Apologies for getting to this a week late but, thanks to a 70-minute flight delay tonight, I finally found time to “grade” the entries from our annual unofficial, prize-less contest to pick the Pac-12 all the way through. (Yes, that was me at Sky Harbor T4, Gate A6 counting out loud to myself...)

And the winner is…

Dave G (Cattitude), who had 18 points to pretty much blow everyone else away. Ron W, StephenC and I finished with 22, in a three-way tie for second, just like the Pac-12 race itself.

The results were calculated by taking the final Pac-12 Tournament seeds and comparing your 1-12 picks. You lost a point for each spot that each team differed from its final seed, and the lowest score wins (i.e., picking UCLA gave you no points since the Bruins won the league and picking UA gave you three because UA finished with a No. 4 seed).

Here was Dave G’s entry:

Oct 10, 2012 @ 6:01am

The Wildcat/Bruin battle should be a good one. I also anticipate one other, possibly surprise team putting it all together this year, a la Colorado last year. Could be one of several.

1. Arizona


3. Oregon

4. Stanford

5. Cal

6. Colorado

7. USC

8. Washington

9. ASU

10. Oregon State

11. WSU

12. Utah

 Surprisingly, Cattitude picked UA to win, which cost him three points right off the bat, but was remarkably close on everyone else, so he wins what is intended to be a “top to bottom” challenge. He overvalued Stanford, as did many people, but correctly picked Oregon at No. 3, which nobody else did.

StephenC picked three teams exactly right, had four others just one off of their finish, and identified three of the top four finishers…but picked Arizona to win. That cost him sole possession of second.

Ron W picked UCLA to win, and correctly forecasted (as almost nobody did) that “Stanford is the big underachiever.” He also said Jahii Carson is worth two places in the standings for ASU (correct again) and called Washington’s Lorenzo Romar the coach of the year (two out of three ain’t bad).

I had UCLA first and Arizona second but also picked Stanford too high -- third, but was saved by forecasting Colorado (5), Washington (6), USC (7), Utah (10) and WSU (11) correctly.

If there were  a “tie-breaker” for second, well… I’ll take it because I picked UCLA to win and had three teams in the top four (UCLA, UA, Cal), while Ron had two. Ron gets the “3 seed” over Stephen because he also picked UCLA to win and Stephen did not. (However, Stephen picked 3 of 4 teams at the top and Ron only had two.)


Only three others picked three of the four teams who wound up in the top four: Nathan P (Nathan88), Pete K and Jason CR.

Most people picked Arizona to win but those who had UCLA were: Moosety, germy1984, JohnD, Robusmc222, tfenn, catburger, and JasonCR.


My favorite post of the predictions:

Oct 10, 2012 @ 7:59am

**** Arizona should be #1, comon Bruce, you should know by now that UCLA always under-achieves!!


There's some highlights of Belmont's OVC Tournament win over Murray State attached to this feature on Bruin point guard Kerron Johnson.


Here's an Associated Press national perspective on Sean Miller and his intensity.


 Defending NIT champion (don't blame you if you forgot that) Stanford squeaked by Stephen F. Austin before an empty house at Maples. The Cardinal will have to play at Alabama next.


Washington was bounced out of the NIT early at BYU.


ASU will host Detroit and former UA recruiting target Ray McCallum in an NIT game tonight (7 p.m., ESPNU). While you're waiting for that one, here's the Republic's take on the Sparky no-go situation.