The time warp continues to reverse itself on this Pac-12 Fridays miniseries on college basketball in the Conference of (real NCAA) Champions and its Midwest partners, the B1G. Between the two leagues, 9 teams made it to March Madness, and 2 teams from the B1G made the Final Four: Illinois and Michigan State. Alas, it was cheatin’ North Carolina that knocked off both teams on its way to a tainted title. Welcome to the new world order … we’re still living in it, sadly.
2005 Pac-10 PoY: Ike Diogu, F, Arizona State (original); Channing Frye, C, Arizona (revised)
The Arizona Wildcats won the regular season by 1 game over the Washington Huskies, but the latter squad won the tournament championship with a win over the Wildcats in the final. Meanwhile, Arizona State finished under .500 in league play although voted PoY Ike Diogu (8.4 WS) was its star forward. Diogu was tops in the league for value, but he’s not eligible here on a losing team. We’re looking at Arizona center Channing Frye (7.4) instead, for a variety of reasons.
He was second in the league for Win Shares, and he only had one other teammates in the Top 10. Meanwhile, the Huskies placed three players in the Top 10. That’s our rationale right there, and there’s little more to be said.
2005 B1G PoY: Dee Brown, G, Illinois (original); James Augustine, F, Illinois (revised)
The Fightin’ Illini won the regular-season and conference tournament, and only the Spartans finished within 4 games of Illinois—which started the season 29-0 and was ranked No. 1 from December 6 until the end of the year. Guard Dee Brown (6.8 WS) was the voted PoY, so we will start with him. But we move on right away as his teammate, F James Augustine (7.7), was the top player in the conference. We will give him this nod instead, of course. It just makes sense.