The Pac-12 Conference appears revitalized in men's basketball, continuing from a heady NCAA Tournament to collectively getting off to a fast start. Losses have been few, bad losses almost non-existent.
Take the University of Washington, for example.
The Huskies have won two of their first three games, yet can do no better than 11th in our Sports Illustrated Pac-12 power ratings. Of course, they're coming off a 5-21 showing last season, have almost all new faces pulling important roles and will need to win back respect from fans and our poll voters.
All signs point to a real competitive conference season, with games beginning in three weeks. We'll see if the Huskies are still 11th when that happens.
SI PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL POWER RANKINGS
1. UCLA (3-0), 60 points (5 first-place votes)
2. Oregon (2-0), 55
3. USC (2-0), 50
4. Arizona (2-0), 43
5. Colorado (3-0), 39
6. Washington State (3-0), 36
7. Oregon State (1-2), 26
8. Arizona State (2-1), 23
9. Utah (3-0), 22
10. Stanford (2-1), 17
11. Washington (2-1), 13
12. Cal (1-2), 5
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.
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.
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