Men's Basketball Pac-12 Power Rankings (Jan. 30)
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 16:01
1. Oregon (18-2 overall, 7-0 Pac-12)
It’s hard not to pick Oregon as the best overall team in the Pac-12 right now. The last time the Ducks lost (Dec. 19), people were still preparing for the Mayan Apocalypse.
This week (prediction): L @ Stanford, W @ Cal
2. UCLA (16-5 overall, 6-2 Pac-12)
The Bruins have the best offense in the conference, but one of the worst defenses. Their two Pac-12 losses have come by an average of 14.5 points per game, but they are beating opponents by 8.2 points per win. If they can find some semblance of consistency, UCLA will be an NCAA Tourney lock.
Prediction: W vs. USC
3. Arizona (17-2 overall, 5-2 Pac-12)
Arizona followed up a tough UCLA loss by blowing out USC by 24 points — their biggest margin of victory since demolishing Oral Roberts back on Dec. 18. The Wildcats have the best scoring margin in the Pac-12 and, top to bottom, might be the most talented team — they just need to play like it.
Prediction: W @ Washington, W @ WSU
After back-to-back losses against tough opponents — Oregon and Arizona — the Sun Devils have won two in a row and have a solid shot at sweeping the Washington schools this weekend. ASU’s resurgence can be credited in large part to Jahii Carson, who is putting together a campaign for Pac-12 Freshman of the Year with 17.3 points and 5.5 assists per game.
Prediction: W @ WSU, W @ Washington
5. Stanford (12-8 overall, 3-4 Pac-12)
The Cardinal have had a very inconsistent season thus far, but put together their second-best scoring performance of the season last weekend when they beat Utah 87-56. If Stanford can replicate the performance they had against the Utes, they will upset Oregon tonight.
Prediction: W vs. Oregon, W. vs. Oregon State
6. Colorado (14-6 overall, 4-4 Pac-12)
The Buffaloes currently have the second-longest winning streak in the conference, albeit a mere three games. Still, they have the best rebounder in the conference in Andre Roberson, who has 11.6 rebounds per game, and should handle the Utes on Saturday.
Prediction: W @ Utah
7. Washington (12-8 overall, 4-3 Pac-12)
Although the Huskies are technically higher in the conference standings than the two teams ahead of them in the power rankings, UW is in the midst of their biggest losing streak of the season and managed to give Oregon State and Utah their first — and only — conference wins.
Prediction: L vs. Arizona, L vs. ASU
8. California (11-8 overall, 3-4 Pac-12)
Cal hasn’t won by more than single digits and hasn’t lost by less than double digits since entering conference play. They might have the conference’s best scorer in Allen Crabbe — 20 points per game — but this is an average Bears team at best.
Prediction: L vs. Oregon State, L vs. Oregon
9. Washington State (11-9 overall, 2-5 Pac-12)
The Cougars gave the Ducks a run for their money and handled business against Oregon State. Despite their stingy defense — allowing a conference-low 59.5 points per game — Washington State’s offense is anemic and they will struggle to find wins this weekend.
Prediction: L vs. ASU, L vs. Arizona
10. USC (8-13 overall, 3-5 Pac-12)
The Trojans’ three conference wins have been a surprise to many, but they don’t stand a chance against crosstown rival UCLA on Wednesday night. USC is the only Pac-12 team with a negative scoring margin on the season.
Prediction: L @ UCLA
11. Oregon State (11-9 overall, 1-6 Pac-12)
The Beavers have been severely underperformed since conference play began and just cannot seem to get over the hump. When they put together a complete game — as they did against the Huskies — they look like a top-five conference team. OSU’s problem is playing well for the whole 40 minutes. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Beavers won both games this weekend, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they lost both either — that’s exactly the kind of year OSU is having.
Prediction: W @ Cal, L @ Stanford
12. Utah (9-11 overall, 1-7 Pac-12)
It’s hard to win when you constantly give the other team the ball. Utah has an average turnover margin of -3.45, which is good enough for last in the Pac-12 and is 1.73 more turnovers per game than the second worst team.
Prediction: L @ Colorado