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Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings: Week 17 Edition

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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 17

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Week 16 of the college basketball season has come to an end and there are just a few weeks left until the 2014 NCAA Tournament begins. Well, the NCAA Tournament looming means a few things. First, bubble teams are ready to find out if they will be dancing in March or if they will be watching from home. Second, top teams will be finding out which seed they will be and where they will be playing. Lastly, teams will be fighting, clawing and scratching their way to the top as they will be trying to make a run at the Tournament from now until March.

It has been somewhat of an down-year for the Pac-12 as there is just one team ranked in the top 25 in week 17 of the college basketball season. Sure, there have been other teams ranked throughout the season, but with just a few games left in the regular season and conference play, one team has stuck out heads and shoulders above the rest.

The Arizona Wildcats are the lone ranked team from the Pac-12 at No. 3, and they will be looking to make a deep run come March. Arizona, many would argue, is nearly a lock for a No. 1 seed in the Tournament and a serious Final Four and national title threat.

The Wildcats have a favorable remaining schedule and that could mean they'll run away with a conference title, but the UCLA Bruins, coached by first-year man Steve Alford, have other plans in mind. Although the two top teams don't play each other in the final couple weeks of the season, two Arizona losses would give the two a first-place tie.

Let's take a look at the week 17 Pac-12 basketball power rankings. Let me know if you agree/disagree with me on any of these rankings.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.

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12. USC Trojans (10-17, 1-13)

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

It has been an extremely tough season for Andy Enfield and the USC Trojans. Coming from FGCU to USC looked to be an upgrade, but the Trojans have not had the ideal season, losing eight straight and 13 of 14 in conference play.

This week: vs. Oregon State (14-12), vs. Oregon (18-8)

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11. Washington State Cougars (9-18, 2-13)

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State is the only team in the Pac-12 with less than 10 wins during the entire season thus far, so it's safe to say they won't be making the NCAA Tournament without a conference tournament win. Two road losses in week 16 put them one step closer to the bottom spot in the conference.

This week: at Washington (15-13)

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10. Oregon State Beavers (14-12, 6-8)

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Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State has been as mediocre as they come in 2013-14. After beginning the conference season with a 5-4 record against Pac-12 teams, the Beavers have since lost four of their last five games -- albeit, three of those losses came on the road.

This week: at USC (10-17), at UCLA (21-6)

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9. Washington Huskies (15-13, 7-8)

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Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Washington is coming off a tough win at Oregon State, but that doesn't make up for the team's five losses in the previous six games. The Huskies have yet to win more than three games in a row this season -- that is why they have failed to climb in the power rankings.

This week: vs. Washington State (9-18)

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8. Oregon Ducks (18-8, 6-8)

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Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon came into the season as one of the favorites to win the Pac-12 and it even found itself ranked in the Top 15. However, the Ducks have been less-than-impressive in conference play, going 6-8 after starting the season 12-0. They have, however, won three consecutive games.

This week: at UCLA (21-6), at USC (10-17)

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7. Arizona State Sun Devils (19-8, 8-6)

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Arizona State would have been much higher in my power rankings had it not been for an 0-2 record in week 16. The Sun Devils had beaten No. 2 Arizona in double overtime just prior to week 16, but they were shut down in two road games against Colorado and Utah.

This week: vs. Stanford (18-8), vs. California (18-9)

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6. Utah Utes (18-9, 7-8)

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Utah vaulted ahead of Arizona State in my power rankings because of a blowout victory against the Sun Devils on Sunday. The Utes have won four of their last six games and could be an NCAA Tournament team if they remain hot.

This week: vs. Colorado (20-8)

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5. Colorado Buffaloes (20-8, 9-6)

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado has won five of its last seven games -- which is pretty impressive considering it has lost its leading scorer, Spencer Dinwiddie. However, a blowout loss at home against Arizona set the Buffaloes back a bit in week 16.

This week: at Utah (18-9)

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4. California Golden Bears (18-9, 9-5)

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California began the season 14-4, but have since gone 4-5, dropping its conference record to just 9-5 after a 5-0 start. Cal is still a scary team and one that could be lethal come March. However, a blowout loss at home to UCLA in week 16 was not a good resumé builder. This week could either make or break the Golden Bears' tournament hopes.

This week: at No. 3 Arizona (25-2), at Arizona State (19-8)

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3. UCLA Bruins (21-6, 10-4)

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The Bruins might be the conference's second best team, but a loss to Stanford drops them to third on my power rankings this week. Although the Bruins have won four of their past five games, they must win out in order to have a shot at a conference title -- oh yeah, and hope for two Arizona losses.

This week: vs. Oregon (18-8), vs. Oregon State (14-12)

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2. Stanford Cardinal (18-8, 9-5)

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Stanford beat up on in-state rival UCLA on Saturday, catapulting them to second in my power rankings. Plus, winning five of six conference games and being one of the hottest teams in the Pac-12 doesn't hurt, either. Two wins this week would solidify an NCAA Tournament berth.

This week: at Arizona State (19-8), at No. 3 Arizona (25-2)

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1. Arizona Wildcats (25-2, 12-2)

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona is just 4-2 in its last six games, accounting for the Wildcats' first two rules of the season. With two home games and two road games left on the season, it's starting to look like the Wildcats are going to win the Pac-12 title -- and win it easily. However, the two home games are this week -- and they are tough.

This week: vs. California (18-9), vs. Stanford (18-8)