Pac-12 Power Rankings: No. 3 Arizona leads pack, Cal men’s basketball sits in fourth

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Editor’s note: The Daily Cal will be publishing Pac-12 Power Rankings every week, alternating between men’s and women’s basketball. Power rankings are determined by the Daily Cal’s basketball writers and do not necessarily reflect the current Pac-12 standings.

 1. No. 3 Arizona (25-2, 12-2 Pac-12) (Last week: 1st)

The media are officially referring to this point in the season as the “home stretch,” which means each team has precious few opportunities to make a final impression. For the Wildcats, the impression they’d like to make is that they’re worthy of a No. 1 seed, even without starting forward Brandon Ashley. Their sweep of the mountain schools last weekend was precisely what they needed to do to legitimize their presence as an elite team.

— Michael Rosen

2. UCLA (21-6, 10-4) (2nd)

The Bruins are ruined. No, just kidding — that’s a rhyme, but many of the UCLA faithful reacted like the sky was falling after losing to Stanford. No need to worry, Bruins fans. You’re still primed for a good seed in the tourney.

— Michael Rosen

3. Stanford (18-8, 9-5) (3rd)

After a loss to Washington, the Cardinal have now ripped off three straight wins, including a win over the Bruins. But I’m not ready to move them above UCLA just yet. Stanford, however, can prove itself when it plays Arizona State and Arizona this week.

— Riley McAtee

4. Cal (18-9, 9-5) (5th)

Something interesting about Cal this season: It’s one of the best teams in the country at not turning the ball over on offense. The Bears are also one of the worst teams at generating turnovers defensively. I haven’t figured out why this is, but at least you know that when you watch the Bears, you won’t see many turnovers. Watch for it when they play Arizona — another team that rarely turns the ball over — on Wednesday.

— Riley McAtee

5. Colorado (20-8, 9-6) (6th)

The Buffaloes are hanging in there without Spencer Dinwiddie. Their only two losses in their last seven games have come against Arizona and UCLA — and there’s no shame in losing to those two. The road ahead, though, is tough with Utah, Cal and Stanford. It’s Colorado’s last chance to make a push.

— Riley McAtee

6. Utah (18-9, 7-8) (7th)

The Utes continue to be the most confounding team in the conference. After almost an entire conference season’s worth of data, one would think a team’s general ability level would be easy to discern. But then Utah screwed everything up by beating Arizona State by 23.

— Michael Rosen

7. Arizona State (19-8, 8-6) (4th)

Here’s a weird stat: The Sun Devils hold their opponents to 63.7 percent from the free-throw line. That’s first in the country. If you weren’t aware, teams don’t actually guard the free-throw line during free throws. Maybe Jahii Carson is barking like a seal during opponent free throws or something.

— Michael Rosen

8. Oregon (18-8, 6-8) (10th)

After starting the season 14-0, the Ducks now sit squarely on the bubble of the NCAA tournament after an early-conference-season collapse. They’ve won three straight to give them the slightest of chances to reach the tournament, but it’s going to be an uphill battle.

— Michael Rosen

9. Washington (15-13, 7-8) (9th)

Washington’s defense allows Pac-12 opponents to score on 2-point shots 52.2 percent of the time — the worst mark in the conference. But on 3-point attempts, opponents only convert 29 percent of the time — the best mark in the conference. If you can solve that puzzle, let me know. Either way, the Huskies are a bad defensive team.

— Riley McAtee

10. Oregon State (14-12, 6-8) (8th)

Where have you gone, Mr. Robinson? The Beavers’ head coach, Craig Robinson, was once thought of as one of the up-and-coming coaches in the conference. Now, Oregon State is languishing in the dregs of the Pac-12, and Robinson is wondering if Jesus really does love him more than you will know. Woah, oh, oh.

— Michael Rosen

11. WSU (9-18, 2-13) (11th)

If Washington State and USC played each other right now, how many people would watch? Well, we’ll find out March 6 when the two clash in Los Angeles. And so will ESPN — they’re broadcasting that game on ESPNU. So if you really want to tune in to what will likely be the worst Pac-12 match of the season, well, there you go.

— Riley McAtee

12. USC (10-17, 1-13) (12th)

The Trojans haven’t been in a game decided by fewer than eight points since January. It’s a wonder that they were even able to keep their contest against Cal close for any period of time at all, especially considering they were missing their best player. What are the odds that they win another Pac-12 game?

— Riley McAtee

 

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