Joe Jackson gives his Pac-12 basketball power rankings for week 10 of the season.
Matchup of the week: Utah vs. UCLA (Jan. 12)
Sneaky good matchup of the week: Oregon vs. Arizona (Jan. 14)
All times listed are EST.
1) UCLA Bruins
Last week’s ranking: 2 (+1)
Record: 14-2 (5-0)
Last week: USC (W) 60-58
Next week: Utah (Jan. 12 – 11 p.m.), Colorado (Jan. 14 – 8 p.m.)
Best wins: @ Maryland, USC, Kentucky, Oregon
Worst losses: N/A
UCLA only had one game this past week, against USC. They started out strong against USC, but they almost let it slip away, winning by 2. UCLA and Arizona will be competing for the top spot in the Pac-12 basketball power rankings all season, and they can’t afford losing games like that.
2) Arizona Wildcats
Last week’s ranking: 2 (-1)
Record: 14-2 (3-2)
Last Week: Washington (W) 70-67, Washington State (L) 61-74
Next Week: @ Oregon State (Jan. 12 – 11 p.m.), @ Oregon (Jan. 14 – 6 p.m.)
Best Wins: Tennessee, San Diego State, Creighton, Indiana, @ Arizona State
Worst Losses: Washington State
As great as Arizona has looked at various points throughout the season, they have had their second hiccup, losing to Washington State at home by 13. If the offense is not hitting on all (or at least some) cylinders, the defense has not proven to be reliable enough. If they want to win the Pac-12, they will have to become better on the defensive end.
3) Arizona State Sun Devils
Last week’s ranking: 3 (-)
Record: 13-3 (4-1)
Last Week: Washington State (W) 77-71, Washington (W) 73-65
Next Week: @ Oregon (Jan. 12 – 9 p.m.), @ Oregon State (Jan. 14 – 4 p.m.)
Best Wins: Creighton, Michigan, Colorado
Worst Losses: Texas Southern, @ San Francisco
Arizona State got back on track by sweeping the Washington teams, albeit at less than a margin than they had hoped. Opposite of Arizona, ASU has had a very good defense, but has struggled to score the ball. They will have two games that they could showcase more offense, going on their Oregon trip and playing both Oregon teams.
4) Utah Utes
Last week’s ranking: 5 (+1)
Record: 12-5 (5-1)
Last Week: Oregon State (W) 79-60, @ Oregon (L) 60-70
Next Week: @ #7 UCLA (Jan. 12 – 11 p.m.), @ USC (Jan. 14 – 10:30 p.m.)
Best Wins: Arizona, Washington State, @ Stanford
Worst Losses: Sam Houston State, Oregon
Utah finds themselves towards the top of the middle pack of the Pac-12. They now will have one of the tougher stretches, going to play at USC and UCLA.
5) USC Trojans
Last week’s ranking: 4 (-1)
Record: 11-5 (3-2)
Last week: @ #10 UCLA (L) 58-60
Next week: Colorado (Jan. 12 – 9 p.m.), Utah (Jan. 14 – 10:30 p.m.)
Best Wins: Auburn, BYU, Vermont
Worst Losses: Florida Gulf Coast
After a close loss at UCLA, USC will have two games against teams in the middle of the Pac-12. If USC wants to separate themselves, they will need to win both of these games as they have a tough stretch coming up.
6) Washington State Cougars
Last week’s ranking: 9 (+3)
Record: 7-10 (2-4)
Last week: @ Arizona State (L) 71-77, @ #5 Arizona (W) 74-61
Next week: California (Jan. 11 – 11 p.m.), Stanford (Jan. 14 – 8 p.m.)
Best wins: @ Arizona, USC, Texas State
Worst Losses: Prairie View A&M, @ Hawaii
Washington State now has one of the best wins in the entire country, winning at Arizona by 13. The Cougars seemed to be on the verge, and this may be the game needed for them to break through. They lost to UCLA by 1, and Baylor by 6. Against Arizona, they finally got it done.
7) Oregon Ducks
Last week’s ranking: 6 (-1)
Record: 9-7 (3-2)
Last Week: @ Colorado (L) 41-68, @ Utah (W) 70-60
Next Week: Arizona State (Jan. 12 – 9 p.m.), #9 Arizona (Jan. 14 – 6 p.m.)
Best Wins: @ Utah, Nevada, Villanova
Worst Losses: UC Irvine, Utah Valley
Oregon had one of the more confusing weeks, getting blown out by Colorado and then beating Utah by 10. That fits this team though as they have more talent on paper than that has been producing.
8) Colorado Buffaloes
Last week’s ranking: 8 (-)
Record: 11-8 (3-5)
Last Week: Oregon (W) 68-41, Oregon State (W) 62-42
Next Week: @ USC (Jan. 12 – 9 p.m.), @ #7 UCLA (Jan. 14 – 8 p.m.)
Best Wins: Tennessee, Texas A&M, Oregon, Yale
Worst Losses: @ Grambling State, @ California, UMass
Colorado took care of both Oregon teams by 20+ points, the week after losing to California. Tristan da Silva put up 30 points against Oregon, in addition to 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
9) Washington Huskies
Last week’s ranking: 7 (-2)
Record: 9-8 (1-3)
Last week: @ #5 Arizona (L) 67-70, @ Arizona State (L) 65-73
Next week: Stanford (Jan. 12 – 11 p.m.), California (Jan. 14 – 6 p.m.)
Best wins: Saint Mary’s, Colorado, Fresno State
Worst Losses: Cal Baptist, @ Oregon State
Washington extended their losing streak to five games, losing to both Arizona teams. They have one of the easiest weeks in the Pac-12 coming up, with both Stanford and California at home.
10) Stanford Cardinal
Last week’s ranking: 10 (-)
Record: 5-10 (0-5)
Last week: @ California (L) 70-92
Next week: @ Washington (Jan. 12 – 11 p.m.), @ Washington State (Jan. 14 – 8 p.m.)
Best wins: Florida State, Cal Poly, Pacific
Worst Losses: @ California
Stanford lost their first very bad game of the year, losing to California by a whopping 22 points. They are currently the only Pac-12 basketball team without a Pac-12 win. Something has to change soon for the Cardinal.
11) Oregon State Beavers
Last week’s ranking: 11 (-)
Record: 7-9 (1-4)
Last week: @ Utah (L) 60-79, @ Colorado (L) 42-62
Next week: #9 Arizona (Jan. 12 – 11 p.m.), Arizona State (Jan. 14 – 4 p.m.)
Best wins: Washington, Seattle, Tulsa
Worst Losses: Portland State (x2)
Oregon State now is on a 3-game losing streak, and only have one Pac-12 basketball win. The Beavers get both Arizona teams this week, a chance to get out of the cellar of the conference.
12) California Golden Bears
Last week’s ranking: 12 (-)
Record: 3-13 (2-3)
Last week: Stanford (W) 92-70
Next week: @ Washington State (Jan. 11 – 11 p.m.), @ Washington (Jan. 14 – 6 p.m.)
Best wins: Colorado, Stanford, UT Arlington
Worst losses: UC San Diego, Southern, Eastern Washington, UC Davis, Texas State
On the bright side, Cal is on fire, winning three of their last four games and currently on a 2-game winning streak. Maybe they’ll be able to keep it going against both Washington teams this week.