1. Arizona State Sun Devils (10-0)
Last Game: (W) 76-64 v. Vanderbilt | Streak: 10W
The Sun Devils have solidified their spot as one of the best teams in the country, after a string of impressive victories that was highlighted by an extremely rare road win at Kansas. If Arizona State has any knock on them at the moment, it’s that their defense is still very suspect, but that seems to be nothing that a top-five offense nationally can’t fix. There’s the Sun Devils and then everyone else in the Pac-12 at the moment.
2. Arizona Wildcats (8-3)
Last Game: (W) 89-73 at New Mexico | Streak: 5W
Still expected to be the favorites in the Pac-12 (as critics try and wrap their head around the idea of Arizona State), Arizona is gradually getting it’s act together after a less than stellar start to the season. The Wildcats have figured things out offensively, which has fueled their 85.2 points per game average over their last five contests. What they haven’t exactly fixed yet is their defense, which hurt them dearly in early season losses.
3. USC Trojans (6-3)
Last Game: (W) 98-87 v. UC-Santa Barbara | Streak: 2W
USC probably needed to beat Oklahoma to bring some external believers of this team on board, as the preseason hype surrounding this group is beginning to wear off at a rapid pace. The Trojans best win on the season continues to be a road victory at Vanderbilt, which won’t help their NCAA Tournament resume too much, with a weak non-conference slate remaining. USC will need to continue to take care of business.
4. Oregon Ducks (9-3)
Last Game: (W) 68-61 at Fresno State | Streak: 4W
Since their loss at the buzzer to Boise State, which snapped the Ducks’ 46-game home winning streak, Oregon has looked like a refocused unit in their quest to prove their conference legitimacy. The Ducks are finding new pieces to rely upon (ahem, Kenny Wooten) and are cutting down on their offensive lulls, which hindered them in defeats to UCONN, Oklahoma and Boise State.
5. Washington Huskies (8-3)
Last Game: (W) 80-77 v. LMU | Streak: 1W
Washington’s win on the road against a second-ranked Kansas squad, (a feat now two Pac-12 teams have achieved), was an eye-opening display in a litmus test for this team. The Huskies took a step back in a tough loss to Gonzaga for in-state bragging rights, but what they’ve already accomplished cannot be underrated. The only other team to beat the Jayhawks in Lawrence this season is in the number one spot on our list. That’s worth something.
6. UCLA Bruins (7-3)
Last Game: (L) 77-63 v. Cincinnati | Streak: 2L
No, Star Wars Day at Pauley Pavilion couldn’t help the Bruins past the Bearcats, which was UCLA’s second loss in a row after a tough trip to Ann Arbor against Michigan. To write Steve Alford’s squad off right now would be a bit premature, considering they only go eight deep and have a bevy of issues across the board to figure out. The Bruins will be better, it’s just a case of if and when for UCLA.
7. Oregon State Beavers (8-3)
Last Game: (W) 63-60 v. Saint Louis | Streak: 6W
The Beavers have put together their first six game winning streak ever under head coach Wayne Tinkle, which already signals quite a turnaround from last year’s 5-27 campaign. If it’s not the interior combo of Tres Tinkle and Drew Eubanks on any given night, it’s the perimeter play of Stephen Thompson Jr. and Ethan Thompson that gets it done for the Beavers. Whatever it may be, it’s working right now in Corvallis.
8. Utah Utes (7-3)
Last Game: (L) 77-65 at BYU | Streak: 1L
The Utes split the war for the Beehive State, knocking off Utah State and falling away from home at BYU, to add more mystery to this 7-3 team than maybe any other squad in the country. At times, Utah looks like it’ll be another year of plug-and-play under Larry Krystkowiak, where roster turnover never seems to be a detriment to the Utes hitting the twenty-win plateau. But at other times, the road ahead looks bleak for Utah.
9. Colorado Buffaloes (8-3)
Last Game: (W) 112-103 2OT v. South Dakota State | Streak: 1W
The biggest game on Colorado’s non-conference slate may come Friday night against Iowa, where the Buffs’ first real test against another power-conference, middle-of-the-pack unit will be waiting for them. A blowout defeat at the hands of Xavier and a slip up against San Diego proved nothing and simply kept the questions lingering around this team. If Colorado can find their way past the Hawkeyes, they’ll be 9-3 heading into conference play.
10. Washington State Cougars (7-3)
Last Game: (W) 72-59 v. IUPUI | Streak: 1W
After a 6-0 start to the year, Washington State has lost three of their four games overall, which included back-to-back road losses at Idaho and UTEP. That’s not a good claim to stake for a program that looked to be turning the corner just a few weeks ago, despite a massive exodus of talent from the program. As expected forward Robert Franks and Malachi Flynn have been electric, but there’s simply no depth at all behind the duo.
11. Stanford Cardinal (6-6)
Last Game: (W) 71-59 v. San Francisco | Streak: 2W
Stanford has still yet to impress, showing that their slow start to the 2017-2018 campaign may not have been a fluke but rather, a sign of things to come for this squad. The Cardinal just seem to be playing with a serious lack of urgency, even in the closest of contests, where a veteran-laden group should be more well-rounded and confident. There’s talent on the depth chart but the chemistry is missing for this team.
12. California Golden Bears (5-6)
Last Game: (W) 95-89 OT v. Cal State-Fullerton | Streak: 2W
Since their slip-up against Division II Chaminade in the Maui Invitational, California has won three of their last five games, which included an impressive road win at San Diego State. The Golden Bears dropping a contest to Saint Mary’s is understood, but their their twenty-seven point defeat at the hands of Central Arkansas is the reason why this group is still at the bottom of the league. Consistency is king.