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BTD’s Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings: 2/26

Despite all the distractions, Arizona stands tall as the league’s best team.

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

1. Arizona Wildcats (22-7)

Last Game: (L) 98-93 at Oregon | Streak: 1L

Arizona has been the epicenter of the recent FBI college basketball scandal, led by head coach Sean Miller’s wire-tapping allegations (and absence from the Oregon game) and Deandre Ayton’s alleged received payment. That aside, the Wildcats still stand as the league favorite, who will likely finish right in front of USC for the regular season title.

2. USC Trojans (21-9)

Last Game: (W) 74-58 at Utah | Streak: 4W

USC has roared back into the conference picture with their recent four-game win streak and now, the Trojans have a week to prepare for their cross-town rival UCLA. Even if USC doesn’t track down Arizona in the Pac-12 regular season race, they are gearing up to make some serious noise in the league’s post-season tournament.

3. UCLA Bruins (19-10)

Last Game: (L) 80-76 at Colorado | Streak: 2L

Steve Alford’s squad has actually become my pick to win the Pac-12 Tournament, for no real other reason than the league has been anything but as expected this season. The Bruins may need a post-season tournament title to make the big dance at this point and that could be enough to fire up a tradition-rich program like UCLA, to get their act together.

4. Oregon Ducks (19-10)

Last Game: (W) 98-93 v. Arizona | Streak: 2W

If there’s another dark-horse besides UCLA heading into the conference post-season tournament, then it has to be Oregon, who is coming off back-to-back solid wins over Arizona State and Arizona. This group was expected to take some time to gel with one another and it seems like they may be hitting their stride at just the perfect time.

5. Utah Utes (18-10)

Last Game: (L) 74-58 v. USC | Streak: 1L

USC snapped a five-game win streak for the Utes in their last outing, ending a streak that kept Larry K’s boys all kinds of relevant down the stretch in conference play. With all the parity throughout the conference, it’s anyone’s guess how the committee will look at a team like Utah. My guess though, is that the Utes are probably on the outside-looking-in at the moment.

6. Stanford Cardinal (16-13)

Last Game: (W) 86-84 v. Washington State | Streak: 3W

Stanford has finally settled down from their chaotic start to the season and is beginning to show more reliance on their veteran abilities. Road trips in the next week to Arizona and Arizona State will prove where this team is mentally and just what they have left in the tank going forward. This could be either be a severe over-or-under evaluation of the Cardinal.

7. Washington Huskies (19-10)

Last Game: (W) 68-51 at California | Streak: 1W

By no means has Mike Hopkins’ squad been awful in recent days, but instead just maybe a bit lackluster, as the long first season under a new head coach continues to wear on. Now that the allure has worn off for this Huskies squad, another fresh start may be needed to revitalize them again. Keep Washington as a potential upset alert group in the Pac-12 Tournament.

8. Colorado Buffaloes (16-13)

Last Game: (W) 80-76 v. UCLA | Streak: 1W

Besides still having UCLA’s number, the Buffs have had a bad stretch of fortune over the last two weeks, which started with embarrassing efforts on the road at Washington State and Washington. If there’s a team that perfectly embodies the mess that the Pac-12 is this season, it’s most definitely Colorado.

9. Arizona State Sun Devils (19-9)

Last Game: (L) 79-75 at Oregon State | Streak: 3L

What a difference two weeks makes. Arizona State was on the verge of getting back to their early season status as conference contenders and now, who knows where the Sun Devils really stand. Bobby Hurley’s recent actions towards the officials (for which he was fined) show how the frustration within this program is beginning to hit a tipping point.

10. Oregon State Beavers (14-14)

Last Game: (W) 79-75 v. Arizona State | Streak: 1W

Oregon State’s victory over Arizona State doesn’t mean they can top them in the Power Rankings just yet, as the Beavers are still too inconsistent of a group to make any noise in the larger conference picture. The Beavers have been playing better basketball as of late, but that won’t get them anywhere when there season is on the line in a few weeks.

11. Washington State Cougars (11-17)

Last Game: (L) 86-84 at Stanford | Streak: 1L

The Cougars sit only a game in front of California in the Pac-12 standings, which is a pretty good indicator of just how bad things have gone for Washington State (see below). Ernie Kent discovered a gem this year in forward Robert Franks, but the pieces are bare around him (sans Malachi Flynn). Depth is a serious problem right now in Pullman.

12. California Golden Bears (8-21)

Last Game: (L) 68-51 v. Washington | Streak: 5L

The battle for the conference cellar may have finally been decided as California has faltered in their last five straight contests and nineteen of their last twenty games overall. If there’s any good news for this Golden Bears group, it’s that head coach Wyking Jones has some crucial young pieces that are gaining valuable experience for next season.