Pac-12 women’s basketball standings: February 21
The Pac-12 women’s basketball season has arrived at the final, climactic weekend of play. Games are normally on Fridays and Sundays but will be held on Thursday and Saturday of this week to give teams an added day of rest before the Pac-12 Tournament one week later in Las Vegas.
The schedule could not have lined up any better in terms of providing dramatic, important matchups for the conference championship. First-place Stanford heads to third-place Colorado on Thursday, then to second-place Utah on Saturday. If Stanford loses at Colorado and Utah defeats California, the Stanford-Utah game will be a one-game Pac-12 championship showdown. If Stanford and Utah both win on Thursday, Stanford clinches a share of the title, but Utah can earn a split with a win over the Cardinal in Salt Lake City.
USC is out of the running for the fourth seed and a first-round bye at the Pac-12 Tournament. The Trojans just need to grab at least one win against the anything-but-easy Washington schools. Arizona and UCLA will fight for the final bye at the Pac-12 Tournament. Colorado, Utah and Stanford will have three of the four byes.
Here are the full standings:
STANFORD CARDINAL (14-2)
Feb 17, 2023; Stanford, California, USA; Stanford Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer reacts during the first half of the game against the USC Trojans at Maples Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Stanford beat USC and UCLA while Utah and Colorado both lost to Arizona. The Cardinal need one win to share the Pac-12 title. If they beat Utah, they will win the league outright.
UTAH UTES (13-3)
Jan 20, 2023; Stanford, California, USA; Stanford Cardinal guard Haley Jones (30) shoots against Utah Utes guard Isabel Palmer (1) during the fourth quarter at Maples Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Utah’s loss to Arizona puts the Utes one game behind Stanford entering the final weekend of the season. Utah hosts Stanford on Saturday. If Colorado beats Stanford on Thursday and Utah beats Cal on Thursday, Utah-Stanford will be a winner-take-all game for the outright title. The loser will not share the title.
COLORADO BUFFALOES (12-4)
Oct 25, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Buffaloes guard Jaylyn Sherrod (00) and coach JR Payne pose during Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day at the Pac-12 Network Studios. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Colorado will be eliminated from Pac-12 title contention if Utah beats California on Thursday. The Buffaloes host Stanford on Thursday in a game which will shape the stakes for the huge Stanford-Utah showdown on Saturday.
ARIZONA WILDCATS (11-5)
Jan 22, 2023; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Adia Barnes and assistant coach Salvo Coppa call to their team while they face the Arizona State Sun Devils at Desert Financial Arena on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. Mandatory Credit: Alex Gould/The Republic
The Wildcats’ sweep of Utah and Colorado lifted them to fourth place, in line for a first-round bye at the Pac-12 Tournament if they can hold off fifth-place UCLA.
UCLA BRUINS (10-6)
Jan 8, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Cori Close reacts to a foul call in the first half against the USC Trojans at Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The Bruins came up short against Stanford in a game they led 65-64 with two minutes remaining. UCLA is now outside the top four and will need help if it wants to get a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament.
USC TROJANS (9-7)
Jan 15, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Stanford Cardinal forward Cameron Brink (22) shoots the ball against Southern California Trojans forward Rayah Marshall (13) in the second half at Galen Center. USC defeated Stanford 55-46. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
USC needs one win this week against the Washington schools to feel relatively safe about an NCAA Tournament bid. Two wins make USC a lock. It’s time to close the door and go dancing.
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS (8-8)
Oct 25, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington State Cougars coach Kamie Ethridge reacts during Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day at the Pac-12 Network Studios. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Washington State plays USC on Saturday. The Cougars will have their star player, Charlisse Leger-Walker, in the starting lineup, unlike the first meeting between the two teams. USC really needs to beat Washington on Thursday, because WSU could be a real problem on Saturday.
WASHINGTON HUSKIES (7-9)
Oct 25, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Huskies forward Lauren Schwartz (2) and Haley Van Dyke (11) during Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day at the Pac-12 Network Studios. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Washington took USC to overtime in the first meeting. USC really needs to get on top of this upcoming rematch on Thursday and avoid a dramatic ending. If USC wins, the Trojans will be able to breathe deeply and relax entering the Wazzu game on Saturday and the Pac-12 Tournament.
OREGON DUCKS (5-11)
Oregon coach Kelly Graves brings his team together before the game against Utah in Eugene Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023.
It’s shocking to see Oregon lose seven straight games. The Ducks are a bubble team in dire need of a few wins. Follow Ducks Wire for more on UO women’s hoops.
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS (4-12)
Oct 25, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; California Golden Bears coach Charmin Smith (center) poses with guards Kemery Martin (15) and Jayda Curry (30) during Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day at the Pac-12 Network Studios. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Cal’s win over USC complicated the Trojans’ existence.
OREGON STATE BEAVERS (3-13)
Oregon State coach Scott Rueck, right, watches the game against Oregon at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene Dec 11, 2022.
Oregon State is an 11th-place team on a big losing skid, but the Beavers have played close games against good teams throughout the season. They would be a tough opponent for USC or anyone else at the Pac-12 Tournament, the absolute worst kind of opponent for a bubble team to face.
ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS (0-16)
Oct 25, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils coach Natasha Adair (center) poses with guards Sydney Erikstrup (11) and Jaddan Simmons (2) during Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day at the Pac-12 Network Studios. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona State nearly beat Utah on Sunday. The Sun Devils, 0-15 in the Pac-12, were tied with the top-10-ranked Utes at 65-all heading into the final minutes before Utah closed with a late run. Even the worst team in the Pac-12 is a tough out. That’s how good this conference is.