Washington State officials and men’s basketball coach Ken Bone reportedly met on Wednesday night and the university has made the decision to retain their head man for at least one more season. The Cougars finished the 2012-13 season at the bottom of the Pac-12 Conference and Bone is struggling to turn around the Washington State [...]
When: Wednesday (first round); Thursday (quarterfinals); Friday (semifinals); Saturday (championship) Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Storylines: This may be the most wide open conference tournament out of any in the entire country. Are the top teams some of the best teams in the country? Probably not, but there are at least nine [...]
The UCLA Bruins have been the most frustratingly inconsistent team in all of college basketball this season, and with a loss to lowly Washington State (3-14 in the PAC-12 Conference) tonight, the trend has continued. The PAC-12 matchup was decided within the first ten minutes of the game, as the Cougars raced out to a 25-4 [...]
UCLA fought hard all season long to get back into the top 25 rankings and they finally became ranked once again this week garnering the No. 23 ranking. They did all of that work just to let it slip away to the worst team in the entire Pac 12. It seemed like the Bruins had [...]
Cal Still Rolling
At this point there is no denying the fact that Cal is playing the best basketball in the Pac 12. They have won six straight games to vault back into the top four teams in the conference and they have the inside track at a first round bye later this month during the conference tournament.
Compared to the rest of the teams in the conference the Bears are playing a step ahead of all others.
Arizona has faltered recently, losing games that they really shouldn’t and their confidence seems to be wavering a bit. Oregon finally saw injured guard Dominic Artis make his return to the lineup last night and it should give them a spark to finish out the season. UCLA is quietly hanging around and they could have a shot to secure at least a share of the regular season conference championship. And finally Colorado could make the case as the second-hottest, if not the hottest, team in the conference with their play of late.
After having a jumbled group of teams in the middle of the standings things are starting to pan out a bit with teams separating from the pack. Most of the grouping now is right at the top with three teams within one game of first place behind Oregon. This weekend’s games, followed by next week’s contests, shall be very intense and full of intrigue.
Just the games on Saturday should make Pac 12 fans giddy with excitement as Arizona visits UCLA, Cal hosts Colorado in a matchup of two of the streaking teams in the conference and Arizona State and USC do battle to try and keep their small NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
So without further ado, here’s how the Pac 12 stacks up in week 17.
12. Washington State Cougars
Record: 11-17 (2-13)
Last Week: L 73-56 at No. 12 Arizona
Washington State is basically just playing out the season at this point with nothing really to play for besides pride. They have lost eight games in a row but they do get a rematch with in-state rival Washington coming up next, practically the only winnable game remaining on their schedule. Records don’t matter in rivalry games, the Cougars only lost by five in their last meeting earlier this year, so it should be a chance for WSU to scratch out one more win on the season.
This week: Mar 3 at Washington, Mar 6 vs. UCLA
11. Utah Utes
Record: 11-16 (3-12)
Last week: L 64-46 at Cal
Give Utah credit, most of their losses this season have come by a small margin and you can tell that they are close to turning the corner. They rant into the buzz saw that is Cal last night and got blown out but they did play well early on. They are playing a lot of young players and that will only help them moving forward into next season. They still have a chance to cause some problems for their final three opponents and whomever they face in the conference tournament.
This week: Mar 3 at Stanford, Mar 7 vs. Oregon State
10. Oregon State Beavers
Record: 13-16 (3-13)
Last week: L 60-59 vs. Cal, L 85-75 at Oregon
Oregon State has a lot of talent to be this far down in the Pac 12 standings but that is how the season has played out for them. They almost knocked off a red hot Cal team and they were up on their rival last night before a momentum shift turned their fortunes in the wrong direction. It’s hard to fathom why they only have three conference wins but they have a chance to earn at least one more when they take on Utah next week.
This week: Mar 7 at Utah
9. Washington Huskies
Record: 15-13 (7-8)
Last week: W 68-59 at Arizona State
The Huskies actually played well against Arizona State on the road and beat the Sun Devils in Tempe, which is not a particularly easy thing to do. They have an opportunity to end their season on a high note as their final three games are all at home. First up is their rival Washington State and it seemingly should be a relatively easy game for them to win.
