Here we go again, on the verge of another Pac-12 Tournament with the league smack behind the 8-ball.

NCAA Tournament prognosticators have just 2 conference teams bound for the chance at glory — No. 4 UCLA and No. 8 Arizona — with 10/12ths of the league expected to be disappointed come March Madness.

For the 1st time since 2012, the Pac-12 could end up being a 2-bid league.

And you thought the days of 3 bids were bad?

What happened to 2016, when the conference had 7 teams make it to March Madness?

Or 2014, when 6 teams made it?

Or 2013, with 5 teams?

Once again, the league’s 2nd- and 3rd-tier teams were letdowns, failing to separate from the rest of the pack.

And here we are, once more, bound for another disappointment, with plenty of blame to go around.

The season started with such promise, too.

Just 3 games into the season, Colorado scored 1 of the big non-conference wins of the Pac-12 slate, defeating then-No. 11 Tennessee in Nashville, 78-66, on Nov. 13. The Buffaloes held the Volunteers to 25 percent shooting and 27 percent from deep, looking feistier on the perimeter than they had in ages.

Then they lost 4 of their next 6 games.

Four days later, on Nov. 17, Arizona State stuffed Hunter Dickinson inside a box and derailed then-No. 20 Michigan, 87-62, in the Legends Classic at Barclays Center. The Sun Devils were off to a 4-1 start that would soon grow to 11-1, and it appeared that Bobby Hurley had turned the corner after a confusing and chaotic 2021-22 campaign.

Then came a drubbing against San Francisco to end the non-conference and a loss to Arizona to open the bulk of Pac-12 play.

Two weeks after the Sun Devils’ triumph over the Wolverines, Utah reeled off another surprising victory, scoring an early conference win over then-No. 4 Arizona, 81-66, en route to a 9-2 start.

After that grand debut? Back-to-back losses to BYU and TCU.

One step forward, 2 steps back. The Pac-12 story in a nutshell.

To be truthful, even 3 NCAA Tournament bids for a conference with such an illustrious basketball history is an abomination. And the Pac-12 has been stuck at 3 bids in 3 of the past 4 NCAA Tournaments.

This is not how it’s supposed to be.

Before that calamitous 2012 season, when only Cal and Colorado advanced in down years for both Arizona and UCLA — put it this way, Washington, the Pac-12 regular-season champion, didn’t even get a bid — the league had only had 1 NCAA Tournament with 2 bids since 1988.

In the 11-year stretch from 2001 to 2011, the league averaged more than 4.5 bids per NCAA Tournament.

It’s not just that the league had a robust top tier — even the 2nd- and 3rd-tier teams were good.

In 2008, when UCLA advanced to the 3rd of 3 consecutive Final Fours, 6 teams were invited to the NCAA Tournament, 3 made it to the Sweet 16 (UCLA, Stanford and Washington State), and 5 teams finished with 20 or more wins. For the most part, UCLA was as good as any conference’s top team, the Cardinal and Cougars could hang around with anyone’s 2nd tier, and USC, Oregon and even Arizona, which finished 8-10 in conference play, could hang with anyone’s 3rd tier.

From Stanford in the early 2000s to Cal in the late-2000s to Washington in the early 2010s and Oregon in the mid-to-late 2010s, the league has always had that 3rd team to contend alongside the almost-always-competitive Bruins and Wildcats.

Watching Cal become 1 of the doormats of college basketball must be a heartbreak for Mike Montgomery and Cuonzo Martin, who led the Bears to 7 20-win seasons and a pair of 18-win seasons from 2008-17. This season under Mark Fox, Cal stands at 3 wins with an RPI that ranks in the bottom 50.

Meanwhile, Oregon State — which made it to the Elite 8 just 2 years ago! — is in the midst of its 2nd straight terrible season at 10-18 overall and 4-13 in Pac-12 play, and Stanford is staring at its most futile 3-season stretch since the early 1980s. And 4 other Pac-12 teams — Oregon, Washington State, Washington and Colorado — have between 12 and 15 losses this season.

This is not how it was supposed to be.

At Pac-12 Media Day in October, more than a half-dozen Pac-12 men’s basketball coaches talked about their potential postseason prospects and were taken seriously.

Mick Cronin and Tommy Lloyd, of course. The Bruins and ‘Cats returned with 2 of the best lineups in college basketball.

USC’s Andy Enfield boasted 1 of college basketball’s top records over the past few seasons. Oregon’s Dana Altman vowed to bring the Ducks back to The Dance, and Stanford’s Jerod Haase pledged to repay the favor and deliver a bid in return for the school’s loyalty. ASU’s Hurley was fired up to get the Sun Devils back from the edge, Washington State’s Kyle Smith had the Cougars coming off a 22-win season, and Colorado’s Tad Boyle had the Buffaloes above 20 wins for 4 straight years.

“You come to a day like this, and you see what everybody else has got, obviously we’ve got some terrific players in this league, some terrific coaches, some really good programs,” Boyle said at Pac-12 Media Day. “So, it kind of gets your juices flowing, your competitive juices flowing, and you know another season’s upon us. This is a great league.”

Well, no.

It’s a good league that has been great and should be great but isn’t, even if, last year, for the 6th time in 10 years, the league had a record 6 teams with 20 wins. This year, 5 teams will get there and another 3 will attempt to come close.

Little does that matter.

Only 2 teams might be going dancing, and once again, as the Pac-12 chases its 1st national title in a quarter-century, it remains a disappointment.