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Pac-12 Power Rankings: Final Week

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It’s going to be a photo finish in the middle of the Pac-12 standings

NCAA Basketball: Washington at California John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA selection committee will be using tiers this year rather than the simple record vs the top-50 and top-100 they’ve used in years past (it’s technically quadrants but I’m lazy and I’m delaying my carpal tunnel by 12 days by typing tiers instead). Here’s the definition for each of the tiers if you want a refresher. Tiers are decided using RPI.

Tier 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75

Tier 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135

Tier 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240

Tier 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus.

1. (4) USC Trojans, 21-9 (12-5)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: 15.41 (42nd)

Tier 1: 4-5, W- #24 Middle Tennessee 89-84 (neutral), #50 New Mexico St 77-72 (neutral), #55 Utah 74-58 (away), #72 Oregon 75-70 (away)

Tier 2: 4-3

Tier 3: 6-0

Tier 4: 7-1, L- #228 Princeton 103-93 OT (home)

The Trojans have rediscovered their mojo and are now winners of 4 in a row. A win over UCLA at home guarantees them at least 2nd place in the conference and likely wraps up an NCAA tournament bid.

This week’s games: Saturday vs. #58 UCLA

2. (1) Arizona Wildcats, 22-7 (12-4)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: 18.5 (25th)

Tier 1: 4-4, W-#27 Texas A&M 67-64 (semi-home), #28 USC 81-67 (home), #42 Arizona State 84-78 (home), #55 Utah 94-82 (away)

Tier 2: 6-3, L- #56 UCLA 82-74 (home), #78 Colorado 80-77 (away), #99 SMU 66-60 (neutral)

Tier 3: 6-0

Tier 4: 5-0

It’s buried deep in the power rankings bylaws but if one of your 2 best players gets suspended, your coach goes MIA because of an FBI wiretap, and you go 1-1 in a pair of overtime games then you drop from 1st to 2nd. Arizona at full strength is the best team in the conference. Arizona without Allonzo Trier and Sean Miller? Who knows.

This week’s games: Thursday vs. #83 Stanford, Saturday vs. #212 California

3. (6) Utah Utes, 18-10 (10-7)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: 11.9 (63rd)

Tier 1: 3-6, W- #42 Arizona State 80-77 OT (away), #52 Washington 70-58 (away), #72 Oregon 66-56 (away)

Tier 2: 3-3

Tier 3: 6-1, L- #128 UNLV 85-58 (semi-away)

Tier 4: 6-0

Utah got thumped by USC at home last week but had won 5 in a row before that. If they beat Colorado they’ll clinch at least a #5 seed and either a bye or a 1st round matchup versus Cal in the Pac-12 tournament. They need to at least make the Pac-12 semis for a chance at the NCAA tourney.

This week’s games: Saturday vs. #78 Colorado

4. (9) Stanford Cardinal, 16-13 (10-6)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: 8.17 (91st)

Tier 1: 2-7, W- #28 USC 77-76 (home), #52 Washington 73-64 (away)

Tier 2: 5-2

Tier 3: 4-3

Tier 4: 5-1, L- #212 California 77-74 (home)

With 3 straight wins the Cardinal have vaulted into 3rd place in the conference. But they have the toughest road trip in the Pac-12 to finish the regular season (the Arizonas). A sweep clinches them at least 3rd place and possibly 2nd. Lose both and they could slide as far as 6th. An NIT bid is still in play although an NCAA bid would require winning the conference tournament.

This week’s games: Thursday at #17 Arizona, Saturday at #42 Arizona State

5. (3) UCLA Bruins, 19-10 (10-7)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: 13.4 (58th)

Tier 1: 3-6, W- #18 Kentucky 83-75 (neutral), #19 Arizona 82-74 (away), #28 USC 82-79 (home)

Tier 2: 3-2

Tier 3: 6-2, L- #78 Colorado 68-59 (home), #159 Oregon State 69-63 (away)

Tier 4: 7-0

The mountain road trip is brutal for everyone and it chewed up the Bruins and spit them back out. If they lose on the road at USC it all but destroys their chance at a bye in the conference tournament and means they’d have to make it to the Pac-12 tournament finals to have a shot at the NCAA’s.

