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Pac-12 builds expectations after strong nonconference season

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 16: Louis King #2 of the Oregon Ducks brings the ball up the court against Matisse Thybulle #4 of the Washington Huskies during the championship game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 16, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Ducks defeated the Huskies 68-48. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Pac-12 basketball has ratcheted up expectations following a strong nonconference season.

The conference has three ranked teams in No. 6 Oregon, No. 21 Washington and No. 24 Arizona and a string of marquee wins heading into league play.

The rise follows a couple of down seasons.

The Pac-12 went 0 for 3 in the 2018 NCAA Tournament and appeared to be a one-bid league a year ago before the selection committee pushed three through to the bracket of 68.

With loaded teams at the top and depth throughout, the conference is hoping for more March success in 2019-20.