It’s not decided and Spencer, Cody and I discuss as much on this week’s podcast. You should give it a listen (it’s also linked at the bottom meaning you can simul-consume: podcast + these power rankings) – flop into it if you will (Is that a saying?).
Of course it has to be noted that no Pac-12 (or 10) team has ever achieved in-conference perfection. Stanford, Arizona and UCLA have accumulated 17-1 seasons. It’s hard to do. Saturday projects to be fantastic theater and it is one of just 10 marquee games (remember, marquee = Arizona, UCLA, and Oregon are playing one of each other) we’ll be delighted to this season. Can’t
The Wildcats aren’t as bad as you think against zone and that’s a teaser for something I’m working on. Big week.
USC is now 4-0 and +65 (average margin of victory 16.25) in its last 4 games against UCLA.
Happened in Salt Lake and Boulder.
Loitering. If there’s an actual pulse here they’ll show it Thursday while they host Utah.
Narrative: UCLA’s defense will cost it a Final Four bid.
Last week reality: USC’s 82nd ranked defense did the best job this season against that offense. The Bruins amassed just 1.01 points per possession, a season low.
Last week I noted Kuzma and Bonam. Well Kuzma held up his end of the bargain (18/12 and 18/9) while Bonam…well he didn’t quite maintain elite status: 8.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 3.5 apg, and 3.5 TOpg.
7. Washington State
Has 300% more conference wins this year than last.
There is life! The Buffs posted their offensive effort since November in holding off Oregon State and their best defensive effort in 6-weeks against Oregon. Now it’s a matter of doing both!
Through nine conference games Stanford plays the third highest tempo with the second worst offense. Seems a poor recipe for success.
10. Arizona State
There’s a rough correlation between defensive average possession length and defensive efficiency. Thought being, you’re making a team really work to score. It’s not a direct correlation but it’s no surprise that, for example the nation’s top-10 defenses all have an dAPL ranked lower than 250 (except West Virginia who is horrifying with their press and tendencies. Arizona State has the lowest dAPL in the country and the nation’s 286th rated defense.
Markelle Fultz might not be getting any of his UW teammates great notoriety (not really his fault it’s a poor roster), but he might’ve gotten Arizona’s Kadeem Allen a paycheck:
12. Oregon State
The Beavers had a -15 weekend and that’s something to celebrate! Tres Tinkle will be, of course, held out of this weekend’s home stand.