Women’s basketball picked to win Pac-12

The UCLA women's basketball team was picked by conference coaches to win the Pac-12 this season. (Photo from UCLA Athletics)

The UCLA women’s basketball team was picked by conference coaches to win the Pac-12 this season. (Photo from UCLA Athletics)

Coming off the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance since 1999, the UCLA women’s basketball team was picked to win the conference this season by Pac-12 coaches in the preseason poll released Thursday at Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day.

It’s the first time since 2000 that the Bruins were picked to win the conference. UCLA, led by sixth-year head coach Cori Close, claimed eight first-place votes. Stanford and Washington finished second and third, respectively.

UCLA has three returning starters: juniors Monique Billings and Jordan Canada and senior Kari Korver. Canada was named an AP honorable mention All-American last season after the guard averaged 16.1 points and 5.7 assists per game.

Year in review: Women’s basketball survives in overtime in Pac-12 semis

Note: As the school year winds down, we’ll spend time looking back on some of the most memorable moments of the 2015-16 season for UCLA athletics.

March 05, 2016: Women’s basketball beats Cal in Pac-12 tournament semifinals

Kari Korver hit a clutch 3-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation to send the UCLA women’s basketball team’s Pac-12 tournament semifinal game against Cal to overtime. Jordin Canada scored eight of her game-high 26 points in overtime to propel the Bruins to the Pac-12 championship game, where they lost to Oregon State 69-57.

UCLA claimed a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16.