This week’s games: Saturday at #28 USC

6. (5) Washington Huskies, 19-10 (9-7)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: 7.57 (95th)

Tier 1: 3-6, W- #6 Kansas 74-65 (semi-away), #17 Arizona 78-75 (home), #28 USC 88-81 (away)

Tier 2: 2-2

Tier 3: 7-2, L- #83 Stanford 73-64 (home), #162 Oregon State 97-94 2OT (away)

Tier 4: 7-0

The Huskies are limping to the finish line with 2 big wins, 3 big losses, and a double overtime gut wrenching loss in their last 6. Just keep winning.

This week’s games: Thursday vs. #162 Oregon State, Saturday vs. #72 Oregon

7. (7) Oregon Ducks, 19-10 (9-7)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: 11.59 (68th)

Tier 1: 2-5, W- #17 Arizona 98-93 OT (home), #42 Arizona State 76-72 (away)

Tier 2: 4-3

Tier 3: 5-2, L- #117 Connecticut 71-62 (semi-home), #162 Oregon State 76-64 (away)

Tier 4: 8-0

Oregon has lost their last 4 road games against teams not named Cal and are 3-5 on the road overall this season. We’ll see if they can pull it together in an all-important senior night in Seattle on Saturday.

This week’s games: Thursday at #174 Washington State, Saturday at #52 Washington

8. (2) Arizona State Sun Devils, 19-9 (7-9)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: 15.81 (37th)

Tier 1: 4-4, W- #2 Xavier 102-86 (neutral), #6 Kansas 95-85 (away), #28 USC 80-78 (home), #55 Utah 80-77 (away)

Tier 2: 3-4

Tier 3: 7-1, L- #162 Oregon State 79-75 (away)

Tier 4: 5-0

Arizona State really doesn’t want to go to the NCAA tournament. There’s a chance they’ll have wins over a pair of #1 seeds in Xavier and Kansas but there’s also a chance they finish 10th in a down Pac-12. Don’t envy the selection committee on this one.

This week’s games: Thursday vs. #212 California, Saturday vs. #83 Stanford

9. (8) Colorado Buffaloes, 16-13 (8-9)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: 4.93 (114th)

Tier 1: 2-7, W- #17 Arizona 80-77 (home), #56 UCLA 68-59 (away)

Tier 2: 4-1

Tier 3: 5-4, L- #144 San Diego 69-59 (home), #162 Oregon State 76-57 (away), #165 Iowa 80-73 (neutral), #216 Colorado State 72-63 (away)

Tier 4: 5-0

Colorado turned things around with a victory at home over UCLA on Sunday. They don’t have a lot to play for since they’re locked into playing on day one of the conference tournament without a shot at the NCAA’s but if they won it’d be a big boost for Washington.

This week’s games: Thursday at #180 Washington State, Saturday at #45 Washington

10. (10) Oregon State Beavers, 14-14 (6-10)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: 6.36 (104th)

Tier 1: 0-7

Tier 2: 4-3, W- #42 Arizona State 79-75 (home), #52 Washington 97-94 2OT (home), #56 UCLA 69-63 (home), #72 Oregon 76-64 (home)

Tier 3: 2-3

Tier 4: 8-1, L- #204 Long Beach State 74-69 (neutral)

The Beavers had lost 3 in a row prior to a win over Arizona State (although one of those was in OT to Arizona). But OSU has to go on the road to end the year which has been a house of horrors for them (or rather several houses of horror). Oregon State is 1-10 in games not played in Corvallis or Portland with the lone victory coming over #318 Marist. Win a road game and you can be considered higher (but don’t start Thursday).

This week’s games: Thursday at #52 Washington, Saturday at #174 Washington State

11. (12) Washington State Cougars, 11-17 (3-13)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: -1.13 (189th)

Tier 1: 1-6, W-#38 St. Mary’s 84-79 (neutral)

Tier 2: 0-7

Tier 3: 4-3

Tier 4: 6-1. L-#291 UTEP 76-69 (away)

Wazzu completed a season sweep of Cal which gives them the edge in the battle for 11th place.

This week’s games: Thursday vs. #72 Oregon, Saturday vs. #162 Oregon State

12. (11) California Golden Bears, 8-21 (2-14)

Adjusted Efficiency Margin: -6.55 (238th)

Tier 1: 0-7

Tier 2: 2-6, W- #83 Stanford 77-74 (away), #108 San Diego State 63-62 (away)

Tier 3: 3-4

Tier 4: 3-4, L- #174 Washington State 78-76 (home), #241 Central Arkansas 96-69 (home), #295 UC Riverside 74-66 (home), D-II Chaminade 96-72 (road)

You lose twice to Wazzu in 2018, you end up here.

This week’s games: Thursday at #42 Arizona State, Saturday at #17 Arizona

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