Pac-12 play is underway and last night the top two teams faced each other.
1. Oregon (13-2, 2-0): The Ducks got their first signature win of the year last night. Oregon defeated Arizona and is home on Sunday vs. Arizona St. where they try to extend their home winning streak to 18.
2. Arizona (14-1, 2-1): The Wildcats were living on the edge this season and last night finally suffered their first loss of the season. The Wildcats were not as impressive as their 14-0 record but the Wildcats have the makeup of a potential final four team which the Pac 12/10 has been missing the past few years.
3. Arizona St. (14-2, 3-0): The Sun Devils have a head scratching home loss to DePaul but start off the Pac-12 undefeated. Arizona State has certainly improved since last year thanks to Freshman Point Guard, Jahii Carson. Carson and Senior Carrick Felix have the Sun Devils thinking NCAA Tournament.
4. UCLA (13-3, 3-0): Don’t look now but the Bruins have won 8 straight after a rough start. UCLA looks like things are finally clicking and look like the Pac-12 title will come back to Westwood. Shabazz Muhammad struggled from the field last night finishing with 6 points against Utah but the other four starters all finished in double figures. The Bruins are heading in the right direction, leading the conference.
5. Colorado (11-4, 1-2): Colorado has the #11 RPI in the country but lacks any solid victories. The Buffaloes started off Pac-12 play with trips and loses to both Arizona schools and this week host the Los Angeles teams. Colorado barely defeated USC and now has the streaking Bruins coming to Boulder this weekend.
6. Washington (10-5, 2-0): The Huskies have a soft schedule to start the Pac-12 and should start 5-0 in conference if they can win in Palo Alto Saturday night. Washington will have its work cut out for them to avoid missing the tournament again due to several nonconference losses.
7. California (9-6, 1-2): The Golden Bears didn’t start off conference play the way they hoped to but have some winnable games coming up these next two weeks. Allen Crabbe looks to continue to lead the conference at scoring.
8. Oregon St (10-5, 0-2): The Beavers suspended Eric Moreland indefinitely and are not the same team without him. Moreland is averaging a double-double with 10.8 points and 11.1 rebounds and Oregon St. hasn’t had a victory without him and won’t get one in their next two games with dates against Arizona and UCLA next up on their schedule.
9. Utah (8-7, 0-3): Utah may be winless so far in the Pac-12 but they have lost by a combined 8 points to three of the best teams in the conference. The Utes are better than a record and a start to a 6 game winning streak seems plausible.
10. Stanford (10-6, 1-2): Stanford lost to USC to start conference play and that’s not how the Cardinals wanted to start. USC vs. Stanford is usually one of the premiere matchups in football but its basketball season and those two schools will be battling for last in the conference.
11. USC (6-10, 1-2): USC already has matched their conference wins from last year with 1. The Trojans are a mess though and are the only team under 500 in the conference which frankly isn’t that great. A goal of winning a road game for the first time in over a year seems unrealistic.
12. Washington St. (9-6, 0-2): The Cougars should get their first victory in the Pac-12 next week against Utah or Colorado but there isn’t a lot of noise coming from Washington St. this season.
Match-up of the weekend: Arizona St @ Oregon
Player of the Week: Carrick Felix (Arizona St)