1. Arizona (15-3) (3-2)
A dominating week for the Wildcats as they knocked off both the Washington schools by over twenty points. I was curious how they would look without injured guard Allonzo Trier (averaging 15 points, 4 rebounds), but they didn’t skip a beat and still handled Washington’s talented guards.
2. USC (15-3) (4-1)
I suppose it’s time to give credit where it is due as the Trojans find a way to keep winning thanks to a 14 point victory on the road over rival UCLA. I’m still a non-believer, but now that they’re in both Top-25 polls the rest of the country must see something that I don’t.
3. Oregon (14-4) (3-2)
The high altitude road trip is certainly one of the most difficult in the Pac-12, and I consider coming away with a split a success. The energy and effort on the road was much better than it had been the first few road trips of the season. The number eight RPI ranking gives the Ducks some solid credibility.
4. Washington (12-5) (4-1)
The Huskies came into Tucson looking for the big upset on Thursday night. Instead they were blasted by a second half charge from Arizona and lost by 32. Credit to the Huskies by responding nicely with a win over Arizona State.
5. Colorado (14-4) (3-2)
After watching the Buffaloes play the Ducks I have much more respect for this squad. They’re going to be really tough to stop at times as they can go inside for easy buckets almost at will. Really impressive week for them as they beat both Oregon schools.
6. Utah (13-5) (2-3)
Certainly not a good start to the week for the Utes with the loss to Oregon but they found a way to get a nice rebound and beat the Beavers. If Utah can find a way to get wins over the Washington schools they’ll find themselves right back in the mix.
7. California (12-5) (2-3)
Not quite sure what has happened to California, but after their 2-0-conference start they haven’t looked the same. The Golden Bears dropped their rivalry game this week to Stanford and have now lost three straight games. Doesn’t get any easier as Arizona comes to town this week.
8. Oregon State (11-5) (2-3)
Jarmal Reid’s intentional tripping of the referee was essentially a microcosm of the Beavers road trip this week. Nothing went right as Oregon State lost to both Colorado and Utah. Time for Gary Payton II to conduct some damage control.
9. UCLA (11-7) (2-3)
The Bruins did exactly what I thought they would and lost on their home floor to the Trojans by 14. Unfortunately for the Oregon schools that just means they’ll get a UCLA desperate for Pac-12 wins to keep their head above water in the race.
10. Stanford (10-6) (3-2)
Solid week for the Cardinal as they got a six point win over rival California. However, the fact that the game was at home and the victory is thanks to a late California collapse, Stanford won’t get much credit in this week’s rankings.
11. Arizona State (11-7) (1-4)
The Sun Devils had a chance to snag two straight wins but couldn’t quite sneak out the victory over the Huskies. Regardless, a split is something that Bobby Hurley can use as a little momentum and hope to play spoiler to some of the better teams as the year moves on.
12. Washington State (9-8) (1-4)
It was fun while it lasted, but the Cougars are back in the basement of the rankings thanks to a two-loss week. Defense was the problem this week as they gave up nearly 90 points in both their games in Arizona.
Now, for a look at the big games in the week ahead:
Wed. Jan. 20th: Colorado at Washington
Thur. Jan. 21st: USC at Oregon
Sat. Jan. 23rd: Arizona at California