1. UCLA (19-1, 6-1) – The Bruins still sit atop the power rankings but will face Arizona on Saturday in a showdown of two of the top teams in the conference. UCLA has a high-octane offense fueled by Freshman Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf and Senior Bryce Alford. The Bruins are 3rd in the nation (behind The Citadel and Kentucky) in scoring offense averaging almost 93 points per game. Can the Wildcats slow them down?
2. Arizona (17-2, 6-0) – The Wildcats are looking good despite the loss of Allonzo Trier (Trier tested positive for a banned substance he claims he did not know about ingesting and is out for the time being). Lauri Markannen has shouldered the load and head into the showdown against the Bruins on an 11 game win streak.
3. Oregon (17-2, 6-0) – The Ducks are on a 15-game win streak (which ties a school record) but lost Dillon Brooks once again to a lower leg injury against Cal Thursday night. Oregon plays Stanford Saturday before it gets Utah and Colorado next week.
4. Utah (13-5, 4-2) – The Utes are at the top of the middle of the Pac-12. After a tough, one point loss to UCLA last week, Utah blew out Wazzu by 41. They have a balanced attack of scoring and play defense. The Utes hope for a sweep of the Washington schools as they play the Dawgs Saturday. The Huskies will need to be on the lookout for Kyle Kuzma.
5. Cal (13-6, 4-3) – Despite a loss to Oregon on Thursday, the Golden Bears swept the Washington schools last week and should get a W against Oregon State. Ivan Rabb had an off night against the Ducks (4 points, 2-10 FG) but overall has impressed. The same can be said for Jabari Bird’s play.
6. USC (16-4, 3-4) – The Trojans have fallen on a rough patch. After going unbeaten in non-conference, they’ve dropped 4 in the Pac-12. The committee might view this has playing a weak non-conference schedule which might hurt their chances if they continue down this road. They will try to right themselves against ASU this weekend.
7. Stanford (11-8, 3-4) – What do we make of Stanford? Streaky. They get blown out in 3 out of 4 of their first Pac 12 games and then run off 3 straight wins. They blew out WSU and OSU and had a big lead against UW until the Huskies made a comeback. We’ll see how well they hang in against Oregon this weekend.
8. Washington (9-9, 2-4) – The Huskies pulled off a come from behind OT win against Colorado on Wednesday which provides some momentum after being swept in the Bay Area. It’s clear that the Dawgs miss Malik Dime as the Buffs took advantage of a 4 guard Romar lineup to get offensive rebounds. Utah will provide a sizable challenge on Saturday.
9. Washington State (9-9, 2-4) – The Cougs are struggling. They lost by 41 to Utah Wednesday and lost to Stanford by 30 last week. Saturday’s game against Colorado presents and intriguing match-up between teams on the ropes in the conference.
10. Arizona State (9-10, 2-4) – Bobby Hurley’s team is relying on Tra Holder and Torian Graham to pull his team to victories. This weekend’s game against USC is another interesting match-up as it should separate some teams in the middle of the conference.
11. Oregon State (4-15, 0-6) – The Beavs have lost 6 in a row and it doesn’t look good. I’m not sure the return of Tres Tinkle will help their cause.
12. Colorado (10-9, 0-6) – Interesting fact: The Buffs have defeated two ranked teams (Texas and Xavier) in the non-conference but still don’t have a Pac-12 win. The Buffs do not look like a team that is 0-6 in the conference but after dropping an OT loss to the Huskies the Buffs can only look forward to a bad WSU team. The Buffs need a win badly otherwise we could see this team give up before February.