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The Line with Caroline- A look at the Pac-12

Let’s talk about the Pac-12. Like the Big 12, the Pac-12 is also very young. This year is very different from others with a lot of “middle level” teams, two teams are standing out more than the others who are on the bubble.

This years surprise is Oregon. The Ducks weren’t even ranked until the upset of then ranked #4 Arizona, now the Ducks are leading the Pac- 12. ¬†Arizona and Oregon are tied for first place at 10-4 in the conference. Second place is up for grabs! Here’s an in-depth look at my top 4 in the conference.

12 Arizona– The Wildcats resume includes two wins against top 25 teams (Florida and San Diego State); however, their inconsistency at home (losses to Cal and UCLA) is something to question. With the recent loss at Colorado, the Wildcats need to be more consistent. Team leader is Marc Lyons, who averages 15.3 points per game and three assists. With these kind of numbers, this senior has led Arizona to the 20 plus win category. With four games to go, Arizona must win all four to have a chance at a #3 seed in the Big Dance.

23 Oregon – The Ducks may be ranked this week, but they have four losses against Stanford, Cal (twice) and Colorado. The overtime win against Washington State was a little closer than it should have been. There are no ranked opponents left of Oregon’s schedule, but five of their six losses are all to unranked opponents. The Ducks must win at least three of their last four to get a five seed in the Big Dance.

UCLA– With their 13-point loss to Cal, this team proved it is inconsistent. Leading scorer (18.5 ppg) and freshman sensation, Shabazz Muhammed needs to step up and lead this team. The Bruins have lost four out of the last eight. Their win against Stanford was big because it was a confidence builder. With five games left, UCLA has a shot at winning the Pac-12. Their big test will be a road date with Arizona next Saturday.

Colorado– League leading rebounder Andre Robinson (11.8 rpg) has a lot to say for this Buffalo team. This bubble team has some good wins against Oregon, then ranked Baylor and Arizona. They will have to face Oregon again at home, and will have to rebuild from their one point over time loss to Arizona State.

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