Pac-10 Weekly Stack Ranking

Oregon and Stanford swap spots this week, as does Cal and Washington, and Oregon State and Arizona State. The Bruins, Cougars and Trojans remain one, two and three while the Wildcats are still locked in at number five. It's a big week in the Pac-10 as tournament hopes and seedings are on the line for six teams. For two others, wins over the right teams could earn them a spot in the NIT.

Pac-10 Conference:  Week 10 Ranking

 

The Pac-10 Weekly Stack Ranking posts every Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

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UCLA

 

 

(25-3, 14-2)

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The UCLA Express Train keeps rolling along.  Next stop, the Pacific Northwest.  The Bruins need just one victory over the weekend and the regular season conference crown is theirs to wear.  And in a season where the Pac-10 may have been at its best in a decade, a title is something they can definitely hang their hat on.  They draw Wazzu first.  Win this one and a number one seed in the NCAA is a virtual lock.  The Cougars will be tough, but UCLA right now is getting too much production from too many different players for them to stumble.  Expect a weekend sweep to close out the season.

 

 

Washington State

 

 

(23-5, 12-4)

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The Cougars had the Bruins in their sights, but out of nowhere came the pesky Ducks who got a great win last week, but also spoiled what could have been a great match up this week.  Thursday's game will still be a fantastic one with the Bruins, but now it looks like the game that will really matter is Saturday's season finale with the Trojans.  Second place should be on the line.  The question is will the game be for second outright or a second place tie.  I'm guessing it will be for all the marbles, which means Wazzu falls to UCLA and USC topples Washington.

 

 

USC

 

 

(21-8,11-5)

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Early in the season I said don't be surprised to see the Trojans ranked in the top 10 in 2007.  I was thinking more like December of this year and not right now.  The Trojans have risen close to the top and when the weekend concludes, the Los Angeles schools could be one and two in the conference standings.  This would be an incredible accomplishment for a team playing the season without Francis and ahead of O.J. Mayo's arrival.  If it weren't for Tony Bennett, Tim Floyd would be a clear cut choice for not only Pac-10 Coach of the Year but national coaching honors.

 

 

Oregon

 

 

(22-7 10-7)

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The Ducks resurrected themselves from the NCAA Bubble and back into the field of 64 with their win over Wazzu.  That gave Oregon the season sweep over the Pac-10 number two team and gave them a critical 10th conference win.  They don't play again until Saturday night when they host in-state rival Oregon State.  A win and the Ducks can't finish any lower than fourth.  A loss and, well, let's just say I won't be the only one who'll be shocked.

 

 

Arizona

 

 

(18-9, 9-7)

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And away we go.  The drive for five begins Thursday when the Wildcats visit Berkeley to take on the Bears.  It seems if you ask 10 people the fate of the Wildcats, you'll get 10 different scenarios.  So, let me clarify.  If Arizona sweeps in the Bay Area, they'll be no lower than a 6 seed come tournament time.  If they make the conference tourney final, they'll be a five.  If they win out, they'll be a four.  I'm not even going to consider Arizona losing up north this week because remember the mantra, "Arizona will win their last three games to finish 11-7."  Keys to victory this week:  Fire staying out of foul trouble and Wind, Williams and Shakur hitting mid-range jumpers.

 

 

Stanford

 

 

(17-10, 9-7)

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There is no shame in dropping two in Los Angeles.  Now that they're back in Maples Pavilion though, it's time to start winning again.  They draw ASU first before taking on the Wildcats in a game that will be televised on ABC.  The Cardinal are good enough to make the NCAA Tournament and should.  Two wins and they're in for sure.  In fact, just beating the Wildcats will get them in so Arizona will need to bring their "A" game on Saturday to avoid the upset.  Will Tiger Woods be in the crowd?  Cardinal fans will hope yes.  Arizona fans will certainly hope no.

 

 

California

 

 

(14-14, 6-10)

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Right now Cal is doing more with less talent than Washington so they get the nod here despite the Huskies having the better overall record.  Cal gets Arizona first.  In Tucson, the Wildcats ran out to a 29 point lead and won 94-85.  Surely, this time things won't be so easy for the Wildcats.  Anderson can score with Budinger and Williams and Ubaka can hang with Shakur so the Bears will definitely put up a fight.  Their problem all season has been their endurance though.  Great first half play is usually followed up by average second frames that see the Bears tire as the game wears on.  Cal will have to fight and claw just to get one win this week.  If that win is over Arizona then look out NIT because here comes the Bears.

 

 

Washington

 

 

(16-12, 6-10)

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It's utterly amazing to see the Huskies lose so many conference games.  By no means am I suggesting that they should be competing with UCLA and Wazzu for top billing but by all means they should be in the log jam of middling teams who are trying to finish conference play at 11-7.  Hawes and Brockman have been consistent, but few others on the team have.  Appleby takes too many wild shots, Dentmon makes too many wild passes and talented freshmen like Pondexter are just a little too raw to compete with the conference's more experienced leaders.  The future is definitely bright for Washington, but the immediate future is grayer than the Seattle sky.  If they can somehow get one win from the visiting Los Angeles schools this week, they'll likely get into the NIT.  If not, it'll take a Syracuse-like conference tournament run to qualify the Huskies for any kind of postseason play. 

 

 

Oregon State

 

 

(11-19, 3-14)

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Ever since the Pauley Pavilion Massacre, the Beavers have played very hard, competitive basketball.  Getting the victory over Washington proved that they could beat someone besides the Sun Devils.  Nearly beating Arizona the week before proved that this young team is probably just a year away from vying for a middle of the conference finish.  Jay John is a really good coach whose team is having a really down year.  It took him some time, but he's finally reached his players in the last couple of weeks.  Unfortunately, there's only one game remaining in their season.  It's a good one though against the rival Ducks.  The game is not quite the Civil War, but a victory over Oregon and there might be some civil unrest on Greek Row in Corvallis Saturday night.

 

 

Arizona State

 

 

(7-20, 1-15)

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The Sun Devils have come so close so many times you can't help but feel their pain.  Conference foe, in-state rival, or otherwise, ASU deserved to win a few more games this year then they did.  Their match up zone is going to wreak havoc in the year's to come as long as Sndek stays in Tempe.  The zone might even wreak havoc this week in the Bay Area if the Cardinal or Bears get sloppy with the ball.  Consecutive victories up north probably won't occur but honestly, would you really be that surprised if they did.

 


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