. I know Nico Mannion and Terry Armstrong are coming to Tucson, but will they return Arizona to the top? Will the pipeline of national talent keep Arizona on the map? Nobody knows. The talent to make a big run in the tourney is not there right now. Arizona doesn’t scare anybody. I don’t see the Wildcats doing anything in the post-season.

Let’s talk about the rest of conference.

Wait, what is there to talk about?

Nothing.

The rest of the Pac-12 is just weak and the teams will do what they always do. These teams will just devour each other and won’t provide the conference with a team that can make a run in the NCAA Tournament. The three team threshold of teams making The Big Dance may be the same thing the Pac-12 Conference will be looking at in March with the same result.

I’m not sure if it gets any worse for Pac-12 Men’s Basketball right now. Well, it could be Pac-12 football, but that’s a different conversation for a different day.