If you think you’ve got the Pac-12 basketball race figured out, think again.
It’s only taken three weeks of play for every team to have at least one loss, with all but two sitting with two or more blemishes on their league record. Had Stanford been able to not blow a huge lead at USC it would have had a two-game edge on the rest of the field, instead the Trojans pulled it out in overtime to bring the Cardinal back to the rest of the field.
That loss also massively shook up our power rankings, as you’ll see below.
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. Oregon (15-4, 4-2)
Last week: 2nd
The Ducks followed up a disappointing loss at Washington State on Thursday with a thrilling overtime win at Washington thanks to the heroics of senior Payton Pritchard. All but four of his 22 points were on 3-pointers, including a ridiculously long one in the final seconds of OT. While that WSU loss looks bad, Oregon earns the top spot because it has already managed two road splits in league play.
Up next: Thursday vs. USC, Sunday vs. UCLA
2. Arizona (13-5, 3-2)
Last week: 4th
The Wildcats beat Utah and Colorado by a combined 37 points, their best sweep of the Rocky Mountain schools since they joined the Pac-12. The 75-54 win over Colorado was particularly impressive because it involved stellar defense and efficient offense, a combo Arizona will need to replicate with a three-game road trip on the horizon.
Up next: Saturday at Arizona State
3. USC (14-3, 4-1)
Last week: 5th
The Trojans rallied from down 21 points early in the second half to knock off previously perfect Stanford on Saturday, this after rolling Cal at home. That sweep followed up a 2-1 road trip to start the league, and if not for that abysmal performance at Washington on Jan. 5 (40 points on 20 percent shooting) it might be No. 1 overall.
Up next: Thursday at Oregon, Saturday at Oregon State
4. Colorado (14-4, 3-2)
Last week: 1st
Normally a road split in Arizona would be considered good, but the Buffaloes managed to look bad in both their 68-61 win at ASU and their 21-point setback in Tucson. Known for its rebounding, Colorado got beat on the boards in both games and had two of its worst offensive performances of the season over the weekend.
Up next: Thursday vs. Washington State, Saturday vs. Washington
5. Stanford (15-3, 4-1)
Last week: 3rd
The Cardinal looked like they were in position to start running away from the rest of the Pac-12 when they were up 45-25 at halftime at USC on Saturday, a lead that extended to 21 in the first minute of the second half. Stanford ended up losing that game 82-78 in overtime, blowing a five-point edge in the final minute. Thankfully it gets some extra time off before a virtual home game across the Bay to regroup from that collapse.
Up next: Sunday at California
6. Arizona State (11-7, 2-3)
Last week: 7th
There has been a stark difference in offensive efficiency between the Sun Devils’ two wins and their three losses. They averaged 1.18 points per possession in beating Utah on Saturday after managing just 0.86 PPP two days earlier in a loss to Colorado. The defense was good in both games, which may need to be what ASU leans on in order while its offense continues to get things figured out.
Up next: Saturday vs. Arizona
7. Washington State (12-7, 3-3)
Last week: 12th
The Cougars completed their first home sweep since LA schools March 2012 when they rolled Oregon State on Saturday, doing so in front of Klay Thompson an with junior Isaac Bonton dropping a career-high 34. And that was only Wazzu’s second-best performance of the weekend, its 72-61 win over Oregon on Thursday arguably the biggest shocker of the league so far.
Up next: Thursday at Colorado, Saturday at Utah
8. Oregon State (12-6, 2-4)
Last week: 6th
Tres Tinkle became the 16th player in Pac-12 history to reach 2,000 career points on Saturday. That’s about the extend of the positives for the Beavers during an 0-2 trip to the Washington schools, as they failed to reach the 80-point threshold they normally need in order to win while looking listless on defense.
Up next: Thursday vs. UCLA, Saturday vs. USC
9. Utah (10-7, 1-4)
Last week: 8th
The Utes are by far the worst defensive team in the Pac-12 and that was painfully obvious in allowing a combined 176 points at the Arizona schools. Utah allowed its foes to make 26 of 47 3-point attempts while only hitting 16 of 52 on its end, its young squad unable to keep up with the talent and experience the rest of the league has.
Up next: Thursday vs. Washington, Saturday vs. Washington State
10. UCLA (8-8, 2-3)
Last week: 9th
A split with the Bay Area schools has UCLA sitting at 7-4 at Pauley Pavilion this season with four more KenPom top-100 teams yet to play at home. There’s no reason for UCLA to be proud about Sunday’s win over Cal considering it scored only 50 points and shot just 41 percent.
Up next: Thursday at Oregon State, Sunday at Oregon
11. Washington (12-7, 2-4)
Last week: 11th
After taking only seven free throws in a win over Oregon State on Thursday, the Huskies got to the line 30 times against Oregon but missed 10 of them. That played a big factor in Washington falling to the Ducks in overtime, dropping to 2-2 in Seattle after winnings 25 of the previous 27 at home.
Up next: Thursday at Utah, Saturday at Colorado
12. California (8-10, 2-3)
Last week: 10th
The Golden Bears managed a mere 96 points in two losses in Los Angeles, shooting 30 percent in a 50-40 loss at UCLA on Sunday night. Cal has averaged more than a point per possession just once in Pac-12 play and is hitting only 25.3 percent of its threes so far.
Up next: Sunday vs. Stanford