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Pac-12 Quickly Slip-Sliding Away

AP Photo

It wasn't so long ago that Pac-12 basketball elicited respect from television's talking heads. The league was so good that it demanded attention.

In three consecutive seasons, from 2007 to 2009, the league hogged a total of 18 berths in the NCAA tournament. UCLA was finishing a run of three straight Final Fours.

The talent level was ridiculous. In the 2008 NBA draft, the league had five of the first 11 players taken, people like O.J. Mayo and Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love.

That year the league had 12 players drafted. Another bountiful haul in the 2009 draft — including James Harden, Demar Derozan and Jrue Holiday — meant that in a span of two drafts, the league had 13 first-round picks and 21 players taken overall.

When players weren't...

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