1. UCLA Bruins (12-0)
Last Game: (W) 86-73 v. Ohio State | Streak: 12W
The Bruins have been tested over and over again this season but their mix of new talent and old mainstays have remained a lethal combination to opponents. UCLA is only trailing The Citadel in average points per game as a team in the country and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
2. USC Trojans (10-0)
Last Game: (W) 82-77 v. Troy | Streak: 10W
The Trojans are probably on their last benefit of the doubt two-week period at the number two spot, as Arizona, California and Oregon are all looking like they’ve finally gotten their acts together. A fairly easy finish to the non-conference slate should help their cause, but dual road games in the state of Oregon before the start of 2017 is on the horizon.
3. Arizona Wildcats (10-2)
Last Game: (W) 67-63 v. Texas A&M | Streak: 4W
Arizona is making their case to take over the number two spot from USC, as the Wildcats are only getting closer to fulfilling this team’s potential, which if actually reached, could result in a deep tournament run for Sean Miller’s program. Even through some injuries and unfortunate twists of fate, Arizona still has one of the conference’s most gifted rosters.
4. Oregon Ducks (10-2)
Last Game: (W) 83-63 v. UNLV | Streak: 8W
After a 2-2 start to the season, the Ducks have pulled off eight straight wins heading into Tuesday’s showdown with Fresno State, their last non-conference meeting on their schedule before Pac-12 play begins. Oregon has beaten the likes of Valparaiso, Tennessee, UCONN, Boise State, Alabama and UNLV along the way so it’s hard to deny that the Ducks haven't been battle-tested thus far.
5. California Golden Bears (9-2)
Last Game: (W) 81-55 v. Cal-Poly | Streak: 2W
Head coach Cuonzo Martin and company are still looking for that signature win to validate their 2016 season so far, which could come on Wednesday night in a meeting with #13 Virginia. The Golden Bears have continued to improve into the last month of the calendar year, especially since senior Jabari Bird has returned to the line-up.
6. Colorado Buffaloes (8-3)
Last Game: (W) 81-71 v. Fort Hays State | Streak: 1W
The Buffs spoiled an impressive upset of Xavier with a slip-up in a road trip to BYU, which has only added to the roller coaster nature of this Colorado group. Tad Boyle’s guys will remain the dark-horse in the conference until they can find some more consistency in their efforts.
7. Stanford Cardinal (7-3)
Last Game: (W) 79-55 v. Cal-State East Bay | Streak: 1W
Back-to-back fifteen point losses to the likes of Saint Mary’s and Kansas won’t do too much to hurt the Cardinal’s confidence but a third straight Division I loss at SMU on Monday night could create a sinking feeling for this group. The Mustangs should be a tough test for an improving Stanford team.
8. Utah Utes (7-2)
Last Game: (W) 92-60 v. Prairie View A&M | Streak: 1W
The Utes have been helped by a mostly lackluster non-conference schedule, which besides losses to Butler and Xavier, has been a platter of cupcake games. It’s hard to penalize a team for going 7-2 but they’ll get to prove their worth once conference play gets going.
9. Arizona State Sun Devils (6-5)
Last Game: (L) 81-70 v. New Mexico State | Streak: 1L
Since winning their opener against Portland State, the Sun Devils have traded wins and losses on a game-by-game basis. Arizona State has four scorers averaging double-digits but a real lack of depth is what’s holding this team back. The road ahead only gets tougher, with a Tuesday night match-up with Creighton on the horizon.
10. Washington Huskies (5-5)
Last Game: (W) 92-86 v. Western Michigan | Streak: 1W
Washington State fans can be mad about the Huskies still being ranked in front of them but as with every other team in the conference, it’s the last benefit of the doubt outing that they’ll get. A win over Western Michigan broke a four-game losing skid for the Huskies, albeit to respectable opponents along the way.
11. Washington St. Cougars (6-5)
Last Game: (W) 69-68 v. Santa Clara | Streak: 1W
The Cougars escaped against Santa Clara, with help from a last-second block by guard Charles Callison, to keep their heads above water for another game. Washington State will get a week and a half of rest from the day after they play Sacramento State until they square off with Washington, which could help this team be prepared for the start of the Pac-12 season.
12. Oregon State Beavers (3-9)
Last Game: (L) 53-45 v. Portland | Streak: 5L
The Beavers have hit rock bottom, with five straight losses, including dropping their last two showdowns to the likes of Savannah State and Long Beach State. Oregon State still hasn’t beaten a Division I opponent since their win over UT-San Antonio back on November 13th.