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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 5: Arizona grabs best in West title

Arizona+mens+basketball+forward+Rondae+Hollis-Jefferson+%2823%29+tries+to+knock+the+ball+out+of+Gonzaga+forward+Domantas+Sabonis+%2811%29+hands+while+Arizona+forward+Brandon+Ashley+%2821%29+and+Arizona+guard+Gabe+York+%281%29+defend+during+Arizonas+66-63+win+against+Gonzaga+on+Saturday+in+McKale+Center.+The+Wildcats+have+firmly+taken+a+hold+of+the+title+for+Best+in+the+West.
Rebecca Noble

Arizona men’s basketball forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (23) tries to knock the ball out of Gonzaga forward Domantas Sabonis’ (11) hands while Arizona forward Brandon Ashley (21) and Arizona guard Gabe York (1) defend during Arizona’s 66-63 win against Gonzaga on Saturday in McKale Center. The Wildcats have firmly taken a hold of the title for Best in the West.

1. No. 3 Arizona (8-0)

With wins over San Diego State and Gonzaga already this season, once again the Wildcats can claim the title “Best in the West.” There’s the matter of the Pac-12 Conference, but the defending champs and preseason favorites own the conference right now.

Last week: First, W vs. Gardner-Webb 91-65, W vs. Gonzaga 66-63 OT

This week: vs. Utah Valley, vs. Michigan

2. No. 13 Utah (6-1)

Obviously, I have to say that the Utes shocked then-No. 8 Wichita State last week. It’s the obvious joke, but you have to take the high percentage shots when they’re open.

Last week: Second, W vs. Wichita State 69-68

This week: at BYU, vs. Kansas

3. No. 17 Washington (7-0)

Up until last week, the Pac-12’s other undefeated team ran its record up against a collection of cupcakes. However, it scored an impressive win over San Diego State to move up in the AP poll and, more importantly, the Daily Wildcat power rankings.

Last week: Seventh, W vs. UTEP 68-65, W vs. San Diego State 49-36

This week: vs. Eastern Washington

4. California (7-1)

The Golden Bears disappointed against the Grizzlies of Montana (3-4) and needed double overtime to win at home against Nevada (2-6), winning by single digits. This week, they face a tough Wyoming side that’s ready to shoot down another Pac-12 team.

Last week: Third, W at Fresno State 64-57, W vs. Montana 78-76 2OT, W at Nevada 63-56

This week: vs. Wyoming, vs. Princeton

5. UCLA (7-2)

The Bruins extended their modest win streak to three games with a couple wins over mediocre Southern California teams. They have one more SoCal cupcake before they face Gonzaga and Kentucky in back-to-back games.

Last week: Fourth, W vs. Cal State Fullerton 73-45, W vs. San Diego 75-68

This week: vs. UC Riverside, vs. Gonzaga

6. Colorado (5-2)

It was a long road trip, but Georgia is pretty average at 5-3. Last week, the Buffaloes continued to disappoint with a loss at UGa.

Last week: Fifth, W vs. San Francisco 72-55, L at Georgia 64-57

7. Stanford (4-2)

The Cardinal doesn’t play from Dec. 1 to Friday, but seems to have checked out early. On Nov. 30, Stanford lost at DePaul in front of just 5,990 people.

Last week: Sixth, L at DePaul 87-72

This week: vs. Denver

8. USC (6-3)

The Trojans’ record is not impressive, but their win at the Pit in New Mexico is. The Lobos (5-3) don’t look all that good, but that win is enough to move USC over Oregon and ASU.

Last week: 10th, W at New Mexico 66-54, W vs. LMU 77-61, W vs. Utah State 89-84

9. Oregon (5-3)

The Ducks have played a tough schedule, but let’s just say they’re not the football team. Generally, Oregon has beat the teams it’s supposed to and lost to better teams, but it’s just not the same after some of its best players were kicked out after a rape scandal.

Last week: Eighth, W vs. Portland State, W vs. CCD 94-63, L vs. Mississippi 79-73

This week: vs. Illinois

10. ASU (5-3)

Like Oregon, the Sun Devils are just kind of treading water. They got a nice win over UNLV, but they have three losses and have played zero ranked teams.

Last week: Ninth, W vs. UNLV 77-55, L at Texas A&M 72-71

This week: vs. Pepperdine

11. Oregon State (5-2)

The Beavers are the last of this little cluster of teams with mediocre records. Like ASU and Oregon, there’s little reason to move them or change their position. How boring.

Last week: 11th, W vs. Miss Valley State 74-50, W vs. Portland 65-58 OT

This week: vs. Mississippi State

12. Washington State (4-4)

The Cougars lost the Battle of the Palouse last week,but rebounded to beat UTSA by 20. Still, the Cougars are clearly the worst team in the league.

Last week: 12th,  L vs. Idaho 77-71, W vs. UTSA 91-71

This week: at Gonzaga, at Santa Clara

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Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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