Pac-10 Weekly Stack Ranking

The conference's top two teams will likely meet next Thursday for all the marbles. Before we're treated to that game though each must take care of business this week against difficult opponents or else all is for not. For others like Arizona, Stanford, USC and Oregon, it's time to pile on as many wins as possible so they too can join the Bruins and the Cougars in the Big Dance.

Pac-10 Conference:  Week 9 Ranking

 

The Pac-10 Weekly Stack Ranking posts every Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

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UCLA

 

 

(23-3, 12-2)

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No reason to fiddle here at the top.  UCLA used a 20-2 run to comeback and beat ASU.  They then waltzed into McKale and danced their way to a comfortable 15 point victory.  Against ASU, the Bruins played like a team trying to win a conference championship.  Against Arizona, they played like a team capable of winning a national championship.  They host the Bay Area schools this weekend before heading to the Pacific Northwest to close out the season.  The Bruins have few weaknesses for teams to exploit but as Stanford proved in their first meeting, they are beatable.  Will they lose a game this week?  No way.

 

 

Washington State

 

 

(22-4, 11-3)

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The Cougars must avoid the upset bug when they visit the Beavers in Corvallis Thursday night before taking on the Ducks in Eugene on Saturday.  OSU should not be much of a problem but Oregon, losers of three straight, could be as they'll be playing for their postseason lives.  This highly competitive conference deserves to be decided on the final weekend this year.  I think it will, but the challenge will be a bit more difficult for Wazzu playing on the road than UCLA playing at home.  Maybe not though.  After all, the Cougs do boast a conference best 7-3 road record.

 

 

USC

 

 

(19-8, 9-5)

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I have to admit I didn't see the loss to ASU coming.  The Trojans were primed to contend with Wazzu for second place with a strong finish.  Now, USC returns to the Galen Center where they'll try and create some separation between themselves and Stanford.  They draw the Cardinal first before hosting Cal on Saturday.  A loss to either and USC could be on the outside looking in for the NCAA's due to mediocre computer numbers.  The Trojans clearly belong in the Big Dance, but I now think the Pac-10 will only get five teams in.  This means that USC, Stanford, Oregon or Arizona will get the ax.   The first team to 11 conference wins will guarantee themselves a bid, which means a lot is at stake Thursday night when USC hosts Stanford.

 

 

Stanford

 

 

(17-8, 9-5)

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Stanford used a weekend sweep of the Oregon schools to thrust themselves into the upper echelon of the Pac-10 conference with four games to go.  That's the good news.  The bad news is Stanford visits USC and UCLA this week before hosting the gutsy Sun Devils next Thursday and what should be a desperate Arizona team two days later.  It won't be easy but the Cardinal are capable of winning all these games.  They've beaten both the Los Angeles schools once already this season and barely lost to Arizona on the road.  Things won't be so easy this time around as the Bruins are an impressive 14-0 at Pauley this season.  USC is nearly as stingy (13-3) at the Galen Center so while a sweep would be greatly welcomed, a split would still be an incredible accomplishment for this young team.

 

 

Arizona

 

 

(17-9, 8-7)

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The Wildcats are in trouble.  Despite their high computer numbers the fact is their just not beating teams right now.  Arizona may have a thousand problems or they may only have one – confidence.  It's hard to say.  UCLA throttled them last Saturday, but the real disappointment was the season sweep to USC.  Arizona was competitive in both games but just didn't have enough moxie down the stretch to make the plays they needed to win.  UCLA used great offense to pull away from Arizona in the game's last five minutes while the Trojans used great defense to close out the Cats.  Arizona did neither in either game and that's why they lost.  This week they face a hungry ASU team who finally got a taste of winning last Sunday.  The game will be regionally televised on the Fox Sports Network, giving Selection Committee members another chance to watch Arizona.  A loss and it's probably over unless they make a deep run in the Conference Tournament and beat the likes of a UCLA or a Washington State.  A win and the Cats will live to fight another day. 

 

 

Oregon

 

 

(20-7, 8-7)

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Of all the conference teams fighting to get into the Big Dance, Oregon has the most to prove.  They've lost three in a row and five of six with their lone victory being over last place ASU.  The Ducks entered conference play with a spotless 12-0 record.  They've now dropped seven for the season with three tough games to go.  Luckily, all three games are at Mac Court where the Ducks are 13-2 this season.  A win over Wazzu on Thursday and all their wrongs will be forgotten.  A loss and Oregon probably needs to beat both Washington and rival Oregon State to have a chance to play come mid-March.

 

 

Washington

 

 

(16-10, 6-8)

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Two gut wrenching losses last week to Wazzu and then at Pitt probably ended the Huskies' chances of making the NCAA Tourney.  It's unfortunate because two wins and they would be singing an entirely different tune.  They still have an outside shot but it's the longest of the long shots.  Their final four games are at OSU and Oregon and then home to USC and UCLA.  There's no denying that four straight wins over these teams to close out the regular season would certainly do the trick.  The real trick though is finding ways to beat each of these quality opponents. 

 

 

California

 

 

(14-12, 6-8)

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Cal upset Oregon last week and then took care of Oregon State to keep their record above .500.  This week they draw difficult match ups against both UCLA and USC.  Although Cal has no shot at the NCAA Tournament, making the NIT is most certainly within their grasp.  What's even better is in playing the Los Angeles schools this week and then Arizona next Thursday, Cal has three opportunities to post at least one high profile win to add to their resume.

 

 

Arizona State

 

 

(7-19, 1-14)

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I must admit that I was beginning to fear that the Sun Devils' first win of the conference season was going to come this Sunday when they welcome in the Wildcats.  Now I'm beginning to fear that Sunday will mark their second win.  The games between these two rivals are always heated and ASU would like nothing more than to be the team that delivers the death blow to Arizona.

 

 

Oregon State

 

 

(10-18, 2-13)

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I don't expect Oregon State to win another game this season and that includes their Wednesday night game in the Pac-10 Tournament.  They host the Washington schools this week before squaring off against their in-state rival to close out the regular season.  All of their opponents are desperate for wins.  What's worse, they're also all more talented.  For OSU, the most they can do is use the remaining games as tune ups for next season when they can start from scratch.

 


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