Joe Jackson gives his Pac-12 basketball power rankings for week 14 of the season.
Matchup of the week: Oregon vs. #7 UCLA
Sneaky good matchup of the week: Oregon vs. USC
All times listed are EST.
1) Arizona Wildcats
Last week’s ranking: 1 (-)
Record: 21-3 (10-3)
Last Week: Oregon (W) 91-76, Oregon State (W) 84-52
Next Week: @ California (Feb. 9 – 11 p.m.), @ Stanford (Feb. 11 – 8 p.m.)
Best Wins: Tennessee, UCLA, San Diego State, Creighton, Indiana, @ Arizona State, USC
Worst Losses: Washington State, @ Oregon
Arizona has continued their win streak, extending it to 6 games, with the easiest week in the Pac-12 coming up for them. Azuolas Tubelis has been absolutely dominant, and he has been playing like he is a First Team All-American. He put up 40 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal against Oregon. He went 16/21 from the field. Arizona has put up 80+ points in their past 3 games.
2) UCLA Bruins
Last week’s ranking: 2 (-)
Record: 19-4 (10-2)
Last week: Washington (W) 70-61, Washington State (W) 76-52
Next week: @ Oregon State (Feb. 9 – 9 p.m.), @ Oregon (Feb. 11 – 10 p.m.)
Best wins: Kentucky, @Maryland, @ Arizona State, USC, Utah
Worst losses: N/A
UCLA got back on track by sweeping both teams from Washington. Their defense has been one of the best in the country. Only one team has averaged more than one point per possession against UCLA in 2023 (USC). UCLA very much prides themselves on defense and hitting tougher shots on offense.
3) USC Trojans
Last week’s ranking: 3 (-)
Record: 17-6 (9-3)
Last week: Washington State (W) 80-70, Washington (W) 80-74
Next week: @ Oregon (Feb. 9 -11 p.m.), @ Oregon State (Feb. 11 – 6 p.m.)
Best Wins: UCLA, Auburn, @ Arizona State, Utah
Worst Losses: Florida Gulf Coast, @ Washington State
Can USC get the Pac-12 a third bid? They have accumulated a couple solid wins over the past few weeks, but a week non conference schedule may come back to hurt them. All they can do at this point is keep winning. I think the game at Oregon will be a big tell for how legit both teams involved are.
4) Oregon Ducks
Last week’s ranking: 6 (+2)
Record: 14-10 (8-5)
Last Week: @ #4 Arizona (L) 91-76, @ Arizona State (W) 75-70
Next Week: USC (Feb. 9 – 11 p.m.), #7 UCLA (Feb. 11 – 10 p.m.)
Best Wins: Arizona, @ Arizona State Nevada, Utah (x2)
Worst Losses: UC Irvine, Utah Valley, @ Stanford
Don’t look now, but Oregon has played much better since losing to Stanford. They have beat Colorado, Utah, and Arizona State with their lone loss coming to Arizona in that span. I think this is the highest variance team in the conference. They have shown they can beat anyone, but they can also lose to anyone. I have them number 4 now, and a win over at least one of USC or UCLA this week will really help their case.
5) Arizona State Sun Devils
Last week’s ranking: 4 (-1)
Record: 16-8 (7-6)
Last Week: Oregon State (W) 68-57, Oregon (L) 75-70
Next Week: @ Stanford (Feb. 9 – 10 p.m.), @ California (Feb. 11 – 8 p.m.)
Best Wins: Creighton, @ Oregon, Michigan
Worst Losses: Texas Southern, @ San Francisco, @ Washington, @ Washington State
It seemed not too long ago that Arizona State was the Pac-12’s best chance at getting a third bid in the conference. Now they have lost 5 of their past 6, with the only win coming against Oregon State. The offense has been an issue, as they have only cracked 70 points once during this streak. Arizona State has a lot of chances to get quality wins down the stretch, but they can’t afford to drop either game on their California-Stanford road trip.
6) Utah Utes
Last week’s ranking: 5 (-1)
Record: 16-9 (9-5)
Last Week: Stanford (L) 78-72, California (L) 61-46
Next Week: Colorado (Feb. 11 – 10 p.m.)
