Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings: UCLA, Oregon suffer back-to-back losses against WCC

·4 min read

The week of Thanksgiving has historically been a huge week for college basketball fans. Multiple tournaments, including the Old Spice Classic, Maui Invitational, and recently the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland have brought together high profile opponents for must-watch television ahead of the beginning of conference play.

For the Pac-12 in 2021, this week of games has not gone particularly well. Oregon was the frontrunner to win the Maui Invitational – held in Vegas this year because of COVID – but they instead fell to Saint Mary’s on Tuesday evening and will play Houston for a third place finish.

Shortly after, UCLA had their doors blown off by the No. 1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs, giving the conference back-to-back losses to Mid-Major (albeit, elite Mid-Major) programs on primetime television.

It hasn’t all been bad, however, as Tommy Lloyd has the Arizona Wildcats undefeated through five games with a huge win over Michigan on his already impressive resume. Likewise, Washington State and Utah remain undefeated while USC is still holding on to a spotless record and a spot in the AP top 25.

Here is a look at our Power Rankings through the first few weeks of the season:

Cal 2-3 (Last Week: 12)

Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Cal is 2-3 on the year after getting smoked by 20 points when they faced the Florida Gators earlier this week. They have a top 100 defense in the country, per KenPom, but have struggled on the offensive end of the floor.

Washington 4-2 (Last Week: 11)

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Huskies are 4-2 on the season, but very narrow victories over Texas Southern and George Mason don’t bode particularly well for Mike Hopkins’ squad as the year rolls on.

Oregon State 1-4 (Last Week: 9)

Syndication: The Ames Tribune

Oregon State has a conference-worst 1-4 record on the season, having lost their last two games by one point each. They get a chance to right the ship against Wake Forest on Friday.

Stanford 4-2 (Last Week: 8)

Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford is 4-2 on the year but an embarrassing loss to Baylor and a tough loss to Santa Clara are keeping this team down near the cellar of the Pac-12 standings in the early going.

Arizona State 2-2 (Last Week: 10)

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State lost to UC-Riverside and San Diego State by a combined three points, a disappointing start for the Sun Devils. A date with the reigning champion Baylor Bears awaits them next.

Utah 5-0 (Last Week: 6)

Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Props to the Utes for winning the games they need to win, but they remain untested as they head into a big game against No. 18 BYU on Saturday.

Colorado 5-1 (Last Week: 7)

Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports

A loss to Southern Illinois dampened an otherwise solid start to the season for the Buffs, although their strength of schedule leaves something to be desired. Dates with Tennessee and Kansas in December will help iron that out.

Washington State 5-0 (Last Week: 5)

Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Cougars are a bit like Utah – an undefeated team who hasn’t played anyone all that great – but Washington State has manhandled most of the team’s they’ve played. USC on December 4 will be a nice test to see what this team is really made of.

Oregon 3-2 (Last Week: 4)

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

The Ducks are off to a rough start with losses to WCC powerhouses BYU and Saint Mary’s. They have a chance to right the ship on Wednesday when they take on Houston in the Maui Invitational.

USC 4-0 (Last Week: 2)

Syndication: Naples Daily News

The Trojans have four commanding victories heading into a primetime Thanksgiving matchup against St. Joe’s.

Arizona 5-0 (Last Week: 3)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Tommy Lloyd’s tenure at Arizona could not be off to a better start. They are 5-0 with a huge win over Michigan. They have the depth and talent to make a legit run in March.

UCLA 5-1 (Last Week: 1)

(AP Photo/L.E. Baskow)

Oregon wasn’t the only team to lose to a WCC school in primetime on Tuesday evening, as the Bruins were ran out of the gym by No. 1 ranked Gonzaga in Dick Vitale’s return behind the microphone. UCLA remains the top team in the conference after defeating Villanova earlier in the season.

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