Congratulations to Arizona, who managed to climb through a messy week on the west coast and take the top spot in our power rankings. If Oregon could have scored a point or two in the final four and a half minutes against Colorado last Thursday, there is no doubt the Ducks would be in the driver’s seat right now. UCLA comes as a unanimous pick at the three spot. The Bruins barely squeaked by Washington on Thursday before getting a dominating win Saturday night against Washington State. Our conference team of the week comes in at number four in the form of Colorado, who is fresh off a road sweep of the Oregon schools. Arizona State was another unanimous pick at fifth after picking up an impressive win over California and dropping a close decision to Stanford. Those same Cardinal round out the upper half of the conference at sixth, and the surprising and fast-rising USC Trojans follow them. California, Washington, Oregon State, Washington State, and Utah round out the remainder of the rankings.
- Matching The National Rankings. The three Pac-12 teams receiving votes in the two national polls appear in the same order in our rankings. Arizona, ranked ninth in both polls, is obviously first here. The second place Ducks come in at 23rd and 27th, respectively, in the national rankings. And UCLA, who has a solid amount of distance between the two teams closest to them, is ranked at 38th and 41st. This upper third of the conference also has another thing in common; the fact that all of them are considered locks for the NCAA Tournament right now. That could change for Oregon and UCLA with a couple losses this week, but they are on solid ground for now.
- The USC/Washington Debate. The Trojans and Huskies had more than just Sunday’s game in common this week. Both teams spurred the most debate between one voter and the other three, as I ranked UW three spots ahead of SC, and the other voters did the opposite. Even as the Trojans had the obvious better week, I can’t justify in my mind placing a team that will struggle to make the postseason in front of a near lock for the NIT.