Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 15

Posted by Connor Pelton on February 23rd, 2012

Here’s a look at the power rankings that Drew and I have compiled after the 15th week of Pac-12 games:

1. California, 22-6 (12-3): The Golden Bears appear to have but locked up an NCAA at-large bid with their sweep of the Oregon schools last week. Despite trailing 71-64 to Oregon on Thursday with just 6:20 remaining, the Bears battled back to take a 76-75 lead with 1:41 left. From there it was anyone’s game, with the final outcome not being decided until E.J. Singler’s three at the buzzer missed, giving Cal the 83-80 victory. Two days later it was Oregon State looking to pull the upset, and for 20 minutes it looked like a possibility. But after trailing by two at halftime, Cal came out with a 27-13 run to start the second half, en route to a 77-63 win. Up Next: 2/23 @ Utah

2. Washington, 19-8 (12-3): The Huskies got the quality win they needed to lock up an NCAA bid on Saturday against Arizona. After defeating the Cats by two down in the desert earlier this year, Arizona came into Seattle hungry for the upset. Arizona held around all night and was within three with 11:51 remaining, but a 17-9 run over the next six minutes and change put away thoughts of an upset. The final was 79-70, making the Huskies 2-0 on the week. Up Next: 2/25 @ Washington State

3. Oregon, 19-8 (10-5): We have already talked about Oregon’s heartbreaking loss against Cal, but the Ducks bounced back in fine fashion three days later against Stanford. After trailing for most of the game, Singler hit a three with 2:47 remaining to put the Ducks up, 66-64. Both teams had plenty of chances down the stretch to either expand the lead or tie the game, but the score remained the same until Devoe Joseph knocked down a pair of free throws with four seconds left. Before the free throws, Chasson Randle had two chances to tie the game, but his jumper and layup missed badly. Up Next: 2/26 @ Oregon State

Are you not entertained!? (Credit: Paul Sakuma)

4. Arizona, 19-9 (10-5): The Wildcats decided to make things much more interesting regarding the NCAA Tournament with a lackluster trip to the state of Washington. Arizona had a chance to really make a good impression on the selection committee with a big win against Washington State and an upset of Washington, but a four-point win against the Cougars and a nine-point loss to the Huskies could have the opposite effect. A 3-0 finish to the regular season is now necessary for the Cats to stay on the right side of the bubble. Up Next: 2/23 vs. USC

5. Colorado, 18-8 (10-4): The Buffs only played one game this week, and it was a little closer than they would have liked. Rival-by-default Utah played the Buffs tough all afternoon, but when they needed to knock down shots in the final minute, they grew tight. Colorado was able to knock down their free throws and escape Salt Lake City with a 55-48. Up Next: 2/23 vs. Stanford

6. Stanford, 18-9 (8-7): The Cardinal had an interesting visit from the Oregon schools. They could have very well gone either 2-0 or o-2. Instead, they squeaked by Oregon State on Thursday and couldn’t make a shot in the waning minutes against Oregon. This has become an unfortunate pattern for the Cardinal; They have split too many weekends when they’ve had chances to sweep, which is proving to make the difference from the NCAA Tournament to the NIT. Up Next: 2/23 @ Colorado

7. UCLA, 15-12 (8-6): After defeating cross-town rival USC on Wednesday night, the Bruins squandered an opportunity that might have been their last chance to make an impression on the NIT selection committee. Playing in New York, UCLA fell to St. John’s, 66-63. Not a bad score by any means, but it’s a game you have to win when you are playing a Big East team right next to the home of the tournament. Up Next: 2/22 @ Arizona State

8. Oregon State, 15-12 (5-10): After getting swept in the Bay Area, the Beavers now must win their final three regular season games to have a shot at the NIT. That won’t be an easy task against teams like Oregon and Colorado, but all three will be played in the friendly confines of Gill Coliseum. For the Beavers to have a chance, they have to eliminate the long scoring droughts that have plagued them so much in past seasons. We hadn’t seen that problem earlier in the year, but it has cost the Beavers multiple games in the past few weeks. Up Next: 2/26 vs. Oregon

9. Washington State, 14-13 (6-9): After a frustrating loss against Arizona on Thursday, the Cougars took their frustrations out on helpless Arizona State two days later. The Cougars held Arizona State to just eight points in the first half en route to a 72-50 victory. Ken Bone and company still have a shot at the NIT, but Washington State needs to win their final three regular season games and at least one in the Pac-12 Tournament to have a chance. Up Next: 2/25 vs. Washington

10. Arizona State, 8-19 (4-11): Not many thought that the Washington game would be the highlight of the week, but it turned out that their eight-point loss to the Huskies would be a lot more enjoyable than their 22-point drubbing in Pullman on Saturday. Up Next: 2/23 vs. UCLA

11. USC, 6-21 (1-13): If you asked Trojan fans before Wednesday’s game against the Bruins if they would take a ten-point loss, most would have accepted it. But the score was a lot closer than the game really was, with much thanks to SC’s terrible shooting performance in the first half resulting in only 16 points (Hey, that’s two times as much as Arizona State managed on Saturday. Progress.). Up Next: 2/15 @ UCLA

12. Utah, 5-21 (2-12): Like we mentioned before, the Utes played good ball against Colorado, they just went ice-cold in the final minute. Still, it was another encouraging game for the Utes that has me thinking they will be contending for a single-digit finish in the Pac next season. Up Next: 2/23 vs. California

Connor Pelton (300 Posts)

I'm from Portland. College basketball and football is life.

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