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BTD’s Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings: 1/29

USC is gradually becoming a title contender in the Pac-12.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Tulsa Photo by David Klutho/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

1. Arizona Wildcats (18-4)

Last Game: (W) 74-73 v. Utah | Streak: 6W

Arizona has now won fifteen of their last sixteen games overall, which puts this group’s 3-3 start to the season to remain lingering as an interesting Selection Sunday conversation topic. Still not as dominant of a team as you’d expect from Sean Miller at the defensive end of the floor and on the glass, there’s still no other program in the Pac-12 that really compares to the Wildcats right now.

2. USC Trojans (17-6)

Last Game: (W) 77-59 v. California | Streak: 6W

The Trojans have pulled off six straight victories to become the now-third different team (Arizona State, UCLA) this season that’s tried to claim the title of the best unit in the league not named Arizona. Despite all the off-the-court distractions surrounding this program, ranging from De’Anthony Melton’s suspension to the recent firing of assistant coach Tony Bland, USC has kept it all together in surprising fashion on the hardwood.

3. UCLA Bruins (15-7)

Last Game: (W) 89-73 v. Stanford | Streak: 2W

Steve Alford’s boys have really slipped into the third spot by default, as the rest of the league behind the top tier of teams is almost a sinking ship at this point. The Bruins had an awful road trip to the Beaver State, where they dropped games to both Oregon and Oregon State, but found their footing back at home against California and Stanford. Match-ups against USC, Arizona and Arizona State in the next three games will make-or-break this squad.

4. Washington Huskies (15-6)

Last Game: (W) 80-62 v. Washington State | Streak: 2W

Whether the results and stats reflect it or not, it seems like Washington is gradually becoming more comfortable under head coach Mike Hopkins, which may influence enough of a late-season push to propel them to an NCAA Tournament birth. The Huskies’ zone defense is still a work in progress but the team’s offense has made some major strides. Washington needs to avoid any unforeseen setbacks now.

5. Utah Utes (13-8)

Last Game: (L) 74-73 at Arizona | Streak: 1L

A team to keep an eye on in the league at the moment, Utah (like Washington) may finally be coming together as a group, to keep things interesting through the final month-plus of the conference slate. Since deflating back-to-back losses at UCLA and USC, the Utes have looked like a brand new team. Their near-upset of Arizona in Tucson was almost a signature moment for this squad.

6. Oregon Ducks (14-7)

Last Game: (W) 66-57 v. Oregon State | Streak: 2W

Dana Altman and company avenged an earlier season loss to Oregon State on Saturday night, which split the season series for the two arch-rivals and pushed the Ducks to 4-4 in league play. Upcoming road trips to California and Stanford could keep the good vibes rolling for Oregon or prove that they’re still too unpredictable of a roster to be taken seriously.

7. Arizona State Sun Devils (16-5)

Last Game: (W) 80-66 v. Colorado | Streak: 1W

Arizona State has continued to score at a torrid pace, while there once overwhelming quality of play is beginning to fade. They’ve traded wins and losses over the course of their last eight games and sit four games back of rival Arizona in the Pac-12 standings at the moment. There’s still time for the Sun Devils, but Bobby Hurley has issues that need to be fixed in Tempe.

8. Stanford Cardinal (11-11)

Last Game: (L) 89-73 at UCLA | Streak: 3L

After the Cardinal jumped from dead-last in our Power Rankings to #5 in our last edition (with help from five straight wins), Stanford showed that they’re in the same boat as everyone else at the moment, emerging as a brand-new team every time they hit the floor. The Cardinal fell in three straight games but can make things right as they host Oregon and Oregon State in the next week.

9. Colorado Buffaloes (12-10)

Last Game: (L) 80-66 at Arizona State | Streak: 3L

The Buffs are in the midst of their second three-game losing streak of the year, as another one of the Pac-12’s many teams who have plagued by inconsistency. In a league that’s definitely going to be fighting for bids to the big dance in March, teams like Colorado not playing well simply doesn’t help things. The quality of depth in this league is in trouble.

10. Oregon State Beavers (11-9)

Last Game: (L) 66-57 at Oregon | Streak: 2L

The biggest change from a season ago is Oregon State’s competitive nature on a nightly basis, which has aided in the program’s overall improvement, despite all the issues that still need to be fixed. The team has road trips to Stanford and California upcoming but that may not even be a welcome sign for a team that’s 0-4 in true road games. The Beavers are inching the wrong way back towards the .500 mark.

11. Washington State Cougars (9-10)

Last Game: (L) 82-69 at Utah | Streak: 2L

Washington State’s win over California remains as the program’s lone positive during conference play, as the Cougars couldn’t remember their 6-0 mark if they wanted to at this point. Ernie Kent’s squad is a bit more consistent in terms of their effort than the Golden Bears up to this point, but if two teams could be tied for dead last in the Power Rankings, they definitely would be.

12. California Golden Bears (7-14)

Last Game: (L) 70-57 at UCLA | Streak: 7L

California’s defense hasn’t improved during their seven-game losing skid and their offensive attack has gone backwards, as they’ve scored 58 points or less four times in their last five games. It was expected to be an uphill fight for new head coach Wyking Jones this season, but something’s got-to-give eventually for the Golden Bears. Things are more than bad right now in Berkeley.