SAN FRANCISCO — Arizona was picked to finish first in the Pac-12 men’s basketball standings by 21 of the 23 media members participating in the conference’s preseason poll.
UCLA and Colorado each picked up one first-place vote. Overall, the top five teams according to the poll are: Arizona, UCLA, Colorado, Oregon and California. Arizona State was ranked seventh.
Arizona was also picked to finish first last season but ended up tied for second, one game behind UCLA. Oregon was the Pac-12 postseason tournament champion.
Arizona returns three starters in junior guard Nick Johnson, center Kaleb Tarczewski and forward Brandon Ashley and adds transfer point guard T.J. McConnell and touted freshmen Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
The Wildcats have been the preseason favorite in the media poll 12 times previously. Of those 12 times, they went on to finish first seven times.
Arizona plays an exhibition game against Augustana on Monday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. before officially opening the season at home against Cal Poly on Friday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m.
THE 2013-14 PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL MEDIA POLL
1. Arizona (21) 273 2. UCLA (1) 212 3. Colorado (1) 211 4. Oregon 196 5. California 194 6. Stanford 166 7. Arizona State 159 8. Washington 121 9. Utah 68 10. Oregon State 67 11. USC 63 12. Washington State 39