This article is part of our College Hoops Barometer series.
The feeling in recent years is that the Pac-12 has become somehow inferior to the other major conferences. Is that warranted? The overall statistics may have a point. The Pac-12 has had just one Final Four appearance in the last decade (Oregon, 2017). The last National Champion from the conference? Arizona in 1997. Since the inception of the current version of the conference in 2010, the Pac-12's won-loss record in the NCAA Tournament is 26-24, or a winning percentage of just .520. Taking an even longer view, since 2000, the Pac-12 has the fewest wins, Sweet 16 and Final Four appearances of the six major conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East and SEC).
In 2019, the last time the NCAA Tournament was held, the Pac-12 had just three bids, and even that was viewed as generous. According to Joe Lunardi of ESPN, the Pac-12 would have five bids into the big dance if the tourney started today. Yet only one school (USC) is currently ranked. Rankings are inherently subjective and each season stands on its own, but it appears that the mediocre performance of the conference in recent years is certainly playing a role in how teams in the Pac-12 are being viewed.
Let's take a look at some players making headlines in this week's edition of the College Hoops Barometer.
Aaron Henry, G, Michigan State
This season hasn't quite gone as planned for the Spartans, though Henry has provided something of a silver lining. Henry