This is hardly a vintage year for Pac-12 Conference basketball, but it gets off to a cracking start this weekend when No. 3-ranked Arizona State plays at No. 17-ranked Arizona on Saturday night.
But who will see it? Yes, the game will be on the Pac-12 Network. That is great for the conference’s official channel but not-so-great for DirecTV subscribers and everyone else unable to get the network on their cable system.
If Arizona State wins, it might be its greatest victory since . . . it won at Kansas last month.
Here’s the good and bad for Pac-12 basketball as conference play begins:
HURRAY FOR ARIZONA STATE
The feel-good story of the nation has to be Arizona State. Let’s just hope it lasts through the Pac-12 season.
The Pac-12 certainly owes the Sun Devils, who have four of the conference’s nine wins over top-50 schools.
“They’re not 12-0 because they’re lucky,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “If the NCAA Tournament would start today, they’re right there as a No. 1 seed.”
Said Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley: “You just hope what we’ve done in nonconference that that prepares you. Everything happened really fast. Time has flown by and the season’s flown by. I talked about us going from 0 to 100. We were a program not many people talked about.”
WHAT IS THE REST OF THE PAC-12 DOING?
By mid-December, the Pac-12 already suffered losses to the Big Sky, Big West, West Coast and Mountain West conferences. This is not the stat you want to use when complaining about East Coast bias or NCAA seedings.
The conference currently has only four teams in ESPN’s mock NCAA bracket.
DON’T SLEEP ON ARIZONA
Since losing three straight games in late November, the Wildcats won seven straight and look like the conference favorite. They should be with freshman center Deandre Ayton, junior guard Allonzo Trier and sophomore guard Rawle Atkins.
Oregon is 10-3 and Dana Altman is the best coach in the conference. They will be a…