Miller: Week 11 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Power Rankings

With six weeks until Selection Sunday, the Pac-12 continues to project five teams into the Dance

Posted on February 1, 2021

Dane Miller
  By Dane Miller, SportsPac12

February begins with a slight shakeup in the Power Rankings.

Colorado’s loss to Utah could hurt it on Selection Sunday, while Stanford kept its head above water in its fight for an at-large bid.


 

But in what may turn out to be a defining point of its season, Arizona State strung together back-to-back wins in Tempe.

Yet, six weeks remain until Selection Sunday, and the Pac-12 continues to project five teams into the field of 68.

Below, I give you my Week 11 Power Rankings in the Conference of Champions.


1. UCLA (9-1, 13-3)

At 13-3, the Bruins maintained their hold on first-place in the Pac-12 standings with a five-point victory over Oregon State. Mick Cronin’s team sits 37th in the NET Rankings and 33rd in the KemPom metric, with each of their three losses designated as Quad 1 defeats. But the 57 points scored against OSU was the fewest UCLA has put up all season.


2. USC (7-2, 13-3)

usc logoThe Trojans got their revenge against the Beavers on Thursday, securing a respectable 13-point win over Wayne Tinkle’s squad. Victorious in eight of their last nine, USC is 26th in the NET and 21st in KenPom. Evan Mobley is the favorite to win the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award, and the Trojans as a team are among the nation’s best in rebounding and blocked shots.


3. Oregon (4-2, 9-3)

On a second COVID-pause, the Ducks are an enigma. When healthy, Dana Altman’s team is arguably the best in the Pac-12 and may have the most potential to make a tournament run. Yet, UO has dealt with injuries all season and has yet to post a Quad 1 victory. Sitting 50th in the NET Rankings and 34th in KenPom, Oregon has some work to do.


4. Stanford (6-4, 10-6)

Down three starters, the Tree emerged from Tucson with a nine-point victory and swept Arizona for the first time since 2008. But Jerod Haase’s defense struggled with Arizona State two days later, as the Sun Devils equaled the highest point total Stanford had given up all season. Still, the split in the desert was about as much as Haase could have hoped for, and Ziaire Williams should be returning this week.


 


5. Arizona (7-4, 13-4)

At the beginning of the season, the Wildcats hadn’t lost to Stanford since 2009. But that streak has come crashing down with back-to-back defeats to the Tree, as the UA bigs were flustered by the Cardinal defense on Thursday. Still, with a NET Ranking of 40 and a KenPom rating of 32, the Cats have shown they are a respectable team that shouldn’t be overlooked.


6. Colorado (7-4, 13-5)

The Buffs didn’t do themselves any favors. Already saddled with a bad loss to Washington, CU followed it up with a shocking collapse to Utah. Up 19 with just under ten minutes remaining, Colorado couldn’t contain Alfonzo Plummer and the Utes pulled off an historic comeback. But at 20th in the NET and 18th in KenPom, the Buffaloes aren’t in danger of missing the Big Dance.


7. Oregon State (4-5, 8-7)

Entering the week on a three-game winning streak, Wayne Tinkle’s team dropped both of their matchups with the LA schools. The losses weren’t unexpected, but the double-digit defeat to USC was somewhat surprising. Regardless, Warith Alatishe has solidified himself as one of the best dunkers in the Pac-12, and OSU has a bounce back opportunity against the Washington schools this week.


8. Utah (4-6, 7-7)

Ute fans love to point to their 22-point comeback against UCLA in 2019 as one of those “I remember where I was” moments, and what happened in Boulder on Saturday was eerily similar. Sparked by several timely threes and an undisciplined Colorado defense, Alfonzo Plummer scored 23 points in Utah’s 19-point comeback over the final nine minutes of the game.


9. Arizona State (3-5, 6-8)

Needing a home sweep to turn their season around, the Sun Devils got it done. On Thursday, ASU gutted out a four-point win over Cal and followed it up with a potentially season-changing 4-point win over Stanford. The burgeoning momentum should bode well for Bobby Hurley’s roster that dealt with COVID issues and close defeats through the first half of the season.


10. Washington State (3-7, 10-7)

The losing streak has been snapped. After dropping six in a row, the Cougars regained their swagger against rival Washington. The 77 points scored equaled WSU’s third-highest total of the season, and the 62 points given up was the lowest since the last Wazzu victory on January 7th against California. But the Cougs have a tough two weeks ahead of them with upcoming games against the Oregon and LA schools.


11. California (2-10, 7-12)

It came down to the wire in Tempe, but too many turnovers cost the Bears a win. And a few days later, Cal was humbled by a motivated Arizona squad. The blowout in Tucson was a far cry from the performances California had strung together since beating Utah, yet Mark Fox must turn his focus to Stanford. With a 2-1 record against the Tree, Fox has an opportunity to extend his recruiting presence in the Bay Area with another win.


12. Washington (2-8, 3-12)

The Dawgs showed some rust in their 15-point defeat to Washington State in Seattle. Erik Stevenson didn’t play well, nor did Jamal Bey, two players vital to UW’s success. The 62 points scored was the fewest since December 31st, negating Washington’s lowest point total allowed since December 16th. If there is a silver lining, Quade Green continues to prove why he deserves to be an NBA Draft pick.





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