Top 9 Non-Conference Pac-12 College Basketball Games in 2012-13
2012-13 college basketball schedules are being finalized, and with that comes an exciting outlook of which games to look forward to watching next season.
CBS Sports’ Jeff Goodman recently ranked the top 54 non-conference college basketball contests of the 2012-13 season, in which the Pac-12 makes a solid presence with nine games. The UCLA Bruins, Arizona Wildcats, USC Trojans, California Bears, Stanford Cardinal and Washington Huskies all made Goodman's list.
Last season the Pac-12 failed to beat any non-conference AP Top 25 opponents in the regular season (Colorado beat then-No. 23 UNLV in the NCAA tournament).
Here is a breakdown of the non-conference games involving Pac-12 teams that made Goodman's ranking.
Missing from this list are potential match-ups that could occur at various tournaments. For example Washington could be playing Ohio State depending on each team’s performance at the Hall of Fame Classic. USC will be playing in the Maui invitational, which will also feature UNC, Texas, Marquette, Butler, Mississippi State, Illinois and host Chaminade and so on with other Pac-12 teams and tournaments.
(Numbers indicate Goodman’s ranking in his top 54 non-conference 2012-13 season games.)
8) Dec. 28: Missouri at UCLA
UCLA brought in the ESPN No. 1 2012 recruit class with three ESPNU 100 players including top prospect SF Shabazz Muhammad. ESPN’s Andy Katz ranks UCLA No. 7 in the preseason. In addition to some of the top recruits in the NCAA and a UNC transfer (Larry Drew II), UCLA also has the Wear twins, Josh Smith, Tyler Lamb and Norman Powell.
Katz ranks Missouri No. 24 in the preseason. Mizzou will be in the SEC and no longer in the Big 12. The Tigers will take a big hit from last season, losing Kim English, Marcus Denmon and Ricardo Ratliffe. Laurence Bowers will be returning to join Michael Dixon and Phil Pressey, after Bowers sat out last season due to an injury. The Tigers will also be bringing in some solid transfers to the squad among which is notable Alex Oriakhi from UConn.
This UCLA-Mizzou game brings to mind the 1995 NCAA tournament, in which UCLA won their 11th championship title. In that tournament UCLA beat Mizzou in the second round, 75-74, after a making a buzzer-beating shot. Mizzou got revenge by beating UCLA in the 2002 NCAA Sweet 16.
9) Dec. 1: San Diego State vs. UCLA in Wooden Classic
Katz ranked San Diego State No. 16 in the preseason. The Aztecs will be playing for the final season in the Mountain West.
SDSU finished the season ranked No. 22 by the AP, and lost to N.C. State in the NCAA tournament. It was SDSU’s third straight NCAA appearance. The Aztecs look to be as much of a threat next season with SDSU returning their top scorers.
13) Dec. 15: Florida at Arizona
Arizona brought in the ESPN No. 3 2012 recruit class with four ESPNU 100 players including top prospect Kaleb Tarczewski. Katz ranks the Wildcats No. 17 in the preseason.
However, Katz’s ranking was made prior to the announcement that Xavier transfer Mark Lyons would be joining Arizona. Lyons is the likely player to replace Arizona transfer Josiah Turner who had a series of off-court issues this past year. Arizona will be returning Solomon Hill and Nick Johnson.
Florida brought in the No. 24 ESPN ranked 2012-recruit class with one ESPNU 100 player in PG Braxton Ogbueze. Even with the loss of Bradley Beal to the NBA draft, Katz ranked the Gators No. 12. Florida will be returning Patric Young, Kenny Boynton and Erik Murphy. The Gators finished last season ranked No. 25 by the AP and lost to Louisville in the NCAA tournament.
Florida beat Arizona last season, 78-72.
29) Dec. 8: Texas vs. UCLA in Houston
Texas brought in the ESPN No. 4 2012 recruit class with four ESPNU 100 players including top prospect C Cameron Ridley. Katz ranked the Longhorns No. 21 in the preseason. Texas will lose J’Covan Brown, but Myck Kabongo will be returning.
Texas beat UCLA last season, 69-59.
44) Nov. 25: San Diego State at USC
USC is looking to make a turnaround from last year's last place record (1-17) in the Pac-12 conference. The Trojans will bring in some solid recruits (Brendyn Taylor, J.T. Terrell, Strahinja Gavrilovic, Zach Banner) in addition to Tennessee transfer Renaldo Woolridge, Wake Forest transfer Ari Stewart and UC Irvine transfer Eric Wise.
San Diego State beat USC last season, 56-54.
46) Dec. 18: Stanford at N.C. State
Stanford notably won the 2012 postseason NIT. The Cardinal will return five of its six top scorers, only losing Josh Owens. Stanford will be bringing in a promising recruit in Grant Verhoeven.
The North Carolina Wolfpack brought in the ESPN No. 9 2012 recruit class with three ESPNU 100 players including top prospect SG Rodney Purvis. With C.J. Leslie returning Katz ranks N.C. State No. 6 in his preseason ESPN ranking. Last season the Wolfpack made it to the Sweet 16 losing to Kansas, 60-57.
47) Dec. 9: UNLV at California
California was the only team in the Pac-12 to receive an at-large 2012 NCAA tournament bid, where the Bears lost in the first round. The Bears will be losing Pac-12 Player of the Year Jorge Gutierrez, but returning Allen Crabbe, Justin Cobbs and David Kravish. Richard Solomon will likely be back and added to the mix will be Missouri transfer Ricky Kreklow.
UNLV brought in the ESPN No. 13 2012 recruit class with two ESPNU 100 players including PF Anthony Bennett. Katz ranked the Runnin’ Rebels No. 23 in the preseason (this ranking was prior to Bennett's signing).
Last season UNLV beat Cal, 85-68.
48) Dec. 2: Wisconsin at California
Wisconsin will be bringing in top-20 recruit Sam Dekker to join Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz, Ryan Evans and Ben Bust for the 2012-13 season. Katz ranks the Badgers No. 22 in the preseason. Wisconsin finished last season ranked No. 14 by the AP and lost to Syracuse, 64-63, in the NCAA tournament.
49) Nov. 28: Saint Louis at Washington
Washington made the record books last season being the only regular season championship team from a power conference to not receive a bid to the NCAA tournament (in its modern configuration). The Huskies went on to make the NIT’s version of a Final Four, where they lost to Minnesota by one point in overtime.
Washington will be losing its top two scorers, Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten, to the 2012 NBA Draft. The Huskies will be bringing in Tacoma CC transfer Mark McLaughlin to join Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs, Aziz N’Diaye among several others.
Saint Louis beat Memphis before losing to Michigan State in the 2012 NCAA tournament, 65-61.
The Billikens beat Washington last season, 77-64.