Wildcats remain dominant in Pac-12 power rankings

Michael Kiever Sports Reporter

#1 No. 9 Arizona 22-5 (10-4 in Pac-12):

Evidently, a win over the Beavers was just what the doctor ordered. After pummeling Oregon State 80-63 on Jan. 30, the Wildcats have won five straight games, most recently crushing in-state rival Arizona State by 39 points. Arizona continues to flex their impressively sculpted muscles over the Pac-12.

#2 No. 22 Utah 21-7 (10-5):

There’s nothing like watching tall, fundamentally sound Caucasian basketball players, not unlike Utah center Jakob Poeltl, to get the juices flowing. The seven-foot Austrian center is leading the charge for the streaking Utes, recently dropping 29 points and 13 rebounds against USC for Utah’s fourth straight win.

#3 No. 13 Oregon 21-6 (10-4):

Oregon’s starting center Chris Boucher may look more twig than man, but his versatility has undoubtedly helped Oregon this year. The lengthy big man recently tallied three blocks, three steals, a three-pointer and drained 9-10 free throws in the Ducks’ Civil War victory over OSU.

#4 California 19-8 (9-5):

After starting the season disjointed, California’s merry band of Rent-A-Players are starting to gel. The Golden Bears now find themselves winners of five straight. Freshmen stars Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown may have temporarily stopped daydreaming about their NBA paychecks to come.

#5 USC 19-8 (8-6):

As tends to be the case with USC across multiple sports these days, the potential of the Trojans largely outweighs the actual production. After a huge win over Arizona earlier in the season, the Trojans’ are slumping with three losses in their last four.

#6 Colorado 19-8 (8-7):

Colorado turned out to be double losers in Los Angeles last week, dropping both games against USC and UCLA. They now graze even further south to Arizona this Wednesday, where the dry desert grass and fierce Wildcats will do little to satisfy the win-hungry Buffaloes.

#7 Washington 16-11 (8-7):

Early-season phenom Andrew Andrews (or Andrew Squared, as he is allegedly called by many of his close friends) has been struggling from the field of late. In his last three, Andrews has been shooting 27 percent from the field. With Andrews in the cold, Washington has dropped four of its last five games.

#8 Oregon State 15-10 (6-8):

The Beavers were dealt an unlucky hand last week, running into Oregon and California just as they began to heat up. The Beavers can turn their fortunes around against the sluggish Huskies and the delightfully dreadful Cougars.

#9 UCLA 15-12 (6-8):

UCLA can hang their hats on the fact that they beat both Kentucky and Arizona this year. Otherwise, they have turned in a fairly mediocre season. The Bruins are riding a high with a recent 77-53 win over Colorado, but they aren’t fooling anyone until they string a couple games together.

#10 Stanford 13-12 (6-8):

Those geeks down in Palo Alto never took my advice of putting Christian McCaffrey in at point guard. Not coincidentally, they now found themselves near the bottom of the Pac-12. One would think a university of such prestige would try and think outside the box from time to time.

#11 Arizona State 14-13 (4-10):

Arizona’s little brother recently won two straight games in the Pac-12, a heartwarming sight to see for the oft-overlooked Sun Devils. They followed that up by getting smashed in consecutive games by UCLA and Arizona. Maybe next year.

#12 Washington State 9-18 (1-10):

After a successful football season, Washington State may have found itself with a few extra fans looking to root the team on. Unfortunately for the Cougs, football is not a year-round sport. Thanks to a 13-game losing streak, those fans are likely throwing their red and white paraphernalia in the closet until spring time.

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