Another week of college basketball season has come and passed with the Pac-12 fighting it out to see how many teams will miss the NCAA Tournament.
On the local front, the Sun Devils got two huge wins against the Oregon schools and Bobby Hurley got his first victory against the Ducks in impressive fashion.
Here’s the rankings:
No. 1 - Washington (14-4, 5-0)
We have a new number one in the rankings, as the Huskies are dominating their way through conference play. With their own unique style of slowing down the pace and playing team defense, UW is cementing themselves as the most complete team in the Pac-12.
Senior guard Matisse Thybulle is among the better lockdown guards in the nation, he’s picked many players’ pockets this season as he’s averaging 2.7 steals per game.
No. 2 - Arizona (14-5, 5-1)
If you’d have asked Sean Miller if he’d take a 5-1 start to conference play, it’s likely he would have. However in the Wildcats’ loss to Oregon at the McKale Center had many in Tucson frustrated by losing to a rival.
UA bounced back well against Oregon State but lost their best interior player in junior Chase Jeter for the majority of the game. With a trip to the L.A. schools looming, the ‘Cats are hoping Jeter won’t be down for long.
No. 3 - Arizona State (13-5, 4-2)
With their backs against the wall and many doubting them, the Sun Devils played up to their capabilities in sweeping the Oregon schools.
Freshman forward Taeshon Cherry broke out in a big way, scoring 27 points combined in the two games and shooting 45 percent from three point range.
If freshman guard Luguentz Dort can get back on track offensively, Arizona State can reemerge as the best team in the conference.
No. 4 - Oregon State (11-6, 3-2)
Long suffering Beavers fans have seen this script before: Another trip to the desert, another long flight home with two L’s.
Presented with a golden opportunity to get to the top of the standings, Oregon State’s shooting went ice cold as they were bested by ASU and UA. Head coach Wayne Tinkle’s team isn’t done yet, but they need to pick up some wins against the lower tier of the conference.
No. 5 - USC (10-8, 3-2)
The Trojans were able to leap their crosstown rivals in the standings with a win over the Bruins at home this week.
Junior forward Nick Rakocevic played a big role in the victory with 21 points and 12 rebounds. With their only matchups against both Arizona schools looming this week, USC will need to take care of business as they are in the hunt for a first-round bye at the Pac-12 Tournament.
No. 6 - UCLA (10-8, 3-2)
After a 3-0 start to conference play, the Bruins have dropped their previous two games and have come back down to earth.
Sophomore wing Kris Wilkes continues to boost his professional aspirations by leading the team with 17.1 points per game in what has been an absolutely lost season in Westwood.
No. 7 - Oregon (11-7, 2-3)
Just when things start to trend up for the Ducks, something goes awry. Oregon pulled the upset in Tucson over Arizona but allowed a 20-2 run to ASU losing in unceremonious fashion.
With their postseason aspirations on life support, they need Arizona to keep playing well and to take care of business against the lesser conference opponents. Things don’t get easier as Washington heads down to Eugene this week looking to bury UO even further.
No. 8 - Utah (9-8, 3-2)
Both of the mountain schools find themselves in unenviable positions. They have some talent on the roster, but outside of a win at ASU have been shut out against the better Pac-12 teams.
Luckily for the Utes they have a trip to the Bay Area looming, and a strong chance to return home with a 5-2 record in conference.
No. 9 - Colorado (10-7, 1-4)
Another team that hasn’t been able to piece it together during league play. Head coach Tad Boyle’s team remains stuck at the bottom of the Pac-12 without a big influx of talent on the horizon.
Sophomore forward Tyler Bey is just a rebound shy of averaging a double-double, and could be counted on to contribute more as the season begins to wind down.
No. 10 - Stanford (9-9, 2-4)
It was a tale of two games for the Cardinal. They were defeated by double digits in Seattle, but were able to get back on track with a win against the lowly Cougars.
Sophomore forward KZ Okpala remains a potent scorer leading Stanford averaging 17.9 points per contest.
No. 11 - Washington State (8-10, 1-4)
All things considered, it wasn’t the worst week for the Cougars. Senior forward Robert Franks returned to the court and they got their first conference win over Cal.
Too bad Wazzou can’t play the Golden Bears more often.
No. 12 - California (5-13, 0-6)
We need to consider the real possibility that California won’t win a Pac-12 game. That’s pretty amazing when you think about how bad the league has performed this season.
They will have one more chance to get Washington State back for beating them as they host the Cougars in the second to last game of the season.