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Power ranking Pac-12 basketball after the second week of conference play

pac-12-basketball-college-rankings-power-analysis-standings-recap-projection Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The second weekend of the Pac-12 season is in the books, and one team has emerged as the early leader with a 3-0 record.

Raise your hand if you thought that squad would be the Stanford Cardinal. Then put it down because you’re lying.

A home sweep of the Washington schools is part of Stanford’s best overall start since 2007-08 and they’re the only team in the league yet to lose within the conference. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Cardinal are the top squad in the Pac-12 in terms of power ranking.

After each week’s results we will rank the league, breaking down how they fared in their most recent games and looking ahead to what’s next.

1. Colorado (13-3, 2-1)

Last week: 1st

The Buffaloes destroyed Utah at home Sunday for their only result of Week 2, leading by 22 at the half and 39 at the final whistle. Colorado has the league’s best offense through three weeks and its dominance on the boards has been a big reason for that, holding a plus-24 rebounding edge in Pac-12 play. If that continues at the Arizona schools then this team will be in the title hunt until March.

Up next: Thursday at Arizona State, Saturday at Arizona

2. Oregon (14-3, 3-1)

Last week: 3rd

The Ducks swept the Arizona schools, but it wasn’t easy, needing overtime to outlast Arizona on Thursday before leading almost wire-to-wire against the Sun Devils on Saturday. Senior guard Payton Pritchard averaged 23.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in those wins, raising Oregon to fifth nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Up next: Thursday at Washington, Saturday at Washington State

3. Stanford (14-2, 3-0)

Last week: 4th

The Cardinal outscored Washington 26-18 over the final 10:50, ending on a 14-1 run to win a tight one Thursday before blowing out Washington State two days later. Stanford leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense, allowing 58.3 points per game overall and 56.3 in league competition, but now it hits the road for the first time by visiting the Los Angeles schools.

Up next: Wednesday at UCLA, Saturday at USC

4. Arizona (11-5, 1-2)

Last week: 2nd

The Wildcats went from being about two minutes away from a huge win in Eugene on Thursday to getting swept at the Oregon schools for the first time in 14 years. The 82-65 loss Sunday at OSU was Arizona’s worst against the Beavers in 31 years and saw what had for most of the year been a pretty solid defense get eaten alive.

Up next: Thursday vs. Utah, Saturday vs. Colorado

5. USC (12-3, 2-1)

Last week: 8th

The Trojans finished off a league-opening three-game road trip with a win at crosstown rival UCLA while shooting 57.4 percent. Despite that, USC has the worst offensive efficiency in the Pac-12 in conference games mostly because it still turns the ball over on 21 percent of possessions.

Up next: Thursday vs. California, Saturday vs. Stanford

6. Oregon State (12-4, 2-2)

Last week: 7th

The Beavers were the most Jekyll-and-Hyde team of Week 2, losing by six at home to Arizona State on Thursday and then blowing out Arizona on Sunday. OSU has now won 23 in a row when scoring at least 80 points but is 1-4 this season when failing to reach that figure.

Up next: Thursday at Washington, Saturday at Washington State

7. Arizona State (10-6, 1-2)

Last week: 11th

A win Thursday at Oregon State ensured the Sun Devils at least a road split but they weren’t able to put up any real resistance against Oregon on Saturday. Now ASU gets its next three at home where it tends to be much better on the defensive end than the 1.09 points per possession it has allowed so far in league play.

Up next: Thursday vs. Colorado, Saturday vs. Utah

8. Utah (10-5, 1-2)

Last week: 6th

A 39-point loss Sunday at Colorado saw the Utes shoot 35.4 percent while give up 19 layups. Pac-12 scoring leader Timmy Allen can’t go 2 for 11 if Utah expects to win on the road, where it is 1-2 this season with four more away games coming in the next three weeks.

Up next: Thursday at Arizona, Saturday at Arizona State

9. UCLA (8-7, 1-2)

Last week: 10th

The Bruins are one of the worst teams in the country in defending the three-pointer and it showed Saturday in a home loss to USC, who shot 50 percent from the perimeter. Mick Cronin’s goal to mold this team in the shape of the ones he had at Cincinnati, particularly on the other end of the court, isn’t going so smoothly.

Up next: Wednesday vs. Stanford, Sunday vs. California

10. California (8-8, 2-1)

Last week: 12th

The Golden Bears swept the Washington schools at home for the second year in a row and have already matched last season’s win total. Sophomore guard Matt Bradley is making his case for Pac-12 first-team selection, averaging 17.7 points per game and leading the league in free throw shooting (86 percent).

Up next: Thursday at USC, Sunday at UCLA

11. Washington (11-6, 1-3)

Last week: 5th

The Huskies were swept on the road by the Bay Area schools, but their biggest loss came before the weekend started when they announced starting point guard Quade Green was academically ineligible. Washington then shot 11 for 49 from 3-point range and assisted on only 15 of 38 made baskets in losses at Stanford and in overtime at Cal.

Up next: Thursday vs. Oregon State, Saturday vs. Oregon

12. Washington State (10-7, 1-3)

Last week: 9th

The Cougars drop to the bottom of the rankings after getting swept in the Bay Area, losing by seven at Cal before a 26-point beatdown at Stanford. Through two weekends Wazzu has the worst effective field goal percentage, offensively and defensively, in the league.

Up next: Thursday vs. Oregon, Saturday vs. Oregon State