Week 1 Pac 12 Power Rankings
Pac 12 Basketball Power Rankings
As the season finally got under way last week it was interesting to see how some of last year's teams would start out the 2012-2013 year.
Some have stumbled, cough Washington cough, while others have lived up to their expectations and then some. If the conference is going to improve its national perception teams like Arizona and UCLA will once again have to rise up and be the leaders.
Arizona survived an early season scare while UCLA won all of their games pretty handily, so far so good for the top dogs. Washington dropped the ball and lost a heart breaker to Albany at home but they will have time to recover.
The biggest surprise once again is Colorado. It's almost not a surprise at this point to most Colorado fans but to the national fans and media it's still a shock to see the Buffs doing what they are doing. They beat Dayton to open the Charleston Classic and then went on to upset No. 16 Baylor 60-58 to advance to the tournament championship game. The Buffs got revenge over the team that knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament a season ago and they look pretty good in the early part of the season.
Colorado's upset was not only big for them but it was big for the entire conference's national perception. Like Sean Miller said last year after Colorado beat his Arizona team in the Pac 12 championship game, "There's been no greater gift to the Pac 12 then adding Colorado."
He just might be on to something. Here's how the teams stack up.
12. Utah Utes
Record: 1-0 Last week's rank: 12
The Utes beat up on Division III opponent Willamette 104-47 and are 1-0 on the season. Blowing out an over-matched opponent won't move them up the rankings but if they are able to somehow keep up their scoring rate they should be in good shape. They haven't proved anything yet so they will stay in the conference basement until they do.
This week's games: Nov. 16 vs. Sacramento State, Nov. 21 vs. Idaho State
11.Oregon State Beavers
Record: 2-1 Last week's ranking: 11
The Beavers won their first two games before dropping their first game against Alabama in the opening round of the 2K Sports Classic. They tied the game with 43 seconds left but fell victim to a three-pointer by the Tide with 12 seconds remaining, something they were unable to overcome. Oregon State showed resolve coming back from a 15 point deficit but they were just unable to complete the comeback. It's possible that the Beavers can be overlooked this year but that still remains to be seen.
This week's games: Nov. 16 vs. Purdue
10. Washington State Cougars
Record: 2-0 Last week's rank: 10
The Cougars are off to a nice start this season, winning their first two games against lower level opponents. Brock Motum has played well in the early going as he looks to defend his conference scoring title from last year. He had 23 points in their opener and followed it up with 15 in their second game. He's very tough to guard down low and he's improved his rebounding numbers a bit. If he can continue to rebound effectively he'll be in the running for Pac 12 player of the year.
This week's games: Nov. 16 @ Pepperdine, Nov. 19. vs. No. 7 Kansas
9. Arizona State Sun Devils
Record: 1-0 Last week's rank: 8
Arizona State rolled to a 79-64 win over Central Arkansas last week. didn't expect much less from the Sun Devils but it's unclear how good or bad this team is yet. As the season progresses the picture will become clearer as to whether they are good enough to be in the top half of the conference.
This week's game: Nov. 18 vs. Florida A&M, Nov. 20 vs. Cornell
8. USC Trojans
Record 2-0 Last week's rank: 9
USC moves up one spot after winning both of their games last week, moving to 2-0 on the season. We'll get a chance to see how competitive the Trojans are this week as they compete in the Maui Invitational. Illinois might not be a true litmus test for the Trojans but a possible matchup with Texas in the second round would be beneficial to see how they stack up.
This week's games: Nov. 20 vs. Illinois, Maui Invitational Nov. 19-21
7. Washington Huskies
Record: 1-1 Last week's rank: 6
Washington followed up their opening win by dropping the ball and losing to Albany at home. They blew a seven point lead and gave up a layup with 3.7 second left to lose in stunning fashion 63-62. After winning the regular season Pac 12 title but missing the NCAA Tournament the Huskies needed a strong start to wash away the disappointment from last season. This isn't what they wanted but there's plenty of time for them to bounce back.
This week's games: Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament Nov. 17 vs. Seton Hall
6. Oregon Ducks
Record: 2-0 Last week's rank: 7
The Ducks had a close win over Northern Arizona but followed it up with a more convincing victory over Portland State. It's still hard to tell whether or not Oregon is as good as they were last year. The addition of Arsalan Kazemi, who cleared NCAA waivers and is eligible this season, is a huge plus for the Ducks moving forward.
This week's games: Nov. 16 vs. Vanderbilt, Nov. 19 vs. Jacksonville State
5. Stanford Cardinal
Record: 3-0 Last week's rank: 4
Stanford has cruised to victory in each of their three games so far this season. Nothing really stands out about their play but their defense has been solid, holding all three opponents to under 69 points. You can always rely on defense and that's what will propel the Cardinal to success this year.
This week's games: Nov. 18 vs. Belmont, Battle for Atlantis Tournament: Nov. 22 vs. No. 15 Missouri
4. Cal Bears
Record: 2-0 Last week's rank: 3
Cal has been solid in their two wins to start the season by handily defeating two over matched opponents. Allen Crabbe has been as good as advertised averaging 30 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and is the early front runner for Pac 12 player of the year. However, once they get the cupcakes out of the way their schedule stiffens as start of December playing three straight ranked opponents. Until then it's all down hill for the Bears.
This week's games: Nov. 16 at Denver, Nov. 22 vs. Drake
3. Colorado Buffaloes
Record: 3-0 Last week's rank: 5
After being the toast of the conference last season Colorado is once again stepping and improving the league's perception. They beat Dayton and then upset No. 16 Baylor in the Charleston Classic to avenge their NCAA Tournament loss to the Bears a season ago. Tad Boyle picked up another signature win in just his third season and Colorado continues to cement its place among the conference contenders.
This week's games: Nov. 18 Charleston Classic Championship vs. Murray State/St. Johns
2. UCLA Bruins
Record: 3-0 Last week's rank: 2
Despite not having the services of their top recruit Shabazz Muhammad the Bruins have rolled to three victories. They're scoring the ball at will averaging 88.7 points a game and they broke the century mark in their last game against James Madison. They're as good as advertised and they'll have a chance to further cement themselves as legitimate national title contenders in the upcoming Progressive Legends Classic Tournament.
This week's games: Progressive Legends Classic Nov. 19 vs. Georgetown, TBD
1. Arizona Wildcats
Record: 2-0 Last week's rank: 1
The Wildcats survived a scare against Charleston Southern but rebounded nicely by blowing out UTEP. With the mixture that Sean Miller has at his disposal, good freshmen and solid veterans, it will take some time to get his guys acclimated to each other. Early opponentes will benefit and possibly trip them up but once the season progresses and the team continues to gel, watch out.
This week's games: Nov. 19 vs. Long Beach State