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Week 12 ATQ Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings. Ducks soar to the top

After wins to the #21 ranked USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins, the Ducks have catapulted themselves to the top spot of the conference power rankings. A huge week ahead as the top two teams in the rankings face off Thursday in Tucson.

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

1. Oregon (16-4) (5-2)

For the first time this year the Ducks claim the top spot thanks to wins over USC and UCLA. With Oregon reemerging back in the top-25 and tournament projections as high as the two seed, the Ducks must capitalize on the momentum Thursday at Arizona. Have to give major credit to Elgin Cook for the 21.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game week.

2. Arizona (16-4) (4-3)

Arizona did everything they could to keep the number one position but just couldn’t handle the California crowd. Thanks in large part to the home surge by the Golden Bears, the Wildcats were handed their third conference loss of the season.

3. Washington (13-6) (5-2)

The Huskies continue to stay in the thick of things in the Pac-12 race. Barring the dominating overtime performance from Jakob Poeltl and the Utes they would be sitting alone at the top of the conference.

4. Utah (15-5) (4-3)

Thanks to back-to-back road wins over the Washington schools the Utes are now on a three game conference winning streak and shooting back up the standings. Another crazy week for Jakob Poeltl as he racked up 21.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in the two games.

5. USC (15-5) (4-3)

Certainly not the week that the Trojans were looking for after finally cracking the top-25. I talked earlier this year in the rankings about how the USC defense was a problem and that showed this week as they gave up an average of 87 points per game to Oregon and Oregon State.

6. California (14-5) (4-3)

After getting a win early in the week over Arizona State, the Golden Bears capped the weekend with the upset win over Arizona thanks to the heroics of Jordan Matthews. Between Tyrone Wallace, Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb and Matthews this team is still very scary.

7. Colorado (15-5) (4-3)

The Buffaloes weren’t able to sustain the momentum from two straight wins and pulled out just a split in Washington. The Huskies controlled the game for a 95-83 win while the Cougars pushed the Buffaloes to a five point game. A solid 14.5 points and 10 rebounds per game week for Josh Scott.

8. Oregon State (12-6) (3-4)

After three straight losses the Beavers finally got back into the win column thanks to the 85-70 win over USC. Gary Payton II had a fantastic week averaging 19.5 points, 7.5 assists, and 9 rebounds per game.

9. UCLA (12-8) (3-4)

The Bruins got a solid win to start the week but couldn’t find a way to get another one in Eugene. UCLA needs to string together a few wins to get some breathing room heading into bubble watch season.

10. Stanford (11-7) (3-4)

The Cardinal can’t get over the hump into the top half of the conference. This week Stanford got blown out in the second half by Arizona and squeaked by Arizona State. A road trip to the high altitude teams gives a chance for advancement.

11. Arizona State (11-9) (1-6)

Another two loss week for the Sun Devils, but the result might be slightly deceiving. Arizona State only lost at California and Stanford by a combined seven points. Certainly not enough ammo to climb out of the basement, but they’re better than an 11th best team in a power conference.

12.  Washington State (9-10) (1-6)

The Cougars become the only Pac-12 team to have a losing record. Nothing went right this week in the back-to-back losses to Utah and Colorado. Defense was yet again as a problem giving up 92 points to the Utes.

Now, for a look at the big games in the week ahead:

Wed. Jan. 27th: California at Utah

Thur. Jan. 28th: Oregon at Arizona

Sat. Jan. 30th: Washington at USC