Ducks finish regular season in No. 1 spot

Michael Kiever Sports Reporter

No. 8 Oregon (25-6, 14-4)- Oregon capped off its most successful season to date with a pair of victories against USC and UCLA, extending their winning streak to five going into the tournament. They have other reasons to be fired up as well, namely because Dillon Brooks was beaten out by Utah’s Jakob Poeltl for Pac-12 Player of the Year. Nothing will ever be enough for the Ducks, will it?

No. 12 Utah (24-7, 13-5)- Now that Poeltl has been crowned the top player in the Pac-12, basketball fundamentalists everywhere can finally rejoice. He might be the most dominant and strikingly pale big man the state of Utah has seen since the “enormous Mormon” Shawn Bradley. That can only bode well for the Utes heading into the Pac-12 tournament.

No. 15 Arizona (24-7, 12-6)- Leave it to Arizona to spoil all the fun. This should have been California’s spot, but the Wildcats edged them in a 64-61 victory to end the Golden Bears’ seven-game winning streak. Arizona’s win over the red-hot Cal should serve as a reminder that despite a (relative) down year, these guys can still play. 

No. 24 California (22-9, 12-6)- Make no mistake, I’m still scared of Cal. They are still figuring out how to harness their power and have some time before the NCAA tournament starts to continue growing as a team. Cal is a team that people should be wary of playing. With a load of young talent that could explode on any night, they are definitely going to be one of my sleeper picks when filling out a bracket. 

Colorado (21-10, 10-8)- The Buffaloes were this close to beating the Utes in Salt Lake City on their senior night, but blew a 14-point lead in the second half and ended up losing. It was an unfortunate outcome for Colorado, who has been struggling to free themselves from the bindings of the “good, not great” designation. With a first round matchup of Washington State in the Pac-12 tournament, they will almost certainly get another shot at distinguishing themselves against Arizona in the second round.

Oregon State (18-11, 9-9)- Operating without Tres Tinkle, the Beavers successfully maneuvered an impressive win around UCLA last week to bump themselves up in the Pac-12 Power Rankings. Speaking of Tinkle, the star freshman was not named to the All-Freshman team. In two years, this will be a laughable offense. 

Washington (17-13, 9-9)- After a downright awful week against OSU and Oregon, the Huskies rebounded with a 99-91 win over in-state rival Washington State, tying their highest point total in Pac-12 play this season. UW and Stanford play tonight in the Pac-12 Tournament to see who will get the right to lose to Oregon in the next round.

USC (20-11, 9-9)- USC was able to get a rare win over the undermanned Beavers, preventing a fourth straight loss. It was a lucky break for the Trojans, whose depressing season has been in the tank for awhile now. The talent is there, but the desire… is elsewhere. They get a matchup against the similarly downtrodden UCLA today. 

Stanford (15-14, 8-10)- Ouch. The Cardinal lost to Arizona State early in the week and then lost to Arizona by 32 points. Christian McCaffrey clearly decided his talents were unworthy of this mediocre team. Stanford will be fighting an uphill battle to stay over .500 against Washington tonight.

UCLA (15-16, 6-12)- Remember when Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook both played for the Bruins? Yeah, that was a really, really long time ago. The Bruins are currently on a four-game losing streak and just recently fell under .500. Somewhere in a distant universe, John Wooden sheds a tear. 

Arizona State (15-16, 5-13)- Props to the Sun Devils for sticking with it this season. Despite a clear lack of talent, Arizona State has still competed. They almost took down Cal at home last week, and have a chance against OSU today. ASU is on a quest to remind people that Arizona isn’t the only college basketball team in the state.

Washington State (9-21, 1-17)- Good news for Cougar fans- the end is near. One of the worst teams in recent Pac-12 history, Washington State’s season cannot end soon enough. One of their few bright spots this season has been forward Josh Hawkinson, who leads the Pac-12 with 11.0 rebounds per game. Other than that, it’s been bleak.


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