Ranking the Pac-10: Basketball Edition


1. Washington (13-4, 5-1)Last Week: 1

The Huskies won’t run through the league undefeated, but they remain the class of the Pac-10. The college game can be controlled by guard, and tandems don’t get much better than Isiah Thomas and Venoy Overton. Add to that Matthew Bryan-Amaning in the middle and the lineup is lethal. It also helps that Lorenzo Romar is a solid coach.

2. Arizona (15-3, 4-1)Last Week: 2

Arizona has a great record, but this weekend will be telling. The Wildcats are 0-2 against ranked teams, including an embarrassing blowout at the hands of BYU. How will they handle playing Washington and Washington State, especially on the road?

3. Stanford (10-6, 3-2)Last Week: 4

The Cardinal continue to exceed expectations as they sit in a tie for third. Stanford didn’t play particularly well out of conference, but Dawkin’s squad is hitting its stride at the right time. The Los Angeles road trip is tough, but if they manage a split they will be in good shape. Their upset of Washington was very impressive considering they held the high-scoring Huskies to 56 points.

4. UCLA (11-6, 3-2)Last Week: 5

The Bruins fell to USC at the Galen Center, but they get credit for heading to Oregon and handling their business. The Beavers have been tough at home, but UCLA used solid defense to will their way to a victory. They also didn’t look past a weak Oregon squad and sit in a tie for third.

5. California (9-8, 2-3)Last Week: 7

With Jorge Gutierrez leading the way, the Bears beat Washington State last weekend before falling to Washington. Coach Mike Montgomery knew it would be hard to contend after capturing the Pac-10 title last year, and his squad will find out a lot about itself this weekend in Los Angeles. A year ago, Cal managed a split after traveling south, falling to USC and then beating UCLA.

6. Washington State (13-5, 3-3)Last Week: 6

The Cougars have a softball in Arizona State before playing No. 25 Arizona and No. 20 Washington. Klay Thompson continues to score with precision, shooting 47.6% and averaging 22.9 points per game. Despite some confusing losses, Washington State managed to beat a tough Stanford team in Palo Alto and will need to bring their A game if they want to move back into the conversation of the conference big wigs. Pundit Seth Davis predicts either USC or WSU will receive a bid, and Washington State can separate itself in the next few games.

7. Oregon State (8-9, 3-3)Last Week: 8

Craig Robinson’s young squad is putting up more of a fight than many pundits predicted they would. Their 1-3-1 zone is difficult to crack and will continue to give the conference fits. If they beat lowly Oregon this weekend, they will be sitting in a solid position at 4-3. With Arizona and Washington the class of the Pac-10, teams are simply fighting for seeding in the conference tournament.

8. USC (10-8, 2-3)Last Week: 3

Plain and simply, the Trojans can’t be considered a threat in the league until they learn to win on the road. At Galen, they can go toe-to-toe with virtually any team in the country, but they are a completely different team on the road. They have lost 14 of their past 16 Pac-10 road games.

9. Arizona State (9-8, 1-4)Last Week: 9

Herb Sendek’s squad hasn’t been able to find a go-to guy to carry the team and overcome the losses sustained by graduation and the NBA. The bad news for the Sun Devils is that they still must visit the Washington schools, the Los Angeles schools, and the Bay Area schools. Unfortunately the road will only get tougher.

10. Oregon (8-10, 1-5)Last Week: 10

Despite having the ugliest court in the entire nation, the Ducks were able to edge out USC as they opened their new stadium. Despite the win, it will be interesting to see how many wins they end up with. Oregon isn’t a particularly potent squad and will have trouble scratching out wins.