1. Arizona Wildcats (14-4)
Last Game: (W) 90-83 v. Oregon | Streak: 2W
The Wildcats had a slip-up on the road at Colorado, which is more proof that the Mountain region trip is still a daunting trek for Pac-12 squads, than that there’s anything wrong with Arizona. Sean Miller’s group is far from perfect, but they’re inching in that direction, one victory at a time.
2. UCLA Bruins (13-5)
Last Game: (L) 68-59 v. Colorado | Streak: 1L
Steve Alford and company will tentatively jump the Sun Devils, as they’re now tied with their cross-town rivals, USC, with the second best league record at 4-2. The Bruins got clipped against giant-killer Colorado (surprise, surprise) but the scoring prowess of this squad is impressive. A manageable two weeks awaits them, if they bring their best efforts.
3. Arizona State Sun Devils (14-3)
Last Game: (W) 77-75 v. Oregon State | Streak: 1W
The key is to not overreact to Arizona State’s start to the Pac-12 season, as the Sun Devils still boast one of the best resumes in the league and arguably it’s scariest offense. Bobby Hurley’s squad has stopped the bleeding for now and they’re beginning to look like the early season versions of themselves once again.
4. USC Trojans (13-6)
Last Game: (W) 84-67 v. Utah | Streak: 2W
USC fell victim to a heart-breaking buzzer-beater against Stanford, which was the only blip for a team who has won four of their last five games. The fact that the Trojans have really rallied around De’Anthony Melton’s season suspension instead of letting it divide them, is a sign of a very focused and driven team.
5. Stanford Cardinal (10-8)
Last Game: (W) 73-64 at Washington | Streak: 4W
There’s a part of me that can’t believe I’m even writing this, as Stanford has been buried at the bottom of our “Power Rankings” since the season started. However, the team has regrouped in Pac-12 play and knocked off UCLA and USC, before sweeping their journey to Washington. It’s a case of giving credit where credit is due for the Cardinal right now.
6. Washington Huskies (13-5)
Last Game: (L) 73-64 v. Stanford | Streak: 1L
The enigma of the league to this point, there’s times when the newness around Mike Hopkins first season with the program is evident and times when it simply seems not to matter. Washington feels like a group who is still discovering themselves, which is dangerous this deep into the season. Consistency will become king for the Huskies.
7. Colorado Buffaloes (11-7)
Last Game: (W) 68-59 at UCLA | Streak: 1W
The Buffs have been a similarly up-and-down group like Washington, who are capable of beating or losing to any team on any night. The most unique thing about this Colorado group has been their ability to play (and win) at so many different paces, which was evident in victories over Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA.
8. Oregon Ducks (12-6)
Last Game: (L) 90-83 at Arizona | Streak: 1L
Like Colorado, Oregon’s potential is what keeps this team so interesting as after they dropped a rivalry contest against Oregon State, they went and knocked off Arizona State in Tempe. The Ducks have pieces that are getting better by the week but they may have already put themselves in too big of a hole to become an NCAA Tournament squad.
9. Utah Utes (10-7)
Last Game: (L) 84-67 at USC | Streak: 4L
A post-game rant by an athletic director is always a pretty good indicator of how frustrating of a season it’s been for a program on the fringe. It’s not that Utah is really under-performing so much, as it is that their unexpected off-season losses just put this program in a tough spot. A two-game home-stand could help them get back on track.
10. Oregon State Beavers (10-7)
Last Game: (L) 77-75 at Arizona State | Streak: 2L
After beating Oregon in a challenging Civil War contest, Oregon State couldn’t keep their good vibes rolling into road clashes at Arizona and Arizona State. The Beavers were right there late in the second-half against both teams, which shows the ability of this team when they’re focused. The moral victories for Oregon State need to end though.
11. Washington State Cougars (9-8)
Last Game: (W) 78-53 v. California | Streak: 1W
Oh, Washington State. The hits-and-misses from the Cougars this season have not been good for Ernie Kent’s blood pressure, at any single step along the way. Like a few other teams in the conference, Washington State shows flashes of brilliance, but they’re simply all over the place. A solid beating of California was good for this team’s psyche.
12. California Golden Bears (7-11)
Last Game: (L) 78-53 at Washington State | Streak: 4L
The Golden Bears stunned Stanford to begin the conference season and have gone completely backwards ever since, as they’ve lost their all of their last four Pac-12 match-ups by double-digits. California sports one of the country’s worst defenses, that currently allows 80.3 points per game to opponents. That just won’t get the job done at this level.