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Ranking the Pac

Bruins, Ducks and Cats top the Pac

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

With Pac-12 conference play underway, UWDP will start to take a weekly look at the teams and see if the Dawgs can creep up the ladder.

We are ranking the teams based on their week (not necessarily where they land in the standings). Tell us what you think.

1. UCLA (16-1 overall, 3-1 Pac-12)– With Oregon, the Bruins are the class of the conference. Despite a narrow loss in Eugene, the Bruins are looking like they can compete for more than just a Pac-12 Championship. According to Joe Lunardi, UCLA is a No. 1 seed. The combination of freshman Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf have catapulted the Bruins back into the national spotlight.

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

2. Oregon (4-0, 15-2) – The Ducks could be competing for a No. 1 seed as well as Dana Altman’s team is rolling after starting the season 2-2. The return of Dillon Brooks should keep the Ducks 1 or 2 in the conference the rest of the season. Of course, Brooks will need to refrain from kicking players in the groin to stay on the court.

3. Arizona (15-2, 4-0) – The Wildcats are right behind the top two here. They have a relatively easy week as they face Arizona State at home before their first big test next week at the LA schools.

4. Cal (11-5, 2-2) – Perhaps a little surprising to have the Bears in the top 4 but let’s reward them for an impressive performance at USC on Sunday night. The Bears played great defense and moved the ball around well on offense in finding the open shot against the Trojans.

NCAA Basketball: California at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

5. USC (15-2, 2-2) – After running off 14 straight wins, the Trojans are now 1-2 in their last 3. An upset home loss to the Bears hurt the Trojans as they await the return of Bennie Boatwright.

6. Utah (11-4, 2-1) – The Utes went 1-1 last week against the Arizona schools and face the LA schools this week. The “other” Coach K has a chance to put his team in good position if he can hold serve at home this week.

7. Washington State (9-6, 2-1) – The Cougs have a chance to stay afloat in the conference with wins in the Bay Area this week. Josh Hawkinson leads the Cougs averaging a double-double (15.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg). They’ve also been getting nice point guard play from Freshman Malachi Flynn.

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

8. Washington (8-7, 1-2) – The Huskies hope for at worst a split in the Bay Area this week but have to do it without Malik Dime. Dime broke his finger in the team’s win against OSU and will be out 4-5 weeks.

9. Arizona State (9-8, 2-2) – It’s been an up and down season for Bobby Hurley’s team. Freshman Sam Cunliffe left the team and appears to be headed to Kansas. He gets Arizona this week before the LA schools in a tough stretch for the Sun Devils.

10. Colorado (10-6, 0-3) – If you are surprised to see Colorado this far down, I am too. The Buffs have dropped 3 straight including being swept by the Arizona schools. They are in LA this week and will be in desperation mode of avoiding going 0-5 before heading to Washington.

11. Stanford (8-8, 0-4) – As a Husky fan, we should be looking for this matchup Saturday night. The Cardinal are not good and have been blown out in their past 3 games.

12. Oregon State (4-13, 0-4) – The Beavers are holding out until their leading scorer, Tres Tinkle comes back. The Ducks will serve the Beavs a beat down Saturday night in Eugene.