Only two more weeks of Pac-12 basketball remain and the picture is beginning to look a little clearer with just a handful of games remaining for each squad. It looks as if the regular season crown will come down to California and Washington with three other squads battling for positions three through five.
One of those other three squads could still jump ahead of the top two schools in the standings, but it's going to take a lot for any of them to make such a leap with just two weeks of basketball left to play. Here is how the squads rank with the finish line right around the corner.
The Golden Bears took care of business last week against the Oregon schools to hold on to the top spot in the conference. Cal has won five straight games since dropping a home contest against Arizona and look like the best team in the conference at the moment. Winning the conference title will not be easy though, as California will play its final three games on the road.
The Huskies came up with a huge victory over Arizona at home on Saturday and now are in a tie for first place in the Pac-12. UW is going to need some sort of help down the stretch as Cal holds the tiebreaker in the case of a tie. Like the Bears, the Huskies finish their final three games away from home, so they have no room for error in the final two weeks.
UA split a pair in the northwest last week, putting a dent in their conference championship aspirations. The Wildcats were able to fight off a pesky Wazzu squad before falling at the hands of Washington. Arizona fought hard with UW, but ultimately the Huskies were too efficient on the offensive end of the floor for UA to handle.
The silver lining for the Wildcats is that they finish the season with two home games followed by the season-ender against lowly Arizona State. Arizona must win out and hope for some serious help down the stretch, but playing two more home games than the squads in front of it certainly helps.
The Buffaloes took care of business at home against Utah in their lone contest of the week. At 10-4 in conference play, CU remains just one and a half games behind Cal and Washington with four games remaining on its schedule. It's going to take a huge effort from Colorado with two of its final four contests against California and Oregon.
The Ducks split a pair in the Bay Area and remain two games out with three games to play. UO has a road test against struggling rival Oregon State before finishing at home against Colorado and Utah. Like Arizona, Oregon benefits from having two more home games than the top two squads in the Pac-12, but UO must win out and pray for a lot of help if it wants to win the conference crown.
The Bruins defeated last-place USC before losing a non-conference road contest at St. Johns. Out of contention for the Pac-12 title, UCLA must now hope for a huge run in the Pac-12 Tournament if it wants an NCAA Tournament bid. The Bruins have four games remaining with two against teams in contention, so they would love nothing more than to play the role of spoiler in the final two weeks of the regular season.
Once posing as a contender earlier in the season, the Cardinal has lost six out of nine and currently stands at 8-7 in the Pac-12. Stanford's loss to Oregon on Saturday put the Cardinal at 2-6 against teams who hold records of .500 or better in conference play.
8. Washington State
After splitting a pair of home games to the Arizona schools, the Cougars currently hold a record of 6-9 against the Pac-12. Wazzu has experienced its fair share of struggles throughout the season as it has won consecutive games in conference play just one time.
9. Oregon State
The conference's biggest disappointment this season has been, without question, Oregon State. After losing a pair of road games in the Bay Area, the Beavers have lost four in a row and five out of six. In a season when many thought Jared Cunningham would lead the Beavers into a battle for the conference championship, Oregon State has never really threatened the top-half of the conference at any point this season.
10. Arizona State
ASU was swept in Washington last week, making it three straight road trips where the Sun Devils failed to come away with a victory. Arizona State is 1-8 on the road in the Pac-12 this season.
Utah battled hard with Colorado but ultimately fell short once again, extending its losing streak to seven games. It's been a rough year for the Utah program, which will finish with the worst overall record in program history. The closest the Utes basketball program has ever experienced prior to this season in terms of futility was an 8-19 finish back in 1972-73.
The Trojans have had their fair share of problems throughout the season as well, as it appears they will finish the season with two or less conference wins for the fifth time in program history.
Pac-12 Power Rankings
Wildcat Authority Top Stories
Video: Sean Miller after UCLASean Miller discusses Arizona's loss to UCLA.
Wildcat AuthorityYesterday at 8:12 PM
Video: Arizona Players after UCLAParker Jackson-Cartwright and Allonzo Trier meet with the media after Arizona's loss to UCLA.
Wildcat AuthorityYesterday at 8:07 PM
Lack of rebounding costs Arizona against UCLAArizona lost to UCLA 77-72 on Saturday. Read on for the complete recap.
Wildcat AuthorityYesterday at 7:07 PM
Postgame Analysis: Arizona vs. UCLAArizona could not hold off UCLA down the stretch on Saturday night, falling 77-72. Read on for a closer look at what happened.
Wildcat AuthorityYesterday at 4:40 PM