clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Power ranking Pac-12 basketball with one week left in the regular season

pac-12-college-basketball-2020-power-rankings-march-ucla-bruins-oregon-ducks-analysis-standings Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019-20 regular season ends in less than a week, and your current Pac-12 leader is UCLA.

No, seriously.

A 7-game win streak has the Bruins occupying the top spot, holding a half-game lead over Oregon after being picked to finish eighth in the preseason poll. But they’re unlikely to finish as the No. 1 seed, however, since the Ducks play their last two games at home (against Cal and Stanford) while the Bruins travel to rival USC to finish things out and Oregon has the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Nevertheless, UCLA’s run the last few weeks has been phenomenal and gives the Pac-12 a shot at as many as seven NCAA tournament bids depending on how things go between now and Selection Sunday.

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 (22-7, 11-5)

Last week: 2nd

Oregon is the only team in the Pac-12 yet to lose at home, improving to 15-0 at Matthew Knight Arena with Thursday’s 15-point win over rival Oregon State. That means its very unlikely the Ducks will lose there to Cal or Stanford on the final weekend, all but ensuring them of at least a share of the regular-season title they were predicted to win back in the preseason. Win both and they lock up the No. 1 seed in Las Vegas.

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

2. UCLA Bruins (19-11, 12-5)

Last week: 3rd

A 21-point loss at Oregon on Jan. 26 dropped UCLA to 10-10 overall and 3-4 in league play. Since then the Bruins have been nearly unbeatable, and of late they’ve been an extremely clutch team by showing the ability to come back late. They beat ASU on a buzzer-beater on Thursday and then outscored Arizona 11-2 in the final four minutes on Saturday to win by five, putting them firmly into NCAA tourney consideration.

Up next: Saturday at USC

3. Arizona State Sun Devils (19-10, 10-6)

Last week: 1st

It was a fun storyline while it lasted, that being ASU finding itself in first place this late in the season for the first time since joining the conference in the late 1970s. But after being swept in Los Angeles the Sun Devils are out of the title race and need help to do better than the No. 3 seed in the Pac-12 tourney. Sweep the Washington schools this weekend and there won’t be any sweating on Selection Sunday.

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

4. USC Trojans (21-9, 10-7)

Last week: 7th

Sweeping the Arizona schools at home has massively improved USC’s NCAA resume and put them in the mix for a top-4 seed in Vegas if a few things go its way. More likely the Trojans will be playing on Wednesday, where it can pick up an extra victory to pad that number, but more valuable would be able to knock off red-hot UCLA in the regular-season finale.

Up next: Saturday vs. UCLA

5. Colorado Buffaloes (21-9, 10-7)

Last week: 4th

Colorado sure picked the wrong time for its first three-game skid in more than two years, getting swept in the Bay Area—including a pathetic 14-point loss at Cal—after falling at home to UCLA the previous weekend. The Buffaloes now must win at Utah (which hasn’t happened since 2012) and get a lot of help to be able to avoid playing in the first round of the Pac-12 tourney.

Up next: Saturday at Utah

6. Arizona Wildcats (19-10, 9-7)

Last week: 5th

Not having super athlete Josh Green for the Los Angeles trip made the chances of being swept that much greater, and his absence due to a back injury was certainly felt. But one player isn’t going to change the downward trend of this team that can’t figure things out on offense and has no idea how to close out a game.

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

7. Stanford Cardinal (20-9, 9-7)

A home sweep of the Mountain schools means Stanford now has two 4-game conference win streaks sandwiched around a run of seven losses in eight games. And it’s that meat in the middle that will force the Cardinal to play early in Vegas, though at least a split at the Oregon schools this weekend could put them in line for an NCAA bid.

Last week: 6th

Up next: Thursday at Oregon State, Saturday at Oregon

8. California Golden Bears (13-16, 7-9)

Last week: 10th

Say what you want about Mark Fox’s coaching style, he’s somehow managed to get the most out of the empty cabinet of a roster he inherited. The Golden Bears swept the Mountain schools at home and now look like they’ll be the No. 8 seed in the Pac-12 tourney, four spots higher than the preseason poll.

Up next: Thursday at Oregon, Saturday at Oregon State

9. Utah Utes (15-14, 6-11)

Last week: 9th

Utah completed a winless Pac-12 road slate with two losses in the Bay, falling at Cal in overtime to for its 10th straight league road defeat. But the Utes are 6-1 at home and can mess with Colorado’s seed in the finale, then they get to play the conference tourney on the same court in Las Vegas as where they shocked Kentucky back in December.

Up next: Saturday vs. Colorado

10. Washington State Cougars (15-14, 6-10)

Last week: 11th

Friday’s 78-74 win in Seattle gave Washington State its first season sweep of its in-state rival since 2017. Kyle Smith won’t win Coach of the Year but the Cougars’ decision to pluck him away from San Francisco is looking like a home run hire.

Up next: Thursday at Arizona, Saturday at Arizona State

11. Oregon State Beavers (15-13, 5-11)

Last week: 8th

Four straight losses, the most recent by 15 at Oregon, has Oregon State looking at no better than the No. 9 seed in the Pac-12 tournament. Tres Tinkle should have long since passed Gary Payton for first place on the Beavers’ career scoring list, sitting just six back of The Glove entering the final weekend.

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

12. Washington Huskies (13-16, 3-13)

Last week: 12th

The number of similarities between this Washington team and the 2016-17 squad (that featured NBA players Markelle Fultz and Matisse Thybulle) continued with Friday’s home loss to Washington State. That was the last time the Huskies were swept by the Cougars, the most telling indicator yet of how much they’ve underachieved this season.

Up next: Thursday at Arizona State, Saturday at Arizona