We go back a decade today on our Pac-12 Fridays miniseries on basketball in the Conference of (real NCAA) Champions and its Midwest partners, the B1G. This was a season where the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee ignored the Pac-12 regular-season champion, relegating that school to the NIT! When does that ever happen to other Power 5 conferences?! Like … never. It was a tremendous insult, of course, but time has shown the error of ways, for sure. Enjoy our coverage of the 2012 season!
2012 Pac-12 PoY: Jorge Gutierrez, G, California (original); Andre Roberson, F, Colorado (revised)
What a weird season, as the Pac-12 honestly didn’t have a very good profile in the end: only 2 teams invited to March Madness and no teams ranked in the final AP poll, either. But we digress: the Washington Huskies won the regular-season round robin by 1 game over the California Golden Bears and the Oregon Ducks, while the Colorado Buffaloes—in their first season playing in the conference—took home the tournament title. Cal guard Jorge Gutierrez (4.2 WS) was named the PoY by the vote at the time.
Gutierrez didn’t even finish in the conference’s Top 10 for Win Shares, so the selection was an odd choice—considering his own teammate, G Allen Crabbe, finished with 5.1 WS overall (and won this media vote in 2013, as well). Colorado forward Andre Roberson (5.7) led the conference by 0.5 WS, and we’re inclined to go with him for the PoY honors. No one else but Crabbe finished over 5.0 WS while playing for a competing team noted above, and the gap is noteworthy, too. Done deal.
2012 B1G PoY: Draymond Green, F, Michigan State (original, confirmed)
There was a three-way tie atop the conference for the regular-season championship: Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State. The Spartans won the conference tournament title, and the Buckeyes reached the Final Four. All in all, five B1G teams finished the season ranked in the AP Top 16. MSU F Draymond Green (7.1 WS) won the PoY vote, even though Ohio State F Jared Sullinger (7.9) topped the conference in value. Yet we will confirm Green’s award for the following reasons.
Ohio State had a whopping four players in the league’s Top 9 for Win Shares, rendering Sullinger less valuable than Green, since no other Spartan player finished in the Top 10. In fact, the next-best MSU player finished with just 4.6 WS, while the fourth of the Buckeyes’ quartet posted 5.3 WS. Therefore, Green carried a weaker roster to higher heights, as MSU actually defeated Ohio State in the conference tournament final as well. This is a no brainer, folks, and it’s a surprise Green wasn’t drafted higher into the NBA.