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Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings: UCLA Again Leads as Conference Play Begins

As Pac-12 conference play begins, the UCLA Bruins yet again top Sports Illustrated's basketball power rankings thanks to a loaded schedule early on.

As conference play begins for the Pac-12, we now have a better feeling of which teams are contenders, and which teams certainly have work to do before they can dream of going dancing in March. 

UCLA still appears to be the class of the conference, holding its own against Villanova before eventually falling to Gonzaga last week. 

Here's how the rest of the power rankings went:

SI PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL POWER RANKINGS

1. UCLA Bruins (6-1), 60 points (5 first-place votes)

2. Arizona Wildcats (6-0), 55

3. USC Trojans (6-0), 50

4. Colorado Buffaloes (6-1, 1-0), 41

5. Oregon Ducks (4-3), 40

6. Washington State Cougars (5-1), 35

7. Utah Utes (5-1), 24

8. Washington Huskies (4-4), 20

9. Arizona State Sun Devils (2-5), 17

10. Stanford Cardinal (4-3), 17

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11. Cal Golden Bears (3-4), 12

12. Oregon State Beavers (1-6), 9

How Publishers Voted

DONNIE DRUIN, ALL SUN DEVILS

1. UCLA; 2. Arizona; 3. USC; 4. Colorado; 5. Oregon; 6. Utah; 7. Washington State; 8. Washington; 9. Arizona State; 10. Cal; 11. Oregon State; 12. Stanford

Comment: Arizona State entered the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament with three straight games against NCAA Tournament teams. The result? Three straight losses. Still plenty of work to be done in Tempe before tournament aspirations are real.

JEFF FARAUDO, CAL SPORTS REPORT

1. UCLA; 2. Arizona; 3. USC; 4. Colorado; 5. Oregon; 6. Washington State; 7. Utah; 8. Washington; 9. Stanford; 10. Arizona State; 11. Cal; 12. Oregon State

Comment: Oregon may wind up challenging the top three, but double-digit losses to BYU, Saint Mary’s and Houston suggest the Ducks have a ways to go. Jury is out on Colorado, WSU and Utah. Cal, after losing twice to top-25 teams in Florida, returned to beat a ordinary but unbeaten Fresno State squad.

DYLAN REUBENKING, DUCKS DIGEST

1. UCLA; 2. Arizona; 3. USC; 4. Oregon; 5. Colorado; 6. Washington State; 7. Utah; 8. Stanford; 9. Washington; 10. Arizona State; 11. California; 12. Oregon State

Comment: Oregon is coming off a trip to Las Vegas that should stay in Las Vegas. The Ducks got blasted by three teams that should win games in the NCAA Tournament this spring, but they came home and got a much-needed victory against Montana. Dana Altman's team isn't a Dana Altman team yet, but don't be surprised if the Ducks are competing for another Pac-12 regular-season title three months from now.

SAM CONNON, ALL BRUINS

1. UCLA; 2. Arizona; 3. USC; 4. Utah; 5. Colorado; 6. Washington State; 7. Oregon; 8. Stanford; 9. Cal; 10. Washington; 11. Arizona State; 12. Oregon State

Comment: It looks like Pac-12 men’s basketball took some notes from Pac-12 football and decided to have an insanely chaotic week of non-conference play that calls many preseason story lines into question less than a month into the season. UCLA’s loss to Gonzaga looks worse now that the Bulldogs lost to Duke and struggled against Tarleton State, but they’re still in the top tier. If Arizona or USC had a better strength of schedule, they easily could have unseated the Bruins this week.

DAN RALEY, HUSKY MAVEN

1. UCLA; 2. Arizona; 3. USC; 4. Oregon; 5. Washington State; 6. Colorado; 7. Utah; 8. Arizona State; 9. Oregon State; 10. Washington; 11. Stanford; 12. Cal

Comment: It's time to see if the bottom half can beat any of the top half. Washington won't scare anybody, but the Huskies are better than they were last season. A trip to McKale to break in Tommy Lloyd won't go well.