This week: Mar 3 vs. Washington State, Mar 6 vs. USC
8. Stanford Cardinal
Record: 16-13 (7-9)
Last week: L 77-66 at No. 23 Oregon, L 65-63 vs. Colorado
The Cardinal are now losers of four of their last five games with the lone win coming over basement dweller Oregon State. They had a chance to move up in the standings but instead they are trending down. It was a tough loss for them last night against Colorado as they were up on the Buffs by double digits at two different points in the game. Stanford should beat Utah this weekend and then they close out their season against Cal.
This week: Mar 3 vs. Utah, Mar 6 at Cal
7. USC Trojans
Record: 13-15 (8-7)
Last week: L 75-59 vs. UCLA, W 89-78 vs. No. 11 Arizona
USC’s overall record is scarred with a slew of non-conference losses but in reality they have been playing solid basketball. They are 5-2 in their last seven games, buoyed by interim head coach Bob Cantu. I’m pretty sure that the interim tag should be removed from Cantu’s name shortly but who knows if USC wants to go after a bigger name hire. Cantu deserves the position and if he’s overlooked it would be a shame because he deserves the promotion for the turnaround he’s led in LA.
This week: Mar 2 vs. Arizona State, Mar 6 at Washington
6. Arizona State Sun Devils
Record: 20-9 (9-7)
Last week: L 68-59 vs. Washington, L 79-74 OT at UCLA
Arizona State let a prime opportunity to try and secure a top-four finish, including a first round bye in Vegas, by losing both of their games last week. The loss to Washington hurts but the UCLA loss may be more costly to their postseason hopes. It could have boosted their resume but instead adds another loss. Their final two games are not easy either as they take on an on-the-rise USC team and then finish the regular season against hated rival Arizona.
This week: Mar 2 at USC
5. Colorado Buffaloes
Record: 19-8 (9-6)
Last week: W 65-63 at Stanford
Colorado secured a big road win Wednesday night over Stanford and it sets them up for a strong finish. The Buffs still have a shot at a top four finish in the league depending on how they do in their final three games, two of which are against the top two teams in the conference. A positive sign for Colorado is their improved play on the road as they have won their last three road contests. The players are starting to gain some confidence outside of Boulder and that will be put to the test against Cal on Saturday. This is arguably Colorado’s most important game of the season and it’s a chance for them to make a serious statement if they can come away with another road victory.
This week: Mar 2 at Cal, Mar 7 vs. No. 24 Oregon
4. Arizona Wildcats
Record: 23-5 (11-5)
Last week: W 73-56 vs. Washington State, L 89-78 at USC
Arizona is slowly seeing their chances at a Pac 12 regular season championship slip away. All five of their losses have come against fellow conference foes and recently it seems that the Wildcats have lost some confidence and started to play too conservative. Their vaunted freshman class has not progressed as quickly as they have needed to and it’s beginning to show down the stretch. Arizona is still one of the most talented teams in the league but they aren’t really playing like it right now.
This week: Mar 2 at UCLA
3. UCLA Bruins
Record: 21-7 (11-4)
Last week: W 75-59 at USC, W 79-74 OT vs. Arizona State
UCLA is quietly moving back up the Pac 12 standings and they have a legitimate shot at the regular season conference championship. For all of the flack Ben Howland gets on a daily basis you have to acknowledge the work he’s done to progress his star freshmen. They have been playing better each game and they have put the Bruins in a prime position capture at least a share of the regular season title. Arguably their biggest game of the season is Saturday night as they have a rematch with Arizona, a team they already beat once earlier this season.
This week: Mar 2 vs. Arizona, Mar 6 at Washington State
2. Oregon Ducks
Record: 23-6 (12-4)
Last week: W 77-66 vs. Stanford, W 85-75 vs. Oregon State
The Ducks got a big boost with the return of Dominic Artis and it should strengthen their play down the final stretch of the season. After struggling to put away rival Oregon State at home the Ducks can take it easy this weekend and watch how the rest of the conference plays out. Good thing for them is that they have almost an entire week to prepare for their huge game at Colorado next Thursday. A win at Colorado would almost certainly put them in prime position to win the regular season championship.
This week: Mar 7 at Colorado
1. Cal Bears
Record: 19-9 (11-5)
Last week: W 60-59 at Oregon State, W 64-46 vs. Utah
Since January 30 the Bears are tied for a Pac 12 best 8-1, including winners of six straight. A lot of those games have come by a small margin but they have also come against the other top teams in the conference. Two wins over Oregon, one over UCLA and one over Arizona proves that they can compete and beat any team in the conference. Their next challenge? Colorado comes in to town on Saturday and the Buffs are one of the only teams in the conference that beat Cal handily this season. It should be one of the better games of the conference season and it has major postseason implications for both teams.
This week: Mar 2 vs. Colorado, Mar 6 vs. Stanford
Cal is the Hottest Team in the Pac 12
The Pac 12 conference title race is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and entertaining of the college basketball season.
From top to bottom every team in the league has improved from last year and there really isn’t a clear favorite to win the regular season title. Arizona has had their moments, Oregon is mediocre without Dominic Artis and who knows what to think about UCLA.
There are a few dark horse candidates that can make moves in the final two weeks as Arizona State, Cal and Colorado are within at least two games of first place. Cal is probably the hottest team out of that group having won six of their last seven, most of those wins coming against the top four teams in the conference.
Colorado is probably the second hottest team in the conference winning four of their last five. If not for an overtime buzzer-beating loss to Arizona State the Buffs would be on an even hotter tear but now they will have to fight to finish in the top four of the conference.
Not only will the final few weeks of conference play be exciting to watch but the way things are shaping out this year the Pac 12 tournament will be even more riveting, especially being in Vegas for the first time.
As February draws on each and every game will take on a new importance. It’s safe to say that the level of play will step up considerably more this month and it will be worth watching.
Here’s how the Pac 12 stacks up in week 16.
12. Washington State Cougars
Record: 11-16 (2-12)
Last Week: L 79-77 OT vs. Oregon, L 69-57 at Arizona State
Washington State is in a free fall right now as they have lost seven games in a row. They can’t really get anything going right now and the only positive they can really take away from this losing streak is that four of the seven losses were by four points or fewer. That included an OT loss to first-place Oregon so they aren’t necessarily playing bad basketball, just not good enough to win right now.
This week: Feb 23 at No. 12 Arizona
11. Oregon State Beavers
Record: 13-14 (3-11)
Last week: L 72-62 at Washington, L 82-72 at Stanford
Oregon State has a lot of talent to be this far down in the Pac 12 standings but that is how the season has played out for them. They can put it together but it just hasn’t happened consistently enough for them this year. It doesn’t get much easier for them either as their next two games are against Cal and Oregon. Their only hope this year is if they can make another surprising run through the Pac 12 tournament but that is unlikely.
This week: Feb 23 vs. Cal, Feb 28 at No. 23 Oregon
10. Utah Utes
Record: 11-15 (3-11)
Last week: L 68-64 vs. No. 9 Arizona, L 60-50 at Colorado
The Utes are much improved and they’ve given almost every team in the conference fits, especially at home. Their two losses to Arizona have come by a combined seven points and they almost pulled off the upset in their latest contest. They also hung around at Colorado but they were unable to overcome CU’s pressure defense. Utah has some talented young players but you can’t rely on them to win conference games just yet.
This week: Feb 28 at Cal
9. Washington Huskies
Record: 14-13 (6-8)
Last week: W 72-62 vs. Oregon State, L 70-52 at No. 12 Arizona
The Huskies are struggling mightily having lost four of their last five games including a recent drubbing at the hands of Arizona. Lorenzo Romar’s team’s have been a model of consistency but they never fare well against top 25 teams and this year isn’t any different. They are 0-5 in 2013 against the AP top 25 and their last two losses have come by an average of 15.5 points.
This week: Feb 23 at Arizona State
8. Stanford Cardinal
Record: 16-7 (7-7)
Last week: L 88-80 vs. UCLA, W 82-72 at Oregon State
The Cardinal have been playing solid basketball but it is just adding up to mediocre basketball. Somehow at 7-7 they are only three games back in the conference and they still have an outside shot at higher seed in the tournament but it will be difficult with their schedule. Three of their last four games are against teams directly above them in the standings.
This week: Feb. 23 at No. 23 Oregon, Feb 27 vs. Colorado
7. USC Trojans
Record: 12-14 (7-6)
Last week: L 76-68 at Cal
USC is playing a lot better under interim head coach Bob Cantu. They’ve won four of their last five games with the only loss coming to a red-hot Cal team. Most of the wins have come against the bottom teams in the conference but at this point in the season a win is a win. As of today they are just 2.5 games out of first place in the conference something that seemed rather impossible after their non-conference performance and after they fired their head coach.
This week: Feb 24 vs. UCLA, Feb 27 vs. No. 12 Arizona
6. UCLA Bruins
Record: 19-7 (9-4)
Last week: W 88-80 at Stanford
UCLA is a hard team to figure out. They have won three of their last four games with the only loss coming against Cal but their wins came against the bottom teams in the league. It will be interesting to see how they fare against cross-town rival USC this weekend seeing how their last meeting went (L at home) and how well the Trojans have been playing under their interim coach Bob Cantu.
This week: Feb 24 at USC, Feb 27 vs. Arizona State
5. Colorado Buffaloes
Record: 18-8 (8-6)
Last week: L 63-62 OT vs. Arizona State, W 60-50 vs. Utah
Colorado bounced back from a tough home loss to ASU by exacting revenge on Utah. A fight almost broke out coming out of the locker rooms for the second half between the two teams and that’s good to hear. Utah was banging on Colorado’s locker room doors and they took it personally. It’s good to see them have a nasty streak because they will need it in the final two weeks of the season. They still have a chance at a top-four seed and a first round bye in the tournament but they’ll need a strong performance on the road this upcoming week.
This week: Feb. 27 at Stanford
4. Arizona State Sun Devils
Record: 20-7 (9-5)
Last week: W 63-62 OT at Colorado, W 69-57 vs. Washington State
After dropping two straight games the Sun Devils have bounced back with two straight victories. The win over Colorado was especially rewarding seeing how physical the game was and knowing how tough it is to win in Boulder. Arizona State is a team that nobody wants to play in the Pac 12 tournament because they will be a very tough out.
This week: Feb 23 vs. Washington, Feb 27 at UCLA
3. Arizona Wildcats
Record: 22-4 (10-4)
Last week: W 68-64 at Utah, W 70-52 vs. Washington
Arizona is still in a tie for first place in the conference and although they have the best overall record in the league they might not be considered the best team in the conference with their performance of late. The Wildcats have won their last two in a row but they were against Utah and Washington. They are not necessarily the toughest teams in the Pac 12 and just before those two wins they lost to Cal and Colorado. We’ll see how they perform during the final two weeks of the season.
This week: Feb 23 vs. Washington State, Feb 27 at USC
2. Oregon Ducks
Record: 21-6 (10-4)
Last week: W 79-77 OT at Washington State, L 48-46 vs. Cal
The Ducks are just 4-4 without Dominic Artis and it is easy to see that they are not the same team without him. Oregon suffered a tough loss to a sizzling Cal team on a buzzer beater so even without Artis they are still competitive. However, they are still tied for first place in the conference and have a relatively soft schedule coming up in their next four games. They expect Artis to return within the next week and that should be to their benefit.
This week: Feb 23 vs. Stanford, Feb 28 vs. Oregon State
1. Cal Bears
Record: 17-9 (9-5)
Last week: W 76-68 vs. USC, W 48-46 at No. 23 Oregon
Don’t look now but Cal is the hottest team in the conference winning four in a row and six of their last seven. The wins in that stretch have come against Arizona, UCLA and Oregon twice. Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs are getting hot at the right time and they have a legitimate chance at the regular season conference title as they are just one game back of first place.
This week: Feb 23 at Oregon State, Feb 28 vs. Utah
The national spotlight is on Houston, Texas for the extravagant mess that is the NBA All-Star Weekend while college basketball fans are left in disarray. However, the Space City’s emerging star is turning heads in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon had one of the more impressive PAC-12 recruiting classes in 2012, mostly because of the signing of five-star point guard Dominic Artis. But [...]
Crazy Week in the Pac 12
Can the Pac 12 ever have a predictable week? If last week’s games were any indication the answer to that question would be an unequivocal no.
It was a crazy week in the conference as some of the top teams in the standings stumbled on the road while other teams are finally starting to put things together and create some momentum heading into the second part of the conference schedule.
I think it is time to start realizing that Arizona State may be for real, especially at home where they have lost just two games all season. They blew out UCLA by 18 last Saturday and followed that with a road win at Washington State. The only two losses they have in conference play are to the top two teams, Oregon by three on the road and Arizona by 17 at home. It looks like the Sun Devils have the inside track to capture a first-round bye in the conference tournament.
Previously unbeaten in Pac 12 play Oregon got throttled on the road at Stanford and the Cardinal are one of the teams that are starting to realize their potential. They have had a rough Pac 12 start but they are 3-1 in their last four contests. Along with Stanford, Colorado and Arizona State seem to be the teams that are playing their best right now as both teams are 3-1 in their last four.
As conference play winds down to the final ten games of the regular season the Pac 12 race will be one of the most interesting conference battles in the country. Any team can beat any team and that’s been evident through the first month of conference play.
Here’s how the Pac 12 stacks up in week 12.
12. Utah Utes
Record: 9-11 (1-7)
Last week: L 87-56 vs. Stanford
The Utes overall and Pac 12 record may not reflect the true quality of this team. Yes they are only 1-6 in conference play but all of their losses except for two came by less than ten points, including the loss to Stanford. Although they are down they still have some talent that can surprise some teams along the way. I see them as a wounded dog that still has the ability to bite.
This week: Feb 2 vs. Colorado, Feb 6 at Oregon State
11. Oregon State Beavers
Record: 11-10 (1-7)
Last week: L 71-68 vs. Washington State, L 71-68 at Cal
Oregon State has let their solid non-conference success go to waste. The Beavers are just 1-7 in conference play and they dropped both of their contests last week. They lost both games by a combined six points, which is about the only positive to take away from their performance of late. Oregon State had a prime opportunity to pick up two wins but they lost to one of the other bottom conference teams and they blew an eight-point halftime lead against Cal.
This week: Feb 3 at Stanford, Feb 6 vs. Utah
10. Washington State Cougars
Record: 11-10 (2-6)
Last Week: W 71-68 at Oregon State, L 63-59 vs. Arizona State
Washington State added another win to their Pac 12 record and it keeps them out of the second-to-last spot in the conference rankings. That win was against Oregon State who, besides Utah, is likely the worst team in the conference but it’s still a win. Moral victory for the Cougs was a four-point loss to one of the better teams in the Pac 12 Arizona State.
This week: Feb 2 vs. No. 8 Arizona, Feb 7 at USC
9. Washington Huskies
Record: 12-9 (4-4)
Last week: L 81-76 at No. 16 Oregon, L 57-53 vs. No. 8 Arizona
After getting off to a 4-0 start the Huskies have dropped their last four games and are in free-fall mode. They lost to two of the worst teams in the league and then followed it with two losses to the top teams in the conference. It’s hard to figure this team out but if they can’t recover soon it could get ugly with ASU, UCLA and USC looming in the near future.
This week: Feb 2 vs. Arizona State, Feb 7 at UCLA
8. Cal Bears
Record: 12-8 (4-4)
Last week: L 81-71 at Colorado, W 71-68 vs. Oregon State
Another week down, another 1-1 showing for the Bears. They got their week off on the wrong foot against Colorado, as they couldn’t overcome a 20% first-half shooting performance, eventually losing by ten. However, they completed a comeback in their next game against Oregon State after they were down by eight at halftime. Cal’s next four games are extremely tough as they take on the top four teams in the Pac 12.
This week: Feb 2 vs. No. 10 Oregon, Feb 7 at Arizona State
7. USC Trojans
Record: 9-13 (4-5)
Last week: L 74-50 at No. 6 Arizona, W 75-71 OT at UCLA
USC is playing a lot better under interim head coach Bob Cantu and they seem to be putting forth a greater effort game in, game out. Although they were a little too overmatched against Arizona they had one of their best games of the year in the OT win at UCLA. The team has bonded together after the firing of Kevin O’Neil and it’s showing on the court. USC has a week off before taking on the Washington teams at home.
This week: Feb 7 vs. Washington State
6. Stanford Cardinal
Record: 13-8 (4-4)
Last week: W 87-56 at Utah, 76-52 vs. No. 10 Oregon
Stanford is finally putting it all together and they easily had the best week in the entire conference. After getting blown out at Colorado they regrouped and put a stomping on Utah in Salt Lake. The momentum they gained from the Utah game spilled right on over to their impressive beat down of Oregon, handing the Ducks their first loss of conference play. They have an easier game against Oregon State next but then they travel to Arizona for a tough two game road trip.
This week: Feb 3 vs. Oregon State, Feb 6 at No. 8 Arizona
5. Colorado Buffaloes
Record: 14-6 (4-4)
Last week: W 81-71 vs. Cal
Colorado may be playing the best basketball out of any team in the conference right now and it couldn’t come at a better time. After taking care of Cal they head out on the road for three straight, which includes Utah and the Oregon schools. The Buffs struggle to score on the road and this past home stand they found their offensive rhythm and they hope to carry that on the road with them. It seems that it will come down to Colorado and Arizona State for the No. 4 seed in the Pac 12 tournament.
This week: Feb 2 at Utah, Feb 7 at No. 10 Oregon
4. UCLA Bruins
Record: 16-6 (6-3)
Last week: L 78-60 at Arizona State, L 75-71 OT vs. USC
What a difference a week makes. Last week UCLA let a huge win over Arizona go to waste as they lost both of their contests. The Bruins got hammered at Arizona State and then followed it up with a head-scratching loss to rival USC at home. Not sure what to think of the Bruins at this point besides the fact that they are too talented to have a week like they just did. They may be the most underwhelming team in the conference at this point.
This week: Feb 7 vs. Washington
3. Arizona State Sun Devils
Record: 17-4 (6-2)
Last week: W 78-60 vs. UCLA, W 63-59 at Washington State
The Sun Devils are playing great basketball right now. The only thing they really have to prove now is to win consistently on the road. Arizona State has another opportunity to win on the road Saturday as they take on Washington. Carrick Felix and Jahi Carson form one of the premier one-two scoring punches in the conference. Felix is coming off a week where he had two straight double-doubles and he’s playing like a senior should at this point in the season, a leader.
This week: Feb 2 at Washington, Feb 7 vs. Cal
2. Oregon Ducks
Record: 18-3 (7-1)
Last week: W 81-76 vs. Washington, L 76-52 at Stanford
The Ducks got blown out at Stanford and it looks like the injury to starting point guard Dominic Artis is a bigger loss than they thought it would be. His absence in the lineup throws off their offensive rhythm and their threat from the three-point line. Until he comes back the Ducks will likely struggle and it comes at a tough time with Washington and Colorado looming on their schedule.
This week: Feb 2 at Cal, Feb 7 vs. Colorado
1. Arizona Wildcats
Record: 18-2 (6-2)
Last week: W 74-50 vs. USC, W 57-53 at Washington
Throughout the tumultuous week that the majority of the rest of the conference went through the Wildcats were only of the only constants. There was question whether or not Arizona was the best team of the conference when they lost to Oregon but I think they are without a doubt the most talented team in the Pac 12. Arizona’s next two games are against the Bay Area teams and they should be a solid challenge as both Stanford and Cal are playing good basketball.
This week: Feb 2 at Washington State, Feb 6 vs. Stanford
It was never a pretty game. I wouldn’t even hesitate to call it ugly, but when the WSU Cougars needed a call late in the game the whistle didn’t blow. The Cougs were down by seven points with just over three minutes to play and battled back to tie the game. Brock Motum had possession [...]
Pac 12 Power Rankings Week 11
From top to bottom it is fair to say that the Pac 12 is having a bounce back season after a poor national showing last year. There are currently two Pac 12 teams ranked in the top 25 with a third likely coming next week after unranked UCLA’s upset over Arizona.
Is there much that separates the league’s top three teams? Oregon, UCLA and Arizona are the top three teams standings wise but they all are equally talented. You could say that Oregon is the best of the three seeing that they already beat the other two but they won’t have to play either of them again this season. It won’t be transparent who the best team in the conference is until conference tournament time but that is still a ways away.
As far as the rest of the conference goes there are an abundance of quality teams with mediocre records. Arizona State and Washington are coming back to earth a bit after quick conference starts whereas a group of three teams sit right behind them with three conference wins. Ground in the standings can easily be made up if a team can get on a hot streak and knock off some of the teams above them.
One team that I think is primed to make a run up the Pac 12 standings is Colorado. They regained their swagger in a home blowout win over Stanford and they have Cal, the team directly above them in the standings, coming in on Sunday. If they can knock off the Bears they will improve their record back to .500 in conference play and gain some more confidence heading into a Utah road game before their Oregon road trip.
Probably the best game in the next week will be when Washington travels to Eugene to take on the Pac 12’s lone undefeated team in conference play Oregon. It will be an interesting matchup but I don’t really see Oregon losing that one at home.
Here’s how the Pac 12 stacks up in week 11.
12. Utah Utes
Record: 9-10 (1-6)
Last week: W at Washington 74-65, L vs. Cal 62-57
The Utes overall and Pac 12 record may not reflect the true quality of this team. Yes they are only 1-6 in conference play but all of their losses except for one came by less than ten points. They lost to Arizona by three, they lost to UCLA by four and they beat Washington who was previously undefeated in conference play. There’s some talent in Salt Lake but it may take a bit longer for it to be realized.
This week: Jan. 27 vs. Stanford
11. Washington State Cougars
Record: 10-9 (1-5)
Last Week: L 58-49 vs. Colorado, L 68-61 at No. 16 Oregon
Washington State’s only win in the Pac 12 was against Utah and that’s not saying a whole lot. In their two losses last week to Colorado and Oregon the cougars shot less than 36% in both contests while committing 27 turnovers. Brock Motum has been held to under 15 points in his last three games, which is another thing that does not bode well for Wazzu.
This week: Jan. 26 at Oregon State, Jan. 31 vs. Arizona State
10. Oregon State Beavers
Record: 11-8 (1-5)
Last week: L at USC 69-68, W vs. Washington 74-66
Oregon State has let their solid non-conference success go to waste with their rough start in Pac 12 play. They have played the top three teams in the conference and they lost to all of them. However, their only win came in their last contest against Washington who had only lost one other conference game. There’s some reason for optimism but they will have to turn things around soon if they want to finish in the top half of the standings.
This week: Jan. 26 vs. Washington State, Jan. 31 at Cal
9. USC Trojans
Record: 8-12 (3-4)
Last week: W vs. Oregon State 69-68, L at Arizona State 98-93 OT
USC played a really tough non-conference schedule that diminished their confidence but they’ve regained a bit during conference play. They are 3-4 in Pac 12 play and they have played some solid basketball. USC has talent but they haven’t put it all together quite yet. The loss at Arizona State hurt because they arguably played their best game of the season but still fell short.
This week: Jan. 26 at No. 6 Arizona, Jan. 30 at UCLA
8. Stanford Cardinal
Record: 11-8 (2-4)
Last week: W vs. Cal 69-59, L at Colorado 75-54
Stanford was able to beat rival Cal last week but then they got stomped on the road at Colorado. They were outrebounded by the Buffs 45-29 on Thursday and shot a paltry 31%. Credit to Colorado for their solid defense but the Cardinal are struggling of late and if not for a win against Cal things could be a lot worse. If they don’t turn things around could Johnny Dawkins be on the hot seat? It’s a distinct possibility.
This week: Jan. 27 at Utah, Jan. 30 vs. No. 16 Oregon
7. Cal Bears
Record: 11-7 (3-3)
Last week: L at Stanford 69-59, W at Utah 62-57
Cal is 3-3 so far in conference play and they’re playing just like they were during their non-conference schedule. They are a bit inconsistent, they are having a hard time scoring and they are struggling to rebound the ball effectively. Still, Cal finds themselves solely in sixth place in the Pac 12 with an opportunity to make up some ground and make some statements in the next few weeks.
This week: Jan. 27 at Colorado, Jan. 31 vs. Oregon State
6. Colorado Buffaloes
Record: 13-6 (3-4)
Last week: W at Washington State 58-49, W vs. Stanford 75-54
Colorado had a confidence boosting win against Stanford on Thursday and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Their offense broke out of a month-long scoring drought and finally got back to the transition game that is so effective for them. Andre Roberson tied a career high of 20 rebounds against the Cardinal and it boosted his season average to 11.9 rpg, good for the top spot in Division I. When he plays with the confidence and mental focus he did against Stanford, Colorado is a tough team to beat.
This week: Jan. 27 vs. Cal
5. Arizona State Sun Devils
Record: 15-4 (4-2)
Last week: L vs. No. 6 Arizona 71-54, W vs. USC 98-93
The Sun Devils’ two conference losses have come against the two best teams in the Pac 12, Oregon and rival Arizona. They aren’t quite on the level of those two teams but they have a chance to make a statement on Saturday against arguably the best team in the conference, UCLA. If they can somehow knock off the Bruins they will have to be taken more seriously as a Pac 12 contender.
This week: Jan. 26 vs. UCLA, Jan. 31 at Washington State
4. Washington Huskies
Record: 12-7 (4-2)
Last week: L vs. Utah 74-65, L at Oregon State 74-66
After getting off to a 4-0 start the Huskies have dropped their last two games against two of the weaker teams in the conference. CJ Wilcox has done his fair share to put the Huskies where they are but he needs some help. Washington will quickly need to get their act together because they take on two of the top teams in the conference next week as they have to travel to Oregon and then come home to host Arizona.
This week: Jan. 26 at No. 16 Oregon, Jan. 31 vs. No. 6 Arizona
3. Arizona Wildcats
Record: 16-2 (4-2)
Last week: W at Arizona State 71-54, L vs. UCLA 84-73
The Wildcats dropped their second Pac 12 game as they fell to UCLA at home on Thursday night. After falling behind early, like they have all season long, they were unable to complete the comeback like they usually are able to do. When you take a look at their schedule, and their results, Arizona has played some really close games during conference play and could easily have more than one loss. However, good teams usually find a way to win and that’s what they have done.
This week: Jan. 26 vs. USC, Jan. 31 at Washington
2. UCLA Bruins
Record: 16-4 (6-1)
Last week: L vs. No. 21 Oregon 76-67, W at No. 6 Arizona 84-73
UCLA is arguably the hottest team in the conference even despite the loss to Oregon at home. Shabazz Muhammad has been the catalyst in the Bruins’ turnaround and his stellar play helped lead the Bruins to an upset of Arizona. Out of all of the teams in the Pac 12 I think that UCLA is the most dangerous come tournament time.
This week: Jan. 26 at Arizona State, Jan. 30 vs. USC
1. Oregon Ducks
Record: 17-2 (6-0)
Last week: W at UCLA 76-67, W vs. Washington State 68-61
The Ducks are the only remaining undefeated team in Pac 12 play and they have made their case as the best team in the conference. The good thing for Oregon is that they are done playing Arizona and UCLA for the rest of the regular season. Their schedule sets up nicely and they have the inside track at the No. 1 seed in the Pac 12 tournament. However, they do have some tough games remaining with matchups against Washington and Colorado twice.
This week: Jan. 26 vs. Washington, Jan. 30 at Stanford