Pac-12 Power Rankings: Week 16

Posted by Connor Pelton on February 29th, 2012

Here’s a look at the power rankings that Drew and I have compiled after the 16th week of Pac-12 games:

1. California, 23-7 (13-4): The Golden Bears may have suffered a disappointing 13-point loss to Colorado on Sunday, but I still have Cal on top for a couple of reasons. First, while Cal’s loss was bad, Washington fell by 18 at Colorado earlier this season. Secondly, even though the Huskies are ahead of the Golden Bears by half a game in the Pac-12 standings, California still has three more wins than the Dawgs. Group in the fact that the Golden Bears don’t have any glaring bad losses on their slate, I still think they are the better team right now. Up Next: 3/4 @ Stanford

2. Washington, 20-8 (13-3): Washington all but guaranteed itself an NCAA bid with their 59-55 win in Pullman last Saturday. The Huskies should make it official by splitting their trip to Los Angeles, but even if they found a way to lose to USC, I think they would still be good. The big question is whether or not the Huskies will avoid one of the “First Four” games. Right now I would say they are safe, but they need a good couple of weeks in LA to be assured of that as well. Up Next: 3/1 @ USC

3. Oregon, 20-8 (11-5): The Ducks sure looked like an NCAA Tournament team on Sunday, but they still remain just outside the field of 68 in most projections. Whether it was Garrett Sim, Devoe Joseph, or Olu Ashaolu, the Ducks were making everything they threw up, which they will need to do if they want to advance in whatever postseason tournament they play in. The Ducks led by ten points against feisty rival Oregon State with just 5:50 remaining, but the Beavers stormed back to within a point with one second left on a Jared Cunningham slam dunk that followed Challe Barton’s three that went off the right rim to try and tie the game. The next Oregon inbound pass wasn’t fully covered however, and Oregon ran down the clock and ran out of Gill Coliseum with a 74-73 win. With the win, the Ducks have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons. Up Next: 3/1 vs. Colorado

Senior guard Garrett Sim, who grew up a Beaver fan, was booed every time he touched the ball after elbowing Jared Cunningham early in Sunday's Civil War. Sim finished with 25 points. (credit: Brent Wojahn)

4. Arizona, 21-9 (12-5): It wasn’t easy at times for the Cats, but at the end of the weekend they found themselves with a pair of wins over the LA schools in Tucson. On Thursday it was a solid 70-54 win over the visiting Trojans, solid because they struggled at times with the tough SC defense back in January at the Galen Center. Two days later it was a nail biter all the way through, with Arizona finally prevailing for a 65-63 win. Up Next: 3/4 @ Arizona State

5. Colorado, 19-9 (11-5): It was an interesting week for the Buffaloes, as many thought their bubble had burst after a 24-point home loss to Stanford on Thursday. But playing desperate on Senior Day, the Buffs came back to life three days later and throttled California for a 13-point victory. Now they find themselves on life support heading into the last two weeks of the season, but I think they deserve to be in the at-large conversation if they sweep the Oregon schools and make it to the semifinals in the Pac-12 Tournament. Up Next: 3/1 @ Oregon

6. Stanford, 19-10 (9-8): Thursday was a good day for the Cardinal. They had won three of their past four, and if they could find a way to win their final two regular season games and receive some help from the rest of the conference, they could have gotten one of the coveted top four seeds in the Pac-12 Tournament, which is a must if you want a chance to take the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Instead, the shooting nightmares crept into their game once again and they left Salt Lake City with a 58-57 loss to Utah. They are now in one of the rare situations where their postseason destination (NIT) is all but locked up for them with two weeks still left in the season. Up Next: 3/4 vs. California

7. UCLA, 16-13 (9-7): It was a predictable week in the desert for Bruins as they got as nine-point win over Arizona State and suffered a two-point loss to Arizona. While the split was expected, a sweep would have been necessary to have a real chance at making the NIT. Now the Bruins need to beat both Washington schools and likely make it to the championship of the Pac-12 Tournament in order to get back into NIT consideration. Up Next: 3/1 vs. Washington State

8. Oregon State, 15-13 (5-11): For the Beavers, the NIT is now definitely out of the conversation after losing their fifth straight game, this one a 74-73 defeat at the hands of Oregon. Oregon State was able to hang with Oregon despite playing the massively underwhelming combination of Ahmad Starks, Barton, Rhys Murphy, Kevin McShane, and Joe Burton for most of the first half since Devon Collier was injured and Cunningham was in foul trouble. Up Next: 3/1 vs. Utah

9. Washington State, 14-14 (6-10): The Cougars were the other victim of this weekend’s two rivalry games, falling 59-55 against Washington in Beasley Coliseum. The game was tight all the way, with the Huskies not taking their final four-point lead until there were ten seconds left on the clock. Junior forward Brock Motum led the Cougars with 17 points. Up Next: 3/1 @ UCLA

10. Arizona State, 9-20 (5-12): All in all, it wasn’t a bad week for the Sun Devils as they played with UCLA on Thursday and defeated USC, 56-52 on Saturday night. Up Next: 3/4 vs. Arizona

11. Utah, 6-22 (3-13): The only change in this week’s power rankings is at this spot, as the Utes have moved up from the basement after their win against Stanford and USC’s loss to ASU. At this point in the season, games don’t mean much to teams like Utah, but results like their 58-57 win against the Cardinal can be used as building blocks to leap into offseason workouts and preseason practices. Up Next: 3/1 @ Oregon State

12. USC, 6-23 (1-15): USC’s losing streak is now at seven after their debacle in the desert. The Trojans will now try to rally for their final two games against the Washington schools and hopefully drum up enough support so that we see at least a few Cardinal and Gold clad fans in the Staples next week. Up Next: 3/1 vs. Washington

Connor Pelton (296 Posts)

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


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