Best Wins: Arizona, Washington State, Washington
Worst Losses: Sam Houston State, Stanford
Last week I said Utah was maybe the most normal team in the Pac-12. Then they lost at home to Stanford just to prove me wrong. Another team in the Pac-12 that has outside looks for the tournament, but a loss to Stanford at home hurts that a lot. Utah really wants to slow the game down and turn it into a defensive battle, but at times opposing offenses just hit enough shots to win.
7) Washington State Cougars
Last week’s ranking: 7 (-)
Record: 10-15 (5-9)
Last week: @ USC (L) 80-70, @ #7 UCLA (L) 76-52
Next week: Washington (Feb. 11 – 10:30 p.m.)
Best wins: @ Arizona, USC, Arizona State
Worst Losses: Prairie View A&M, @ Hawaii, @ Colorado
Washington State has to be the best 10-15 team in the country. They have lost 5 of their past 6, but they have had the hardest 6 game stretch in probably all of Pac-12 play. Losing at USC and UCLA in a week is not something to always hang your head over. Washington State has probably the easiest Pac-12 schedule left, and they will have a chance to try and get close to .500 in Pac-12 play.
8) Washington Huskies
Last week’s ranking: 8 (-)
Record: 13-12 (5-9)
Last week: @ #7 UCLA (L) 70-61, @ USC (L) 80-74
Next week: @ Washington State (Feb. 11 – 10:30 p.m.)
Best wins: Saint Mary’s, Colorado (x2), Arizona State
Worst Losses: Cal Baptist, @ Oregon State
Washington has now lost 3 in a row, but all coming to the top 3 teams in the Pac-12. The one bright spot on the team has been their interior defense, but Washington has really struggled to shoot the ball on offense. They have a matchup with in state rival that will probably determine who is ranked higher next week.
9) Colorado Buffaloes
Last week’s ranking: 9 (-)
Record: 14-11 (6-8)
Last Week: California (W) 59-46, Stanford (W) 84-62
Next Week: @ Utah (Feb. 11 – 10 p.m.)
Best Wins: Tennessee, Texas A&M, Oregon
Worst Losses: @ Grambling State, @ California, UMass, Washington, @ Oregon State
Colorado beat both Stanford and California, a must it feels like in Pac-12 play. It was only two years ago that Colorado had one of the best offense in the country. Now that has become their weak point. They shot the ball really well against Stanford, but it has been a real struggle for them to shoot aside from that one.
10) Stanford Cardinal
Last week’s ranking: 10 (-)
Record: 10-13 (4-8)
Last week: @ Utah (W) 78-72, @ Colorado (L) 84-62
Next week: Arizona State (Feb. 9 -10 p.m.), #4 Arizona (Feb. 11 – 8 p.m.)
Best wins: Oregon, Utah, Florida State
Worst Losses: @ California, @ Washington, @ Washington State, Ole Miss
Stanford got on a 5 game winning streak, including their second (2) win against a top 150 team. They they lost by 22 to Colorado just to balance things out. This has been overall just a very disappointing season for Stanford, a team that felt like they might be in the top half of the Pac-12 coming into the season.
11) Oregon State Beavers
Last week’s ranking: 11 (-)
Record: 9-15 (3-10)
Last week: @ Arizona State (L) 68-57, @ #4 Arizona (L) 84-52
Next week: #7 UCLA (Feb. 9 – 9 p.m.), USC (Feb. 11 – 6 p.m.)
Best wins: Washington, Colorado, Seattle
Worst Losses: Portland State (x2), @ Stanford
Oregon State was not expected to win either game last week and they did not. There is not much going on for this team, as they have lost 9 of their past 11 games, and they only have one win over a top 125 Kenpom team.
12) California Golden Bears
Last week’s ranking: 12 (-)
Record: 3-20 (2-10)
Last week: @ Colorado (L) 59-46, @ Utah (L) 61-46
Next week: #4 Arizona (Feb. 9 -11 p.m.), Arizona State (Feb. 11 – 8 p.m.)
Best wins: Colorado, Stanford, UT Arlington
Worst losses: UC San Diego, Southern, Eastern Washington, UC Davis, Texas State, Oregon State, @ Stanford
California scored 46 points in both games which is kind of impressive that they scored the same amount in both games, but then you realize they only scored 46 points in both games. That is a combined 92 points in 80 minutes of play.