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Basketball Power Rankings Week 14

Pac-12 Basketball: Week 14 Power Rankings

Arizona'z Nico Mannion drives against WSU last week to cap the first Pac-12 road sweep. | Arizona Athletics

By Dane Miller & Nicholas Bartlett, SportsPac12 Senior Writers

—No. 1—

1. Oregon (7-3, 18-5) —Previous Ranking: 1 

The Ducks split their Bay Area trip, losing and regaining sole possession of first place in the Conference standings over the weekend. The old adage “win at home and split on the road” aptly describes Oregon’s season to date, as it's undefeated in Eugene and has split each road swing. With five of its remaining eight games at Matthew Knight Arena, UO is in the driver’s seat to win the regular season title. Barring a shock at home, the crown is Oregon’s for the taking.   

—No. 2—

2. Arizona (5-3, 15-6) —Previous Ranking: 4 

Sean Miller’s Wildcats came into the week without a true road win all year, and emerged with the first road sweep in the Conference of Champions. The reversal of fortune is largely attributable to Stone Gettings, who scored a combined 32 points against the Washington schools, and Jemarl Baker Jr. who scored a career-high 17 points against the Huskies, including the game-winning three with 45 seconds remaining.

—No. 3—

3. Colorado (6-3, 17-5) —Previous Ranking: 3 

The Buffs had an up-and-down week. After losing to UCLA last Thursday night in a game that many assumed would be an afterthought, Colorado bounced back on Saturday, blowing out USC in a 20-point victory. The resilient performance shows the character of this experienced CU team, which could easily have let the Bruins beat them twice. But instead of squandering the entire road trip, the Buffs remained poised and brought home a split. They'll need to hold serve at home against the Bay Areas schools this week to keep pace with the frontrunners.

—No. 4—

4. USC (6-3, 17-5) —Previous Ranking: 2 

The Trojans struggled at home, escaping with a victory against Utah, and losing by 21 to Colorado. It’s paradoxical that Andy Enfield’s team plays substantially better on the road than at home, but something needs to be done to address the issue. If nothing changes, the likelihood of USC taking the proverbial “next step” may be a quickly fading illusion. The Trojans are still on a path for an at-large bid, but defeats like this are damaging to their potential seed.

—No. 5—

5. Stanford (5-3, 16-5) —Previous Ranking: 5 

After losing three games in a row, including a shocker to Oregon State on Thursday, the Cardinal appeared to be on the precipice of a complete collapse. The Tree then came from behind and took down Oregon, a victory that may end up saving their season. With road trips to the Mountain, Oregon, and Washington schools in front of them, Stanford has a difficult path ahead, despite showing the ability to play with the best teams in the Conference when everything clicks.

—No. 6— 

6. Arizona State (4-4, 13-8) —Previous Ranking: 6 

The Sun Devils lost a tough contest to the Cougs last Thursday night, rallying back from a double-digit deficit in the second half, only to fall short in the final seconds. On Saturday, ASU rebounded nicely, grabbing a huge victory over Washington to salvage a split on the road. Arizona State has found a way to hang around the middle of the pack, and has an outside shot to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

—No. 7—

7. UCLA (5-4, 12-10) —Previous Ranking: 10 

Last week was an impressive one for the resurgent UCLA basketball program. On Thursday, the Bruins upset Colorado in what could be the biggest win of the Mick Cronin era to date. On Saturday, they continued their improved and consistent play, beating Utah handily. Despite an underwhelming overall record, UCLA currently stands in sixth place in the Pac-12 standings, and has shown signs of being able to exceed expectations down the stretch.

—No. 8—

8. California (4-4, 10-11) —Previous Ranking: 9 

When Mark Fox took over the Bears, nobody expected him to have a successful first year. The program was in shambles, and a three-win conference season may have been considered overly optimistic. With four wins already, Fox has lit a fire with those expectations, and it burned bright last week. Locked in a tie for fifth place after splitting with the Oregon schools, California is on the brink of revitalization. The remaining hurdle is clear: Find a way to win on the road.

—No. 9—

9. Washington State (4-6, 13-10) —Previous Ranking: 12 

The Cougs continue to improve under new head coach Kyle Smith, splitting their two home games against the Arizona schools. Last Thursday, WSU found a way to win a back-and-forth contest against ASU, in which CJ Elleby hit a game-winning three with under 10 seconds remaining. On Saturday, the Cougars fell back to earth, with the Wildcats dominating them from start to finish in a reminder of how far WSU still has to go to consistently compete with the Pac-12 blue bloods.

—No. 1o—

10. Oregon State (3-7, 13-9) —Previous Ranking: 11 

The Beavers posted an impressive road win over the Cardinal last Thursday night, showing what they're capable of, when things go right. They came up just short on Saturday, losing a tight contest to the Golden Bears that could have gone either way. Inconsistent OSU will likely need to win the Pac-12 tournament to make the dance at this point, despite a promising start to a now-disappointing season.

—No. 11—

11. Utah (3-6, 12-9) —Previous Ranking: 7 

Southern California was not kind to the Utes, as they were swept by UCLA and USC. Frustratingly, Utah had a chance to beat the Trojans, but let the game slip away after leading by 10. Timmy Allen and Rylan Jones didn’t play efficient enough to secure a win, and Both Gach’s absence due to injury was damaging. Fortunately, Utah returns to the friendly confines of the Huntsman Center this week for a home stand.

—No. 12—

12. Washington (2-8, 12-11) —Previous Ranking: 8 

It may not be too much of an overstatement to say that the talented Huskies have become one of the most disappointing teams in college basketball history. Last Thursday, UW blew a promising lead against Arizona, losing yet another close game late. Saturday proved even worse, with the Sun Devils controlling most of the contest to keep the Dawgs in the Pac-12 cellar. UW desperately needs to right the ship this week against rival WSU.

Dane Miller (@DaneMiller_SP12) covers Pac-12 football and basketball as a Senior Writer for Miller also co-hosts and produces "The Dane & Nick Show," a SportsPac12 Radio Podcast.

Nicholas Bartlett (@WordsByBartlett) covers Pac-12 football and basketball as a Senior Writer for Bartlett also co-hosts and co-produces "The Dane & Nick Show," a SportsPac12 Radio Podcast.

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