Arizona picked 1st, ASU 6th in Pac-12 preseason basketball poll

SAN FRANCISCO -- Arizona, whose preseason got off to an ominous start with news the arrest of assistant coach Book Richardson as part of an FBI bribery investigation, is a near-unaminous choice to win the Pac-12 Conference title -- receiving 22 of 23 first-place votes in a poll of Pac-12 media members.

The Wildcats return three starters from last year's regular season co-champions, including 2017 Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player Allonzo Trier. Also returning for the Wildcats are guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, center Dusan Ristic and guard Rawle Alkins, who will miss the start of the season with a foot injury.

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They're joined by one of the nation's top-ranked recruiting classes -- led by 7-foot-1 forward DeAndre Ayton.

USC, which returns five starters from a 26-x team, received the other first-place vote and was picked to finish second -- its highest-ever preseason conference ranking.

UCLA, Oregon, Stanford and Arizona State round out the top six. It's the highest predicted finish for the Sun Devils since the 2010-11 season.

Utah is seventh, followed by Oregon State, Colorado, Washington, California and Washington State.

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Media have correctly picked the conference winner 15 times over the past 25 season.

The 2017-18 season will begin on Friday, Nov. 10.

Team (First place) Points
1 Arizona (22) 273
2 USC (1) 251
3 UCLA 223
4 Oregon 203
5 Stanford 182
6 Arizona State 146
7 Utah 129
8 Oregon State 125
9 Colorado 112
10 Washington 71
11 California 46
12 Washington State 33