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SI Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings: UCLA's Strong Start Paying Dividends

In the second edition of Sports Illustrated's Pac-12 basketball power rankings, there's no mincing who the best team in the conference is.

Basketball season is fully underway, and the Pac-12 conference has already seen their fair share of action. Highs and lows filled the first week of basketball, as UCLA took down Villanova while Arizona State lost on a 3/4 court buzzer beater to lose to UC Riverside. 

Teams are still figuring each other (and themselves) out, as only a handful of games have been played to this point. 

That goes for Sports Illustrated's publishers who cover their own respective Pac-12 teams as well, although there wasn't much change at the top for the second edition of Sports Illustrated's Pac-12 basketball power rankings:

SI PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL POWER RANKINGS

1. UCLA Bruins (3-0), 60 points (5 first-place votes)

2. Oregon Ducks (2-0), 55

3. USC Trojans (2-0), 50

4. Arizona Wildcats (2-0), 43

5. Colorado Buffaloes(3-0), 39

6. Washington State Cougars(3-0), 36

7. Oregon State Beavers (1-2), 26

8. Arizona State Sun Devils (2-1), 23

9. Utah Utes (3-0), 22

10. Stanford Cardinal (2-1), 17

11. Washington Huskies (2-1),13

12. Cal Golden Bears (1-2), 5

How Publishers Voted

DONNIE DRUIN, ALL SUN DEVILS

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

Comment: The Arizona State Sun Devils are still figuring things out on the court, and a prayer of a full court shot from UC Riverside didn’t help. As of now, they’re still a team with questions to answer. No big changes from me this week.

JEFF FARAUDO, CAL SPORTS REPORT

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

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Comment: There are already some bad losses out there, courtesy of Arizona State and Cal. But this time of year there are always meaningless victories, and Utah and Washington have racked up a few of those already. Good test for Oregon on Tuesday night against BYU. UCLA gets another crack at Gonzaga a week from now.

DYLAN REUBENKING, DUCKS DIGEST

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

Comment: UCLA proved it is the best team in the conference with an impressive overtime win over Villanova at Pauley Pavilion. Oregon has looked dominant in both games it's played, including against a very good SMU team. Five teams have already marked a tally in the loss column, including Stanford and Washington, who both lost in embarrassing fashion. Arizona had the best point differential through two games after walloping its two opponents by a combined 83 points.

SAM CONNON, ALL BRUINS

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

Comment: UCLA beating a top-four team surely solidified them as the best team in the conference and a true national title contender, but we all already knew that. What the rest of the Pac-12 should really be scared of is the fact that the Bruins allowed Long Beach State to shoot 58% from the field on Monday and UCLA still won by 21 points. Teams can shoot the lights out and still lose big to this team – outscoring the Bruins is going to be quite the tall task this season.

DAN RALEY, HUSKY MAVEN

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

Comment: Washington, a collection of Seattle vagabonds, looks much improved over last year, but that wasn't going to take much. These Huskies will try to play spoiler whenever they can