Men's basketball power rankingsThe Cougs continue to drop in the rankings after four straight losses
Published 2/9/2012Comments (0)
As the second half of Pac-12 play has come and gone, there’s one team that’s beginning to bear its teeth and has risen to the top. Sorry Coug fans, but Washington is looking primed for another NCAA tournament berth.
- Washington – The Huskies overcame a 10-point deficit to UCLA on Thursday to win 71-69 and their fifth-straight game. While some may contribute this to the Pac-12 being bad, you can’t ignore that stat that shows the Huskies in their past 11 games are giving up only 65 points a game while in their first 12 games they gave up 75 per game.
- Colorado – Two wins against the Oregon schools has the Buffaloes in a spot I never thought I’d see them in this year. However, Colorado has only played six true road games all year, are 2-4 in those games, and five of their remaining seven games are on the road. Their only conference road win came against USC and let’s be honest, that doesn’t equate to much.
- California – Stumbled big time on Thursday when they lost to Arizona 78-74 at home before bouncing back with a comfortable win against Arizona State 68-47. Since sophomore and the team’s leading rebounder Richard Solomon was ruled academically ineligible for the rest of the season back on Jan. 18, the Bears are just 3-2.
- Arizona – The Wildcats became the first Pac-12 team to sweep a series in the Bay this season. After beating California, Arizona beat Stanford 56-43 while holding the Cardinal to just 25-percent shooting. Arizona continues to lead the conference and is ranked in the top 40 in the country in field goal defense.
- Oregon – The Ducks blew a halftime lead before losing to Colorado 72-71, and have now dropped two of three to fall two games out of first place and will host Washington on Thursday. It was the third time this season they’ve lost after holding a halftime lead. The three teams above them (Washington, California, Colorado) have combined to do that just four times.
- UCLA – They were just three minutes away from what would’ve been a sweep in Washington, but poor shooting and uncharacteristic turnovers did the Bruins in when they lost to Washington. But the Bruins showed resiliency as they came back against Washington State who had not lost in Pullman all year. Four of their final six conference games are against teams currently ahead of them so they can still make noise.
- Stanford – They have lost four of five with the one exception being to Arizona State last Thursday when they won 68-44. Follow me on this, if you look at Stanford’s scoring average after every game, you’ll notice that the number has decreased in 18 of their 23 games this season, meaning whatever their scoring average was going in, they scored less than that in the next game.
- Oregon State – After losing five of their first six conference games, the Beavers have recovered and won four of their past five. They benefit from a favorable schedule as five of their remaining seven games are in Corvallis starting tonight against Washington State.
- Washington State – Since taking a step forward after wins against Stanford and California three weeks ago, the Cougars have taken two steps back following a heartbreaking defeat to UCLA on Saturday. Since Faisal Aden’s injury, Brock Motum is averaging 28 points a game but the next closest is Reggie Moore who’s scoring 10 a game since that time.
- Arizona State – A pair of losses by more than 20 points in the Bay has the Sun Devils in sole possession of 10th place in the conference but leading scorer Trent Lockett may return on Thursday against Utah. In the six games he’s missed, the Sun Devils have had five different leading scorers.
- Utah/USC – When you’re this low, does it really matter who’s 11 and who’s 12? Both teams have won just once in the past month with USC’s being against Utah. All major statistical categories in the conference have the two teams duking it out for 11th and 12th in the rankings. Nationally they are two of the bottom nine in scoring out of 338 teams. Unfortunately these two won’t match up again in the regular season but keep your fingers crossed for a barn burner in the conference tournament. Could be a game of futility for the ages!