Joe Jackson gives his Pac-12 basketball power rankings for week 7 of the season.
Matchup of the week: TCU vs. Utah (Dec. 21)
Sneaky good matchup of the week: Auburn vs. Washington (Dec. 21)
All times listed are EST
1) Arizona Wildcats
Last week’s ranking: 1 (-)
Record: 10-1 (1-1)
Last Week: Texas A&M Corpus Chris (W) 99-61, #8 Tennessee (W) 75-70
Next Week: Montana State (Dec. 20 – 8:30 p.m.), Morgan State (Dec. 22 – 8 p.m.)
Best Wins: Tennessee, Indiana, Creighton, San Diego State
Worst Losses: @ Utah
Arizona won what may have been the best game of the week. It was a top 10 matchup in Arizona as they took on Tennessee. Although at home, Arizona was able to overcome a poor perimeter shooting night by going 24-27 at the line. The starting 5 for Arizona may be the most complete 5 in the entire country.
2) UCLA Bruins
Last week’s ranking: 2 (-)
Record: 10-2 (2-0)
Last week: @ #20 Maryland (W) 87-60, #13 Kentucky (W) 63-53
Next week: @UC Davis (Dec. 21 – 5 p.m.)
Best wins: @ Maryland, Kentucky, Oregon
Worst losses: N/A
UCLA had the best week out of any team in the country, destroying Maryland in a true road game, and following it up with a decisive victory on a neutral site over Kentucky. They were finally able to get some true marquee wins on the season, and they did them in the same week. This team seems to be rounding into form heading into Pac-12 play soon.
3) Arizona State Sun Devils
Last week’s ranking: 3 (-)
Record: 10-1 (2-0)
Last Week: San Diego (W) 91-67
Next Week: San Francisco (Dec. 21 – 10 p.m.)
Best Wins: Creighton, Michigan, Colorado
Worst Losses: Texas Southern
Another week in which Arizona State picks up a win. They have looked solid for almost the entire season. They may not quite be on the level of Arizona and UCLA, but Arizona State is going to put up a fight in the Pac-12.
4) USC Trojans
Last week’s ranking: 6 (+2)
Record: 9-3 (2-0)
Last week: Long Beach State (W) 88-78,#19 Auburn (W) 74-71
Next week: Colorado State (Dec. 21 – 11 p.m.)
Best Wins: Auburn, BYU, Vermont
Worst Losses: Florida Gulf Coast
USC finally got a win over a quality team in Auburn. They will have another solid test against Colorado State this week, their last non conference game of the season. This is a team that has shown signs of being more of the talented squad that some were expecting, but they have not been able to put many complete games together against solid teams yet.
5) Utah Utes
Last week’s ranking: 4 (-1)
Record: 9-3 (2-0)
Last Week: UTSA (W) 91-70, @ BYU (L) 66-75
Next Week: #20 TCU (Dec. 21 – 9 p.m.)
Best Wins: Arizona, Washington State, Georgia Tech
Worst Losses: Sam Houston State, @ BYU
Utah had a tough loss at BYU, in which they went 4-of-20 from three point range. They have still had a solid non conference, and beating Arizona in the early portion of Pac-12 basketball play helps a lot. They will have one more tough non conference game against TCU before heading into Pac-12 play.
6) Oregon Ducks
Last week’s ranking: 5 (-1)
Record: 7-5 (1-1)
Last Week: UC Riverside (W) 71-65, Portland (W) 78-56
Next Week: Utah Valley (Dec. 20 – 10:30 p.m.)
Best Wins: Villanova, Washington State, Nevada
Worst Losses: UC Irvine
Oregon skated by against UC Riverside before taking care of Portland this past week. They have shown that they can beat the mid majors, but they have struggled against highly ranked team. This may just be a team that is a pretty middling team, despite higher expectations coming into the season.
7) Washington Huskies
Last week’s ranking: 7 (-)
Record: 9-3 (1-1)
Last week: Cal Poly (W) 74-68, Idaho State (W) 90-55
Next week: #23 Auburn (Dec. 21 – 9 p.m.)
Best wins: Colorado, Saint Mary’s, Fresno State
Worst Losses: Cal Baptist, @ Oregon State
Washington will have another opportunity at a solid non conference victory as they take on Auburn at home this week. This is a winnable game, and one that would help propel them as Pac-12 play begins soon.
8) Colorado Buffaloes
Last week’s ranking: 8 (-)
Record: 7-5 (0-2)
Last Week: North Alabama (W) 84-60, Northern Colorado (W) 88-77
Next Week: Southern Utah (Dec. 21 – 7 p.m.)
Best Wins: Tennessee, Texas A&M, Yale
Worst Losses: @ Grambling State, UMass
Colorado had two wins during buy games, and they will have the chance for one more this week. It has not been as successful of a non-conference campaign as some may have hoped, but that win against Tennessee early in the season may prove to be very helpful later in the season.
9) Washington State Cougars
Last week’s ranking: 9 (-)
Record: 4-7 (0-2)
Last week: #11 Baylor (L) 59-65
Next week: George Washington (Dec. 22 – 9 p.m.)
Best wins: Texas State, Detroit Mercy, Eastern Washington
Worst Losses: Prairie View A&M
Washington State once again lost to a good team in Baylor, but they were able to hang around and make it a competitive game. They had some chances down the stretch to possibly pull off the upset. Now they have one more buy game before resting up for a tough start to the Pac-12 schedule.
10) Stanford Cardinal
Last week’s ranking: 10 (-)
Record: 4-7 (0-2)
Last week: Green Bay (W) 85-40, #7 Texas (L) 62-72
Next week: Loyola Chicago (Dec. 22 – 10 p.m.)
Best wins: Florida State, Cal Poly, Pacific
Worst Losses: N/A
Stanford beat one of the worst teams in the country in Green Bay, and they lost to one of the best teams in the country in Texas. This has been their story. Beat bad teams and lose to good teams. This upcoming game against Loyola Chicago will only be their second game against a team ranked between 70 and 250 on Kenpom.
11) Oregon State Beavers
Last week’s ranking: 11 (-)
Record: 6-6 (1-1)
Last week: Seattle (W) 73-58, Green Bay (W) 65-56
Next week: Denver (Dec. 21 – 10 p.m.)
Best wins: Washington, Seattle, Tulsa
Worst Losses: Portland State (x2)
Oregon State beating low and mid major teams is still a step in the right direction for this Beaver program. They are going to be in the bottom of the Pac-12, but they will at least be able to put out some respectable performances.
12) California Golden Bears
Last week’s ranking: 12 (-)
Record: 0-12 (0-2)
Last week: @ Santa Clara (L) 62-71
Next week: UT Arlington (Dec. 21 – 7 p.m.)
Best wins: N/A
Worst losses: UC San Diego, Southern, Eastern Washington, UC Davis, Texas State
Out of all of D1, there is only one team that is still winless. That would be the California Golden Bears. They have one of their best chances this week to win, and by far their best chance for the remainder of the season. If they want to not have to worry about a winless season, this upcoming game is going to be so important.