Pac-12 basketball power ratings: UCLA on top; Arizona rises; Colorado and OSU slip



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

Opening night was generally positive for the Pac-12 as it attempts to build on the momentum from the wildly successful NCAA tournament.

— The top teams were impressive.

— The middle-of-the Pac teams survived a series of scares.

— And the two expected bottom feeders produced expected results.

All in all, the conference was 10-2 on Tuesday, with Cal and Washington on the wrong side of the ledger.

Prepare for more losing in Berkeley and Seattle — a lot more losing.

Note: The power ratings will be published weekly through the conclusion of the regular season.

1. UCLA (1-0)

Last week: 1

Result: Beat Cal State-Bakersfield 95-58

Next up: vs. Villanova (Friday)

Comment: The 2016 and 2018 national champions visit Pauley Pavilion in one of the most important games of the season, for the Bruins and the conference.

2. Oregon (1-0)

Last week: 2

Result: Beat Texas Southern 83-66

Next up: vs. SMU (Friday)

Comment: The transfer trio (Quincy Guerrier, Jacob Young and De'Vion Harmon) combined for 37 points and 18 rebounds. Yep, sounds about right.

3. USC (1-0)

Last week: 3

Result: Beat Cal State-Northridge 89-49

Next up: at Temple (Saturday)

Comment: Good teams playing at home are supposed to pound bad teams. CSUN is bad. The Trojans were at home. And they administered the requisite pounding.

4. Arizona (1-0)

Last week: 6

Result: Beat NAU 81-52

Next up: vs. Texas-Rio Grande Valley

Comment: Better than the Lumberjacks in one sport, at least. (Also, Dalen Terry: seven assists, one turnover, 80% from the field.)

5. Washington State (1-0)

Last week: 5

Result: Beat Alcorn State 85-67

Next up: vs. Seattle (Friday)

Comment: Not so long ago, WSU could be counted on to lose one or two games to teams that had no business winning in Pullman. Those seasons are no more.

6. Colorado (1-0)

Last week: 4

Result: Beat Montana State 94-90 (OT)

Next up: vs. New Mexico (Saturday)

Comment: Expect an uneven start for the Buffaloes as they adjust to life without McKinley Wright for the first time in forever.

7. Arizona State (1-0)

Last week: 8

Result: Beat Portland 76-60

Next up: vs. UC Riverside (Thursday)

Comment: Wake us on Nov. 18, when the Sun Devils play San Diego State and Baylor in a six-day span and provide a true sense of their personnel.

8. Oregon State (1-0)

Last week: 7

Result: Beat Portland State 73-64

Next up: at Iowa State (Friday)

Comment: For the non-Beavlievers, the opener supplied plenty of justification for their stance. It was a two-possession game with two minutes to play.

9. Utah (1-0)

Last week: 9

Result: Beat Abilene Christian 70-56

Next up: vs. Cal State-Sacramento (Saturday)

Comment: Solid start for the Craig Smith era, save for one aspect: Transfer Both Gach hasn't been cleared by the NCAA, and Utah's upside remains limited until he's available.

10. Stanford (1-0)

Last week: 10

Result: Beat Tarleton 62-50

Next up: at Santa Clara (Friday)

Comment: Did you know: Tarleton is located in Stephenville, Texas, near Dallas. And did you also know: Tarleton is a member of the WAC. Yes, that WAC.

11. Cal (0-1)

Last week: 12

Result: Lost to UC San Diego 80-67

Next up: at UNLV (Saturday)

Comment: If the Bears win three conference games, they will have overachieved.

12. Washington (0-1)

Last week: 11

Result: Lost to Northern Illinois 71-64

Next up: vs. NAU (Thursday)

Comment: Not unreasonable for Washington fans to wonder if Mike Hopkins will last the season.


Jon Wilner's Pac-12 Hotline is brought to KSL.com through a partnership with the Bay Area News Group.


Jon Wilner has been covering college sports for decades and is an AP Top 25 football and basketball voter as well as a Heisman Trophy voter. He was named Beat Writer of the Year in 2013 by the Football Writers Association of America for his coverage of the Pac-12, won first place for feature writing in 2016 in the Associated Press Sports Editors writing contest and is a five-time APSE honoree. You can follow him on Twitter @WilnerHotline or send an email at jwilner@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Pac-12 Hotline: Subscribe to the Pac-12 Hotline Newsletter. Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.

Jon Wilner

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