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SI Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings: One Loss Doesn't Drop UCLA From the Top Spot

Cal climbs to 11th in our rankings and will face No. 12 Oregon State on Thursday night.

Arizona and USC remain unbeaten, but the five voters in our SI Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings haven’t turned away from UCLA after its 20-point loss to Gonzaga.

The Bruins (5-1) remain unanimously atop our rankings, followed by Arizona and USC, each with 6-0 records.

There is far less consensus moving down our rankings, and that’s no surprise. It’s early and teams have played schedules that are vastly different than each other.

Oregon, the preseason No. 2 in the conference, has slipped to fifth after double-digit losses by a total of 75 points to BYU, Saint Mary's and Houston.

Cal went 1-2 last week, losing twice to Top-25 teams at the Fort Myers Tip-Off before returning home to knock off unbeaten Fresno State. That performance, coupled with Oregon State’s six-game losing streak, moves the Bears from No. 12 to No. 11 this week.

The Beavers, now at the bottom, pay a visit to Berkeley on Thursday for the Pac-12 opener at Haas Pavilion. 

*** Cal senior guard Jordan Shepherd, in the video at the top of this story, talks about the Bears' progress through seven games as they prepare to face Oregon State in their Pac-12 opener on Thursday night in Berkeley.

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

2. Arizona (6-0) . . . 55

3. USC (6-0) . . . 50

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

5. Oregon (4-3) . . . 40

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

7. Utah (5-1) . . . 24

8. Washington (4-4) . . . 20

9. Arizona State (2-5) . . . 17

9. Stanford (4-3) . . . 17

11. Cal (3-4) . . . 12

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


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.


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.


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 of 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.


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 nonconference play that calls many preseason storylines 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.


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.

Cover photo of UCLA and Gonzaga players chasing a loose ball by Stephen R. Sylvannie, USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo