Pac-12 basketball power rankings: Week 12

Jan 26, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats center Kaleb Tarczewski (35) and forward Aaron Gordon (11) talk during the first half against the Utah Utes at McKale Center. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

With all of the attention on the top team in the Pac-12, it would be easy to forget that this is a deep league this season, and with that, it’s time to examine the conference as a whole. The top spot is the no-brainer of all no-brainers, but after that, things are quite interesting, so without further delay, let’s get to the rankings.

  1. Arizona (20-0, 7-0) – The Wildcats are #1 in the country, and despite a minor struggle on Sunday night against Utah, they are without peer in this league right now.
  2. UCLA (16-4, 5-2) – The Bruins are incredibly talented, and that has been showing through in their play. UCLA grabbed two home wins by double-digits this week, and with Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson, they have legitimate veterans to bank on.
  3. Arizona State (15-5, 4-3) – The Sun Devils bounced back from two straight losses with a 2-0 week, grabbing wins over both Utah and Colorado. Jahii Carson may be the best player in America that you’ve never heard of, and he leads a definite NCAA tournament team.
  4. California (14-6, 5-2) – If not for back-to-back road losses, Cal may rank higher on this list. They are a balanced team with top-60 units on both offense and defense, and Mike Montgomery is one of the best in the business.
  5. Stanford (13-6, 4-3) – There are rumors that Johnny Dawkins is on the hot seat, but he’s got a nice club. Stanford has won 4 of their last 5 games, including 2 road tilts, and that is the mark of a competitive team in any league.
  6. Oregon State (11-8, 3-4) – The Beavers lost a close road game this week, but I’m a big fan. OSU can definitely score the ball, and with a homestand against the two LA teams this week, they’ll have the opportunity to make a jump.
  7. Colorado (15-6, 4-4) – The Buffs have fallen off the wagon a bit in recent days, but if you look deeper, there is room for recovery. Colorado has lost 4 of 5 to fall way down in the rankings, but despite losing their best player, the tough part of the schedule is over, and there is still talent in Boulder.
  8. Oregon (14-5, 2-5) – If we took a look at the Pac-12 just a couple of weeks ago, Oregon may have ranked #2, but 5 straight losses will send anyone tumbling. Still, the Ducks have a top-20 offense nationally if you look at the numbers, and if they can rectify things (as they did with a 27-point win to end the week), they’ll bounce back.
  9. Washington (13-8, 5-3) – With apologies to the Huskies, I don’t believe that their 5-3 pace in conference is sustainable. Defensively, Washington is a bit of a mess, ranking near 200th nationally, and with 3 straight road games coming up, we’ll find out more in a hurry.
  10. Utah (14-6, 3-5) – Utah was impressive in hanging around with Arizona on Sunday evening, but their nice record has been padded by a number of “light” games, and the talent isn’t great.
  11. USC (10-10, 1-6) – If anyone in the top-10 made the NCAA Tournament, it wouldn’t be a blinding shock… but the drop-off begins here. The Trojans simply don’t have the talent level that their name indicates, and as a result of that, they don’t do anything particularly well.
  12. Washington State (8-12, 1-7) – Wazzu has one of the worst offenses in the country, even after you adjust for pace. They’ve lost 4 in a row and 7 out of 8, and ever since they scored 25 against Arizona (not a misprint), it’s been downhill.

Topics: Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, California Golden Bears, Colorado Buffaloes, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Stanford Cardinal, UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans, Utah Utes, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars

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