Trying to pinpoint one reason the Arizona Wildcats didn't win the Pac-12 title might be a fool's errand, but it's easy to start with one man: the Pac-12 Player of the Year.
Allen Crabbe's 31 points - with 19 on 6-of-7 shooting in the second half-carried the Cal Golden Bears to a 77-69 win Feb. 10 at McKale Center.
"There's a lot of reasons we didn't win the regular-season championship," UA coach Sean Miller said Monday. "I would say the (final) 20 minutes at McKale was a big segment, and he had a lot to do with it."
Crabbe received the Pac-12 Player of the Year on Monday for season-long effort, in which he led the conference in scoring from start to finish, averaging 18.6 points.
"It's a wonderful feeling," Crabbe said via telephone. "It's definitely a blessing."
Crabbe said he called his family after hearing the news Monday - when the Pac-12 released its list of season superlatives, including honoring UCLA forward Shabazz Muhammad and Arizona State guard Jahii Carson as co-Freshmen of the Year and Oregon boss Dana Altman for Coach of the Year - but said he would "trade it in" for a league title.
The Golden Bears finished tied for second with Oregon and the UA.
"At the beginning of the season, you're not talking about going out there to play for an award," Crabbe said. "I'm going out there to play for a Pac-12 championship."
Miller, who had said he'd vote for UCLA point guard Larry Drew II if the Bruins won the league championship, joked, diplomatically, that he forgot which name he wrote on the ballot.
"I'm sure how I actually did it," he said, smiling. "It was one of the two."
Two UA players made the 10-man first-team All-Pac12 squad: senior forward Solomon Hill and senior guard Mark Lyons.
Colorado junior forward Andre Roberson, the nation's leading rebounder at 11.5 per game who has missed the last two games with a viral illness, was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year.
Stanford junior forward Dwight Powell, one of two Pac-12 players to score in double-figures in every conference game, was named Most Improved.
Both were named to the league's first team, alongside Carson and Muhammad.
The ASU freshman averaged 37 minutes per game, the most in the league, and averaged 17.7 points per game, fourth-most in the league, and a five assists, third-most in the conference.
Muhammad led UCLA with 18.3 points per game, third-most in the conference, and scored 20 or more points 13 times.
They were joined on the first team by Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie, Oregon forward E.J. Singler and Drew.
The Coach of the Year, Altman, led the Ducks to a second-place tie after being picked to finish seventh. He has won the honor in four different leagues over his career: the Missouri Valley at Creighton in 2001 and 2002, the Big Eight at Kansas State in 1993 and the Southern Conference at Marshall in 1990.
The Pac-12 Tournament starts Wednesday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and Crabbe said he's ready to continue his stellar season.
"We let the regular season title slip away from us," he said, "but I really feel we can go out and redeem ourselves here."
The Pac-12 named its season superlatives Monday. Here's a look at who won the awards:
• Player of the Year: Cal junior guard Allen Crabbe
• Co-Freshmen of the Year: UCLA forward Shabazz Muhammad and Arizona State guard Jahii Carson
• Coach of the Year: Oregon's Dana Altman
• Defensive Player of the Year: Colorado junior forward Andre Roberson
• Most Improved Player of the Year: Stanford forward Dwight Powell
All-Pac-12 First Team
• Arizona State freshman guard Jahii Carson; Cal junior guard Allen Crabbe; Colorado sophomore guard Spencer Dinwiddie; UCLA senior guard Larry Drew II; Arizona senior forward Solomon Hill; Arizona senior guard Mark Lyons; UCLA freshman forward Shabazz Muhammad; Stanford junior forward Dwight Powell; Colorado junior forward Andre Roberson; Oregon senior forward E.J. Singler.
Second team all-Pac-12
• UCLA freshman guard Kyle Anderson; Cal junior guard Justin Cobbs; Arizona State senior forward Carrick Felix; Washington State senior forward Brock Motum; Washington junior guard C.J. Wilcox. Honorable Mention (received three or more votes): USC senior guard Jio Fontan, Oregon senior forward Arsalan Kazemi, Oregon State junior guard Roberto Nelson, Utah senior center Jason Washburn, USC senior forward Eric Wise.
• UCLA guard Kyle Anderson; Arizona State guard Jahii Carson; Oregon guard Damyean Dotson; UCLA forward Shabazz Muhammad; Colorado forward Josh Scott. Honorable Mention (receiving at least three votes): UCLA guard Jordan Adams, UA center Kaleb Tarczewski.
• Arizona State junior center Jordan Bachynski; Arizona State senior forward Carrick Felix; Stanford junior forward Josh Huestis; Oregon senior forward Arsalan Kazemi; Colorado junior forward Andre Roberson. Honorable Mention (receiving at least three votes): UA sophomore guard Nick Johnson, OSU sophomore forward Eric Moreland.