1. UCLA Bruins (9-0)
Last Game: (W) 97-92 @ #1 Kentucky | Streak: 9W
If UCLA needed to prove the true ability of a reworked roster, they surely got the job done on the biggest stage, by heading into Lexington and knocking off the country’s top-ranked team in Kentucky in impressive fashion. The Bruins have been an offensive juggernaut so far this season, averaging the third most points per game as a team in the country, with six players posting double-digits. So far, this UCLA team looks to be the toughest squad in the conference.
2. USC Trojans (8-0)
Last Game: (W) 91-84 v. BYU* | Streak: 8W
There was plausible cause for concern when the Trojans lost Bennie Boatwright for six weeks with a knee sprain but with six players (including Boatwright) averaging 10.5 points or more per game, depth doesn’t seem to be USC’s problem. The play of point guard Jordan McLaughlin has also fueled the Trojans’ hot start.
3. Arizona Wildcats (6-2)
Last Game: (L) 69-62 v. Gonzaga* | Streak: 1L
Injuries have stalled some of the lofty expectations of this Arizona team and while they may not have hindered them against lesser opponents, a lack of depth definitely reared it’s head in losses to Butler and Gonzaga. The rest of the Wildcats’ non-conference slate stays intriguing, with games against UC-Irvine, Missouri, Grand Canyon, Texas A&M and New Mexico, all on the horizon.
4. Oregon Ducks (7-2)
Last Game: (W) 128-59 v. Savannah State | Streak: 5W
Oregon stumbled out of the gate to a 2-2 start but since Dana Altman’s guys have settled in, they’ve beaten the likes of Tennessee, UCONN and Boise State. The return of Dillon Brooks has been pivotal to their improved form, which was on full display in their school-record 128 point outing against Savannah State.
5. California Golden Bears (6-1)
Last Game: (W) 83-59 v. Alcorn State | Streak: 4W
It’s hard to penalize a team for winning six of their seven games but outside of the Golden Bears meeting with San Diego State, California hasn’t had anything nearing a marquee game on their slate. That’ll change with match-ups against Princeton and Seton Hall in the next three days.
6. Colorado Buffaloes (6-2)
Last Game: (W) 76-63 @ Portland | Streak: 1W
Tad Boyle’s team was expected to be a “dark-horse” contender in the conference and while some of the names are new in Boulder, the culture around the Buffs program remains the same. Wednesday’s test against Xavier and a weekend road trip to BYU could prove just how “for real” this Colorado group is.
7. Utah Utes (5-1)
Last Game: (W) 92-84 v. Montana State | Streak: 1W
The Utes may have five wins to their name but with victories over two non-Division I foes, as well as lackluster opponents like Coppin State, UC-Riverside and Montana State, Utah hasn’t proved too much yet. A nine-point loss to Butler may have revealed the most about this squad so far.
8. Washington Huskies (4-3)
Last Game: (L) 86-71 @ TCU | Streak: 2L
The hype around the Huskies has been centered around freshman Markelle Fultz, who has been every bit as good as advertised thus far in the young season. It’s just been TCU that’s really been the Huskies’ biggest problem. The Horned Frogs beat Washington twice already this season in a four-day period, both by double-digits.
9. Stanford Cardinal (6-3)
Last Game: (L) 89-74 @ #4 Kansas | Streak: 2L
The Cardinal may have blemishes to their name but Jerod Haase’s first campaign in Palo Alto is one where Stanford will be tested, again and again. Before the start of conference play, a road trip to SMU still awaits the Cardinal.
10. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-3)
Last Game: (W) 97-73 v. UNLV | Streak: 1W
Arizona State has three “respectable” losses their name with slip-ups against Northern Iowa, Davidson and Kentucky, but an up-and-down slate hasn't allowed for many impressive wins. There is some belief though, that the Sun Devils did turn the corner on their season in their 24-point thrashing of UNLV.
11. Oregon State Beavers (3-6)
Last Game: (L) 69-66 @ Charlotte | Streak: 2L
The Beavers will get the benefit of the doubt for at least four more games, as Oregon State is still learning to live without forward Tres Tinkle, while developing a youthful roster. However, there’s no way to get around the fact that Oregon State hasn’t beaten a Division I opponent since November 13th.
12. Washington State Cougars (4-4)
Last Game: (L) 70-54 v. New Orleans | Streak: 1L
Ernie Kent’s third season in Pullman is off to a another strange start, as the Cougars have already dropped games to the likes of Loyola (IL), San Jose State and New Orleans. A win over a surprising Utah Valley team, who knocked off BYU in Provo, is really all Washington State has to their name at the moment.