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Feb 27, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans players Omar Oraby (55), Aaron Fuller (21), Eric Wise (34) and Renaldo Woolridge (0) celebrate after the game against the Arizona Wildcats at the Galen Center. USC defeated Arizona 89-78. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 Power Rankings 3/1: March Madness Officially Begins!

1. California (19-9, 11-5): The Golden Bears have won six straight and eight of their past nine. Some of their games have been close but it’s still a W. It is officially March now and the saying is survive and advance and that is exactly what Cal did for February, let’s see if they can do it in March. Cal has two home games against Colorado and Stanford to finish their regular season and needs to win them both for a shot at the conference championship.

2. Oregon (23-6, 12-4): The Ducks finally got point guard Dominic Artis back in their win against rival Oregon State. Oregon will close out the season on the road at Colorado and at Utah to see if they can claim the Pac-12 regular season throne. Second-leading scorer Damyean Dotson left the game against the Beavers with a bruised hip and his status will be questionable. The Ducks control their own destiny but a slip up on the road will leave the door open for UCLA, Cal, & Arizona.

3. UCLA (21-7, 11-4): The Bruins had a great week with a win at rival USC and holding on to beat the Sun Devils at home in a trap game. UCLA hosts Arizona Saturday night and College GameDay will be on campus. UCLA sits a half game back of the Ducks and if they win out, at worst they would share the Pac-12 with Oregon. After hosting Arizona, the Bruins go on the road to the Washington teams to finish the regular season. Is winning the Pac-12 enough to salvage Ben Howlands job?

4. Arizona (23-5, 11-5): The Wildcats haven’t progressed through the season as Sean Miller hoped. The Wildcats started 14-0 with wins over Miami and Florida which will lead to Arizona getting the highest seed in the NCAA Tournament out of Pac-12 teams. Truthfully speaking Arizona isn’t as good as their ranking or potential seed because the Pac-12 isn’t great and the Wildcats aren’t getting it done as one expected. With their lack of a point guard, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are one and done in the NCAA Tournament.

5. Colorado (19-8, 9-6): The Buffaloes have won 5 of 6 and slowly improving their tournament resume. Colorado had a great non-conference schedule other than the loss to Wyoming and is currently projected as #9 seed in the NCAA. Colorado has a tough stretch to finish the regular season but anything short of the wheels falling off, the Buffaloes should be dancing.

6. USC (13-15, 8-7): The Trojans not only pulled off the upset against Arizona but cruised their way to one of their best wins in years. Last week I suggested it wouldn’t be too farfetched for USC to win the Pac-12 tournament and get in the dance and a week later I feel more confident. The Trojans host Arizona State and then go to Washington to face the Huskies and Cougars to finish the regular season.

7. Arizona State (20-9, 9-7): The Sun Devils lost both games this past week and practically eliminated any chance of a NCAA Tournament bid. Arizona State is currently projected to be one of the first teams out but the Sun Devils finish their season @USC & @Arizona which will cement their NIT fate barring a miraculous run in Las Vegas.

8. Washington (15-13, 7-8):  The Huskies won at Arizona State but the season is still a disappointment. Washington heads into their final three games with a chance to finish .500 in conference and to play spoiler to UCLA in the regular season finale.

9. Stanford (16-13, 7-9): STICK A FORK IN STANFORD BECAUSE THEY ARE OFFICALLY DONE! I don’t know why I had hope in the Cardinals but the losses to Oregon and Colorado sealed their doom. Johnny Dawkins’ job status will be up in the air when the Cardinals season is officially over.

10. Utah (11-16, 3-12): The Utes only need to win one of their final three games to surpass last season’s win total of three. Utah’s best opportunity will be March 7th against Oregon State. Also don’t be surprised to see Utah in the game late against Oregon in their season finale.

11. Oregon State (13-16, 3-13): The close games continued for Oregon State who lost by 1 to Cal and then followed up with a 10 point loss at Oregon even with a halftime lead. The Beavers finish their season at Utah and at Colorado.

12. Washington State (11-17, 2-13): The Cougars have been terrible and expect them to lose out to finish the year on a 12 game losing streak. Does Washington State even deserve a bid in the Pac-12 tournament?

 

Game of the weekend: Arizona @ UCLA (College GameDay)

Upset Alert: Colorado over Oregon

Player of the Week: Justin Cobbs (California)

Biggest Climb: UCLA +2

Biggest Fall: Arizona -3

Tags: College GameDay NCAA Tournament Pac-12 Power Rankings

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