Pac-12 Power rankings: Arizona still leading the pack
1. No. 2 Arizona (21-1, 8-1 Pac-12 Conference)
A last-second, buzzer-beating road loss to a good California team won’t drop Arizona that far. However, losing Brandon Ashley for the season could. The Wildcats are fortunate enough to be able to slide Rondae Hollis-Jefferson into the starting rotation and have enough depth to where they can still go big or fast, depending on the situation.
2. California (15-7, 6-3)
Despite knocking off the No. 1 school in the nation, we can’t forget that the Golden Bears still have lost three of their previous four games, which included an eight-point loss on the road at USC and an 11-point loss at home in overtime to ASU. Teams who always play up or down to their competition should be in question as fakes.
3. UCLA (17-5, 6-3)
If it weren’t for the Golden Bears defeating Arizona, the Bruins would be in a better place for second-ranked team in the power rankings. UCLA has the talent on offense to finish the conference with the best record — it’s a shame it will only play Arizona once this season.
4. Stanford (14-7, 5-4)
The Cardinal was just a shot or two away from defeating Arizona three days before California. Head coach Johnny Dawkins has his team playing its best basketball as the season progresses. The team has put together a nice résumé, but will it be able to keep it up with an increasingly challenging schedule?
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat The UA men's basketball team huddles together before the game against ASU on Jan. 16. The team suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday against Berkeley University.
5. ASU (16-6, 5-4)
This is where the conference takes a dramatic downswing. The Sun Devils are an above average team, especially with Jermaine Marshall in the lineup — the 6-foot-4 guard didn’t play against the Wildcats on Jan. 16 due to an injury. If they can stay the course and take advantage of an injured Arizona team on Feb. 14 at home they might sneak their way into the tournament.
6. Colorado (16-6, 5-4)
Without Spencer Dinwiddie the Buffaloes appear to be a middle of the road conference team. Xavier Johnson said after the loss to Arizona on Jan. 23 that Colorado would beat the Wildcats the next time they played on Feb. 22. Maybe if he stepped up his own game, Colorado wouldn’t have to be worried about getting payback.
7. Oregon State (13-8, 5-4)
The Beavers don’t have many super stars on their team, but the name Langston Morris-Walker is one to keep in mind. Morris-Walker is an underrated defensive player who is on the rise.
8. Utah (14-7, 3-6)
Can the Utes win a road game? Utah is 14-1 at home but 0-6 on the road.
9. Oregon (15-6, 3-6)
The Ducks are in dire need of a big win to turn the season around, Thursday at No. 2 Arizona is an opportunity.
10. Washington (13-9, 5-4)
C.J. Wilcox is an All-Conference shooter. Shawn Kemp Jr. is a huge disappointment.
11. USC (10-12, 1-8)
They beat California; Washington State didn’t.
12. Washington State (9-12, 2-7)
Cougars have an OK defense.
—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella