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Pac-12 men's basketball: Arizona picked to win, UCLA is second

November 01, 2012|By Baxter Holmes
  • UCLA's men's basketball team, which will play in the renovated Pauley Pavilion this season, was picked by media members to finish second in the Pac-12 this season.
UCLA's men's basketball team, which will play in the renovated… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)

SAN FRANCISCO -- By the slimmest of margins, Arizona's men's basketball team was picked ahead of UCLA to win the 2012-13 Pac-12 Conference, according to a poll of media members that was announced Thursday.

The Wildcats, with 15 first-place votes and 403 total points,  narrowly edged UCLA, which received 16 first-place votes and 402 points. California was picked to finish third; USC, coming off a 6-26 season, was picked to finish ninth in league play. 

The Times does not vote in polls or for awards.

Arizona, led by senior forward Solomon Hill (12.9 points per game), finished  23-12 overall last season, 12-6 in conference play. UCLA is coming off a 19-14 season but is bolstered by a strong recruiting class led by Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson, though Muhammad is still waiting for the NCAA to conclude an investigation into his eligibility.

Anderson, a 6-foot-9 freshman point guard, was cleared to play by the NCAA on Wednesday.

A timeline for Muhammad's case is unknown, but NCAA investigators were scheduled to interview Muhammad's parents — Ron Holmes and Faye Muhammad — late this week, according to people with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Here are the full poll results (first-place votes in parentheses):

1. Arizona (15) 4032. UCLA (16) 4023. California (3) 3254. Stanford 2965. Washington (2) 2786. Colorado 2627. Oregon 2178. Oregon State 1669. USC 16310. Washington State 11111. Arizona State 10712. Utah 78

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