Pac-12 Power Rankings — Men's basketball (Jan. 16)
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 02:01
1. UCLA (14-3, 4-0 Pac-12)
It may seem predictable to put the team at the top of the conference standings at No. 1 in the power rankings, but UCLA is the most dominant team in the conference. The only team that matches the Bruins’ talent level is Arizona — and the Wildcats already dropped one conference game (should have been two).
2. Arizona (15-1, 3-1)
The Wildcats’ conference record should be 2-2 — after a controversial win against Colorado — and they barely scraped by a dismal Utah team. The Wildcats are still a NCAA Tournament team, but need to turn up the octane as Pac-12 play continues.
3. Oregon (14-2, 3-0)
Along with ASU, Oregon has been the biggest surprise in the conference. The Ducks’ win over Arizona legitimized their claim for a NCAA Tournament bid.
4. Washington (11-5, 3-0)
The 3-0 start to conference play is nice, but Washington’s wins were against opponents with a combined 3-8 Pac-12 record. We’ll see how the Huskies fare once they play some of the better squads.
5. Arizona State (14-3, 3-1)
The Sun Devils have already exceeded last season’s win total (10-21), but will face a stiff test when they take on their rival, the No. 7 Arizona Wildcats, on Saturday.
6. Colorado (11-5, 1-3)
Colorado’s conference record doesn’t reflect its overall capabilities. The Buffaloes upset the then-No. 3 Wildcats back on Jan. 3, but the bucket was incorrectly called off. I expect the Buffaloes to turn it around.
7. California (10-6, 2-2)
The Golden Bears have beaten the teams they should have beaten, and lost to the teams they were expected to lose to. That doesn’t make for a great team, but it does make them better than the five teams below them.
8. Stanford (10-7, 1-3)
The Cardinal have been highly inconsistent this season and are shooting a conference-worst 40.7 percent from the field.
9. Oregon State (10-6, 0-3)
The Beavers have failed to stop anyone defensively to open up Pac-12 play — giving up a conference-high 69.4 points per game. On the flip side, OSU is fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring offense. If they can figure out how to close that gap, the Beavers will start winning some games.
10. USC (7-10, 2-2)
Five of the Trojans’ losses have come against teams currently ranked in the top 25. Also, despite their surprising 2-2 start to conference play, they just fired their head coach. This is a team in turmoil.
11. Utah (8-8, 0-4)
They say a win is a win and a loss is a loss, but I have to give Utah some credit for only losing its first three conference games by a combined eight points — against three of the top five Pac-12 teams.
12. Washington State (9-7, 0-3)
The Cougars’ offense is abysmal, averaging a conference-low 63.5 points per game. On the bright side, senior forward Brock Motum is having a career year, averaging 19.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.