1. Arizona Wildcats (20-2)
Last Game: (W) 77-66 v. Washington | Streak: 14W
It was a mix of Arizona’s improved play and Oregon’s slip-up against Colorado that pushed the Wildcats into the top spot. Sean Miller’s group is seriously hitting his stride and at the moment, they could be the favorites to win the Pac-12. A road trip to Eugene on Saturday night to square off with Oregon should be the ultimate test of this squad’s moxie.
2. Oregon Ducks (19-3)
Last Game: (L) 74-65 at Colorado | Streak: 1L
Oregon’s loss to Colorado was absolutely stunning but it’s not to say that the sky is falling quite yet in Eugene. A recently snapped seventeen-game win streak still has to carry some sort of weight. However, the Ducks will have something to prove when they meet up with Arizona State, Arizona, UCLA and USC in the next two weeks.
3. UCLA Bruins (19-3)
Last Game: (L) 84-76 at USC | Streak: 2L
There’s no way around it, UCLA had back-to-back outings that did nothing for their tournament resume but losses to Arizona and on the road at rival USC are nothing to scoff at. Sure, the Bruins aren’t in their early-season form, but there’s a reason they’re still 3-1 favorites to win the NCAA Championship in Las Vegas.
4. California Golden Bears (15-6)
Last Game: (W) 66-55 v. Stanford | Streak: 2W
The Golden Bears only have two losses to non-ranked teams on the year (San Diego State and Seton Hall) and have found key victories against the thick of the Pac-12. Going forward though, this California group needs to have a legitimate breakthrough against a ranked opponent. Freshman guard Charlie Moore is coming into his own as one of the conference’s best newcomers.
5. Utah Utes (15-6)
Last Game: (W) 86-78 v. Oregon State | Streak: 1W
There’s a lot to like about this Utah team, which makes the Utes’ showdown on Thursday night with California just that much more interesting. Forward Kyle Kuzma is playing at an all-Pac-12 level and big man David Collette is a strong second option. Utah has five scorers averaging double-digits and only one ranked opponent (Oregon) left on their slate. The road ahead bodes well for the Utes.
6. USC Trojans (18-4)
Last Game: (W) 84-76 v. UCLA | Streak: 2W
The Trojans secured one of the biggest Pac-12 victories of the season with a surprise win over rival UCLA and looking back, it seems like their four-day stretch when they dropped games to California and Utah may have been a fluke. Swingman Elijah Stewart is on a torrid pace, averaging 21.3 points per game over his last three contests.
7. Stanford Cardinal (11-10)
Last Game: (L) 66-55 at California | Streak: 2L
Stanford has been a streaky team all season long, who need to find more consistency within games and not have such daunting offensive lulls and defensive collapses. It just seems like every time something goes right for the Cardinal, something else goes wrong. Case in point, star forward Reid Travis had a strong 17-point, 5-rebound outing in his return against Cal, while second-leading scorer Dorian Pickens (0 points, 0-3 FG) went missing.
8. Washington State Cougars (11-10)
Last Game: (W) 91-83 at Arizona State | Streak: 1W
After starting conference play at 2-4, Washington State has won two of their last three, which only was interrupted by a road trip to Arizona. The Cougars scored 91 points in both wins over Colorado and Arizona State, where senior guard Ike Iroegbu morphed into a bigger piece of the puzzle for Washington State. With a big-time talent like Josh Hawkinson on the roster, the Cougars are always dangerous.
9. Arizona State Sun Devils (10-12)
Last Game: (L) 91-83 v. Washington State | Streak: 1L
It’s starting to look like Arizona State’s road trip to Corvallis on Saturday night could set the Beavers up for their first win of the conference season, but who knows with Bobby Hurley’s hot-and-cold group. The Sun Devils have three guards who average over 15 points per contest but just two wins in the month of January. Inconsistency runs this squad.
10. Colorado Buffaloes (12-10)
Last Game: (W) 74-65 v. Oregon | Streak: 2W
It was never that Colorado was a depth chart lacking talent but instead, it was that the Buffaloes looked endless disjointed through their first handful of Pac-12 games. However, in the past week, it all seemed to click for Tad Boyle and company. The Buffs snagged an upset of Oregon, that may help to change their fortunes in the Golden State this week against Stanford and California.
11. Washington Huskies (9-12)
Last Game: (L) 77-66 at Arizona | Streak: 3L
Sophomores David Crisp and Noah Dickerson were both solid in a loss to Arizona but this team just isn’t straying from a Markelle Fultz-heavy offense. If things were rolling for the Huskies, critics would be silent about Fultz heaving up 23 shots in an 11-point loss. When you’re 2-7 in conference and your best win on the season is over Colorado (RPI - 112), the critique is warranted.
12. Oregon State Beavers (4-14)
Last Game: (L) 86-78 @ Utah | Streak: 9L
The Beavers improved their quality of play in two close road losses at Colorado and Utah but without an actual win, moral victories are what Oregon State will have to settle for. However, freshman guard Jaquori McLaughlin may be emerging as a legitimate, third option on offense for the Beavers, a trend that can only help them down the stretch.