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

college-basketball-pac-12-power-rankings-week-5-first-place-ducks-wildcats-trojans-cardinal-buffs Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A five-way tie in the loss column. Just like we all predicted.

Though the number of league victories differs, a month into Pac-12 play there are a quintet of squads knotted atop the standings with three losses apiece. Oregon is technically ahead of the pack because it has more victories, but with another five weeks left it’s anyone’s guess who will end up on top when the regular season ends.

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 Ducks (18-5, 7-3)

Last week: 1st

Oregon holds onto the top spot despite falling apart in the second half at Stanford on Saturday, a result that came two days after a harder-than-it-should-have-been win at Cal. Losing by 10 after leading by nine in the second half isn’t normally the stuff of top teams, but the Ducks still deserve to be first because they’ve split three road series with a perfect home mark.

Up next: Saturday at Oregon State

2. Colorado Buffaloes (17-5, 6-3)

Last week: 2nd

Colorado could have climbed into first had if not pooped the bed at UCLA on Thursday, because its thorough domination of USC on Saturday was darn impressive. For a good as they can be on defense, when the Buffs struggle in that area—as has been the case in each conference loss—the difference is incredibly noticeable.

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

3. Arizona Wildcats (15-6, 5-3)

Last week: 4th

Arizona is the first team in Pac-12 play to pull off a road sweep this season, but just barely. The Wildcats needed role players Jemarl Baker Jr. and Stone Gettings to make it happen, a sign their talented freshmen trio can’t do it all (and might not have to anymore).

Up next: Thursday vs. USC, Saturday vs. UCLA

4. Stanford Cardinal (16-5, 5-3)

Last week: 6th

Stanford was starting four straight losses in the face after a 4-0 start when it was down nine in the second half to Oregon. Then the Cardinal remembered how good they are on defense and locked the Ducks down, rallying to win Saturday and at least partially make up for a stinker at home to Oregon State two days earlier.

Up next: Thursday at Utah, Saturday at Colorado

5. USC Trojans (17-5, 6-3)

Last week: 3rd

USC had about the ugliest home split you can possible put together, scoring only 56 points to beat a Utah team that was allowing 76.7 per game in league play and then getting boat-raced by Colorado. The Trojans are the worst offensive team of the Pac-12’s current top tier, shooting only 42.2 percent.

Up next: Thursday at Arizona, Saturday at Arizona State

6. UCLA Bruins (12-10, 5-4)

Last week: 8th

Don’t look know, but UCLA may be figuring some things out. Winners of four of their last five, the Bruins swept the Rocky Mountain schools with two of their most efficient offensive performances as Chris Smith dropped 30 on Colorado and then Tyger Campbell went for 22 points and eight assists against Utah.

Up next: Thursday at Arizona State, Saturday at Arizona

7. Arizona State Sun Devils (13-8, 4-4)

Last week: 5th

All of the momentum gained by that massive comeback against Arizona got left somewhere on the road to Pullman, where ASU lost Wednesday on a last-second three-pointer. The Sun Devils rebounded to blow past Washington but are probably still kicking themselves for missing a chance to join the first-place tie.

Up next: Thursday vs. UCLA, Saturday vs. USC

8. Utah Utes (12-9, 3-6)

Last week: 7th

Another road trip, another pair of losses for Utah, which is 0-6 on the road this season and hasn’t won in another Pac-12 team’s gym in almost a year. The Utes missed their shot on Thursday when couldn’t hold a lead late at USC, then sleepwalked through a stinker Sunday at UCLA.

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

9. Oregon State Beavers (13-9, 3-7)

Last week: 10th

Someone please explain OSU to me, because I cannot for the life of me figure them out. The Beavers won Thursday at Stanford, adding to their previous victories over Arizona and Colorado (on the road) only to fall at Cal. Tres Tinkle deserves better than this as he climbs the Pac-12 career scoring chart.

Up next: Saturday vs. Oregon

10. California Golden Bears (10-11, 4-4)

Last week: 11th

Cal had a realistic shot of sweeping the Oregon schools at home but it didn’t have enough gas in the tank to hang with Oregon down the stretch. The Golden Bears were able to solve the puzzle that is Oregon State, however, and are a win away from matching the total they managed in Pac-12 play over the previous two seasons.

Up next: Thursday at Colorado, Saturday at Utah

11. Washington State Cougars (13-10, 4-6)

Last week: 9th

Wednesday’s win over ASU gave Washington State as many conference victories as it had in the previous two seasons and the 13 overall triumphs are their most since 2016-17. That doesn’t mean the Cougars are a good team—just look at what happens when CJ Elleby has a bad game—but they’re probably going to pick off another win or two along the way.

Up next: Sunday vs. Washington

12. Washington Huskies (12-11, 2-8)

Last week: 12th

Washington has dropped five in a row and the only team that has beaten No. 1 Baylor (for real) is now facing a three-game road trip. The talent being wasted in the form of big man Isaiah Stewart, who should never go 2 for 12 from the field like he did against Arizona or get just six shots like he had against ASU, is painful to watch.

Up next: Sunday at Washington State