Conference Power Rankings: Pac-12

February, 15, 2013
2/15/13
11:01
AM ET
Who wants it?

Or rather, does anyone want it?

More and more these days the Pac-12 title seems like a greased pig being chased around a pen. Teams get their hands on it, but none of them can sustain a grip. Arizona? UCLA? Colorado or Oregon? Every week a new squad appears to have seized an edge in the race for the conference crown, but the momentum is always short-lived. Here's a look at how things stand with less than a month remaining in the regular season.

1. Oregon. The Ducks appeared to have lost their quack when they dropped three straight games after losing Dominic Artis to a foot injury. Oregon, though, has bounced back nicely with wins over Utah (at home) and Washington (on the road). They can't afford to take Washington State lightly on Saturday. Dana Altman's squad leads the league with a 9-3 record.

2. Colorado. Tad Boyle's squad avenged last month's controversial loss to Arizona by pummeling the Wildcats 71-58 in Boulder Thursday. Freshman Xavier Johnson had 19 points and nine rebounds for Colorado, which has won six of its past seven games.

3. Arizona. What's going on with the Wildcats? Sean Miller's squad is now 8-4 in conference play after coughing up back-to-back games against Cal and Colorado. Arizona's lack of a true point guard continues to be a hindrance, and its freshman big men (Brandon Ashley, Grant Jerrett and Kaleb Tarczewski) have been slow to develop.

4. Cal. The Golden Bears have been one of the Pac-12's hottest teams in recent weeks. Mike Montgomery's squad has won four of its past five games. Included in that stretch are wins against Oregon, Arizona and UCLA, the latter of which came in a 76-63 thrashing Thursday. David Kravish had 18 points and 13 rebounds.

5. USC. It seems odd that a team that fired its coach a month ago would be this high in the rankings, but interim coach Bob Cantu has done a phenomenal job since stepping in for Kevin O'Neill. Thursday's road win over Stanford marked the fourth straight victory for the Trojans, who are 12-13 overall. How great would it be if USC finished with a winning record and sneaked into the NIT?

6. UCLA. Coach Ben Howland could be in trouble. The Bruins have lost three of their past five games, and road tilts with Stanford and USC are up next. It appeared for a time that Howland had things going in the right direction again, but at this point it would be tough to fault anyone who questions his future in Westwood.

7. Stanford. Thursday's 65-64 home loss to USC could come back to haunt the Cardinal, who can't afford to lose many more games if they want to make the NCAA tournament. Overall, Stanford has been playing solid basketball as of late with four wins in its past six. Forward Josh Huestis had 22 points Thursday.

8. Arizona State. The Sun Devils have lost three of their past four games, with the setbacks coming by a combined 12 points. Arizona State shot 47.3 percent from the free throw line in those three losses. Things aren't going to get any easier for Herb Sendek's squad, which plays four of its final six games on the road beginning with Saturday's showdown with Colorado in Boulder.

9. Washington. The Huskies are the Pac-12's most underachieving team. Washington has lost seven of its past eight games after opening league play with four straight wins. Unless it wins the Pac-12 tournament championship, Lorenzo Romar's squad will miss the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.

10. Oregon State. The Beavers have won two of their past three games. Even though the victories were against Utah and Washington State, the wins provided a much-needed jolt of momentum heading into the final three weeks of the season. Eric Moreland is averaging 10.7 rebounds.

11. Utah. Jason Washburn scored 26 points in Wednesday's victory over Arizona State and is averaging 23 points in his past two games. The Utes are entering a brutal stretch. They host Arizona Sunday and then play Colorado, Cal and Stanford on the road.

12. Washington State. At 2-10, the Cougars have the worst record in the league. Six of their conference losses have come by single digits. Washington State's only two wins are against Utah and Oregon State. Ken Bone's future could be in jeopardy.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?