It was another interesting week in the Pac-12. Washington lost for the first time, to an ASU team who just two days prior were embarrassed by a one conference win team in Washington State.
As we reach the middle of February, teams will now be playing each other for the second time, most likely battling hard to try and earn a bid come NCAA Tournament time.
No. 1 - Washington (19-5, 10-1)
The Huskies were finally beaten for the first time in 2019. ASU excelled at getting the ball to its bigs in order to get easy shots near the basket in beating an impressive 2-3 zone employed by UW.
It was big for the conference for ASU to get a signature win. Washington now heads to Pullman for its only game of the week against the rival Cougars, still holding a commanding lead and looking poised to win the conference regular season title.
No. 2 - Arizona State (16-7, 7-4)
The only true consistency of Sun Devil basketball is that they will never play consistently well or bad. After getting embarrassed on their home floor by Washington State, they took it to the Huskies on both ends of the floor.
ASU now hits the road for matchups with the mountain schools. It wouldn’t be a bad time for Bobby Hurley to get his first road sweep, and improve their NCAA Tournament credentials.
No. 3 - Oregon State (15-8, 7-4)
The Beavers remain among the better teams in the Pac-12, but they have some fatal flaws as well. After an impressive road sweep of the mountain schools, they were blown out at home by lowly Stanford.
OSU will probably go as far as redshirt junior Tres Tinkle, who continues to be an offensive force averaging 20.5 points per contest.
No. 4 - Utah (13-10, 7-4)
What a week for the Utes. It began with a close victory over the Trojans, and ended with a stunning comeback for a buzzer beating win over UCLA in Westwood.
Using a brand of balanced scoring and strong defense, Utah has proven to be among the conference’s better teams as they seek to lock up a bye for the Pac-12 Tournament.
No. 5 - Oregon (15-9, 6-5)
The Ducks have quietly improved to a more respectable form as they’ve won three of their last four games against the conference’s weaker opponents.
Oregon has a big opportunity coming up as they travel to Corvallis for a matchup with the rival Beavers. UO will be looking to avenge losing to Oregon State at home, as well as continue to climb up the conference standings.
No 6 - USC (13-11, 6-5)
It was another trying weekend for the Trojans who have now lost three of their last four games. After their big sweep over the Arizona schools, USC finds themselves in a difficult position in the middle of the conference.
Luckily for USC, a trip to the Bay Area should yield more success against two of the conference’s worst teams.
No. 7 - UCLA (12-12, 5-6)
How truly the mighty have fallen. In present time the Bruins aren’t good, and without a permanent head coach the future doesn’t look promising either.
They too will benefit from matchups with Cal and Stanford, but it’s almost stunning how poorly UCLA has faired when you consider the talent they have on the roster.
No. 8 - Arizona (14-10, 5-6)
I think Wildcat fans wish the month of February didn’t exist, because it hasn’t been kind to them the past two years.
Injuries to junior forward Chase Jeter and freshman guard Brandon Williams combined with a lack of depth has UA mired in a five game losing skid, and with tough road games against Utah and Colorado, it’s not looking good for Sean Miller’s squad.
No. 9 - Stanford (12-11, 5-6)
The around .500 Cardinal don’t have much to play for at this point besides trying to improve sophomore wing KZ Okpala’s draft stock.
Okpala is a dynamic scorer and has great length and positional versatility. His game should translate well to professional basketball, assuming he foregoes his final two years of eligibility.
No. 10 - Colorado (14-9, 5-6)
The Buffaloes are rebounding after struggling during the beginning of Pac-12 play. They have won three and a row, and now return home seeking revenge.
CU was swept by the Arizona schools to begin conference play, as they struggled to score the ball. Colorado will also have an opportunity to climb up the conference standings against two teams that lie ahead of them.
No. 11 - Washington State (10-14, 3-8)
Senior forward Robert Franks was doing his best Kevin Durant impression in the desert as the Cougars got the road sweep. Franks scored over 30 points in both games, certainly earning conference player of the week honors, while also receiving national attention.
It’s been a trying season in Pullman, but if Franks can keep scoring at this level, he will earn himself some an opportunity to play at the next level.
No. 12 - California (5-18, 0-11)
After Washington State’s great weekend, I can now say with a lot more confidence that the Golden Bears will most likely not win a conference game.
California has some talent, but with a really young roster, they have a long way to go in order to compete again.