Today is Pac-12 Basketball Media Day, and with it comes the eagerly anticipated release of the preseason media poll. Arizona was tabbed to win the conference, but UCLA actually received more first place votes. Also receiving first-place mentions were Cal and, surprisingly, Washington. This big news for BuffNation is that the defending conference champions were picked to finish 6th.
This is actually a pretty good show of respect when compared to the recent past. I tried hunting for the last time the basketball team was tabbed to finish sixth or higher, but was thwarted by shaky online records prior to 2006. The funny thing is that '05-'06 team would've been my guess. They were the last post-season squad of the Ricardo Patton era, and would've been at least moderately regarded heading into the season. Since then, prognosticators have thought very little of the program, tabbing the various teams to finish in the bottom quarter each season (12th in '06-'07, 12th in '07-'08, 12th in '08-'09, 12th '09-'10, 9th in '10-'11, and 11th in '11-'12.)
While CU has managed to beat preseason expectations in each of the last three seasons (finishing 8th, 6th, and 6th, respectively), outsiders are still wary of whether the program has really turned the corner. Picking CU 6th is about the best we can expect; the team will just have to keep proving everyone wrong.
Coach Boyle, you may now use this as bulletin board material.