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Basketball Power Rankings Week 15

Pac-12 Basketball: Week 15 Power Rankings

Colorado coach Tad Boyle has his Buffs in first place after a sweep of the Washington schools. | DC/Colorado Athletics

By Dane Miller & Nicholas Bartlett, SportsPac12 Senior Writers

—No. 1—

1. Colorado (8-3, 19-5) —Previous Ranking: 3 

The Buffs did what they’ve done all year, finding a way to leverage their toughness and experience into two more victories. While they played below their standards last Thursday, they still managed to avoid being upset by a hard-working, if outmatched Cal squad. On Saturday, they overcame a 16-point deficit to win an injury-marred, emotional game with the Cardinal. CU can claim the inside track to the Pac-12 title with a win over Oregon on Thursday.

—No. 2—

2. Oregon (7-4, 18-6) —Previous Ranking: 1 

The Ducks lost their third game in a row to Oregon State, and have now lost four of the last five to their in-state rival. Fortunately, Oregon is just one game back of first place, well within striking distance to secure its third regular season championship under Dana Altman. Without a road sweep to its name, and missing both of its big men, UO must continue to hold sway at home and find a way to put it together away from Matthew Knight Arena.

—No. 3—

3. Arizona (6-4, 16-7) —Previous Ranking: 2 

Sean Miller’s freshmen-laden team split the Los Angeles schools in Tucson, suffering a shocking 13-point loss to rival UCLA. The Cats sunk just 15 field goals against the Bruins, shooting 25% in the worst UA performance from the field in the 47 year history of McKale Center. Somehow, Arizona is still in the thick of the Conference race, just a game and a half out of first place, after staving off a USC comeback earlier in the week.

—No. 4—

4. USC (6-5, 17-7) —Previous Ranking: 4 

Emerging from the desert with two losses, the Trojans have work to do to secure an at-large bid. USC came close to beating both Arizona and Arizona State, but were unable to close the games out in the end. Andy Enfield’s team has lost three games in a row, and is at risk of sputtering out at the worst possible time. With a home stand against the Washington schools, the fate of the Trojans’ post-seasons dreams could be determined this week.

—No. 5—

5. Arizona State (6-4, 15-8) —Previous Ranking: 6 

Last week was pivotal for the Sun Devils, beginning with a decisive win over UCLA on Thursday, fueled by Alonzo Verge Jr’s. 26 points. ASU capped it off with an even bigger win on Saturday, logging a come-from-behind victory against USC behind Remy Martin's 22 points. If Arizona State can continue to play at this high level, they could snare some upsets down the stretch and sneak into the NCAA Tournament.

—No. 6— 

6. Stanford (5-5, 16-7) —Previous Ranking: 5 

Losers of five of their last six, the Cardinal’s season is on the brink after being swept by the Mountain programs. It doesn’t get any easier, as they host the Arizona schools this week and still have upcoming road trips to Washington and Oregon. To make things worse, sandwiched between those two road swings is a home stand against the Mountain schools. Devastatingly, Oscar da Silva may be out for an extended period after suffering a scary injury in the Colorado game.

—No. 7—

7. UCLA (6-5, 13-11) —Previous Ranking: 7 

The Bruins had an up-and-down week with mixed results, and a strong finish. On Thursday UCLA got ramshackled at Arizona State, losing by 18. But in the second game of the week, the Bruins shocked Arizona by 13, playing like a completely different team, and controlling the contest from start to finish. Despite early criticism, Mick Cronin has his team exceeding expectations with six Pac-12 wins and a chance to finish in the top half of the Conference.

—No. 8—

8. Oregon State (4-7, 14-9) —Previous Ranking: 10 

The Beavers may have played their most complete game of the season against rival Oregon, with Ethan Thompson pouring in 15 points, and three other players finishing in double figures. The upset underscored the potential OSU hasn't been able to tap in previous contests, raising the question of how often they'll be able to tap it again. Wins over Utah and Colorado this week would make believers out of many.

—No. 9—

9. Washington State (5-6, 14-10) —Previous Ranking: 9 

The Cougs continue to play above their talent level at home under Kyle Smith, and it seems like just a matter of time before they take their eye-popping improvement on the road. The victory over rival Washington last Saturday pushed Wazzu towards the middle of the pack, giving the Cougars 14+ wins for the first time since 2012. CJ Elleby may not be the best player in the Conference, but no individual is more valuable to his team than the 6-foot-6 forward out of Seattle.

—No. 1o—

10. Utah (5-6, 14-9) —Previous Ranking: 11 

Holding serve at home, the Utes dispatched California and eked out a hard-fought victory over Stanford in overtime. The home court advantage in Salt Lake City is unquestionable, but the lack of poise on the road has hampered Utah’s March dreams. Still, anything can happen in the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas, and Larry Krystkowiak knows he needs to win on the road to improve his team's seeding heading into the final phase of the season.

—No. 11—

11. California (4-6, 10-13) —Previous Ranking: 8 

Without a true road win all year, the Bears can’t seam to put together a full 40 minutes of basketball away from Haas Pavilion. Mark Fox nearly pulled off the upset in Boulder, sticking with the high-powered Buffaloes nearly the entire game, but falling just short in the end. Disappointingly, California was then blown out by Utah, marking the end of an underwhelming road trip. Even so, the expectations in Berkeley have raised significantly as Fox’s impressive first year winds down.

—No. 12—

12. Washington (2-9, 12-12) —Previous Ranking: 12 

The Huskies have fallen to a new low after losing their sixth straight in a spotty performance at Washington State. A team once touted as a likely candidate to advance to the Final Four, UW is now chilling at the bottom of the Conference. Isaiah Stewart is still arguably the best player in the Pac-12, but seems likely to depart for the NBA with little to show for his time in Seattle. After winning back-to-back Coach of the Year awards, Mike Hopkins appears helpless to turn this team around.

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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