1. Oregon (17-2, 6-0): Oregon is the last remaining undefeated team in conference play. The Ducks went into Westwood Saturday and handed the Bruins their only loss in 2013. Oregon is on a 8 game winning streak and coach Dana Altman is getting consideration for National Coach of the Year. The Ducks are done playing UCLA & Arizona (thanks to an unbalanced schedule) and a Pac-12 title is in sight.
2. UCLA (16-4, 6-1): The Bruins go up a spot even after getting their first loss in the conference. UCLA had a chance to beat Oregon but the Bruins went cold in the 2nd half which blew their lead and ultimately the game to the Ducks. The Bruins bounced back very nicely to defeat #6 Arizona last night on the road. Bill Walton may have made some off the wall comments during his commentary of the game but that is what makes Bill Walton, Bill Walton.
3. Arizona (16-2, 4-2): A #1 seed for the NCAA tournament went out the window last night with a home loss to UCLA. The Wildcats seemed to be ranked too high and are probably in the 10-15 range in the country. The Wildcats should coast through the rest of their schedule until the rematch with UCLA in Westwood on March 2nd. That game has potential to be for the Pac-12 title.
4. Arizona St. (15-4, 4-2): The Sun Devils lost their showdown to Arizona but won the most entertaining game of the week with an overtime win against USC. Arizona State has the Bruins coming to town Saturday and a win over UCLA would put them on the bubble, closer to getting a tournament bid for themselves and the fourth team from the conference.
5. USC (8-12, 3-4): The Trojans are looking like a brand new team and that is why they are soaring up the rankings. This team might be 8-12 but they are no longer the slouch, we expect from USC basketball. Their two losses since firing Kevin O’Neill were by 2 to Oregon and an overtime loss to Arizona St. Their next two games are at Arizona and at UCLA but expect the Trojans to be in both of those games. Starting February, USC has a favorable schedule that should get them back to .500 overall.
6. Colorado (13-6, 3-4): The Buffaloes already have taken advantage of their current soft stretch. One of two teams to win both games since last week’s rankings. Colorado should extend their winning streak to four before a date with Oregon on Feb. 7th. Andre Roberson leads the county in rebounding thanks to a 20 board effort last night against Stanford.
7. Washington (12-7, 4-2): Washington had an absolutely awful past 7 days in college basketball. On Saturday they at home to previous winless Utah Utes and then followed up the poor showing with another one against Oregon State. The Huskies face the top 4 teams in their next four games. At least the NBA will be coming back to Washington.
8. Stanford (11-8, 2-4): The Cardinals beat their rival Cal and that is why they are ahead of them in the rankings. Johnny Dawkins’ seat is getting warmer by the day and if the Cardinals lose to Utah, it may be the end for the Coach K disciple.
9. California (11-7, 3-3): Allen Crabbe is continuing to put the Golden Bears on his back, averaging 19.8 points a game. Cal has alternated wins and loses all of 2013 but that trend will come to an end with a very difficult schedule ahead.
10. Oregon St. (11-8, 1-5): The angry Beavers finally got their first win in conference play. Oregon State is done playing both Los Angeles and Arizona schools so they have a good chance of climbing up the standings before the Pac-12 tournament begins.
11. Washington St. (10-9, 1-5): Good news… The Cougars beat Utah on January 16th so they stay ahead of the Utes. Bad news… Washington St. doesn’t play Utah again and is close to the bottom of Division 1 in Points, Rebounds, Assists and Field Goals Per Game. Brock Motum needs help from his supporting cast if the Cougars want to avoid last in the conference.
12. Utah (9-10, 1-6): Utah got its first win with their road victory at Washington. They followed up their win with another close loss, this time to Cal. The Utes can get a win on Sunday with their home date against Stanford. Utah needs to increaser their scoring and maybe that will help swing some of their close games in their favor.
Match-up of the weekend: UCLA @ Arizona St.
Upset Alert: USC over Arizona
Player of the Week: E.J. Singler (Oregon)
Biggest Climb: USC +3
Biggest Fall: Cal & Washington -3