This Week In BootPowerRatings™

Take a look at Jeff Fawcett's latest installment of the 2008-09 BootPowerRatings™ (BPRs) for Pac-10 hoops as we are knee-deep into the second half of play in the conference. Will the Oregon schools stand tall versus the Bay Area duo? What do the Washington schools have in store for UCLA and USC down in LA? Can Arizona stay hot and beat the Sun Devils? Check out our BPRs!

"The horror! The horror!" Stanford fans find their hearts filled with darkness after watching a 22-point lead turn into a loss over in the Congo, er, Berkeley I mean. Huskies sweep as expected but get a pleasant surprise with UCLA dropping a pair in the desert. Can they hold onto their one-game lead in the standings against a very tough schedule? Huskies' remaining Pac-10 opponents have a .571 conference record, which ties with Arizona for second toughest slate behind the .651 of WSU (who play the same teams as UW but swap UW for themselves).

UCLA, by contrast, faces the easiest schedule at .421. UW, UCLA, and ASU all have more home than road games left. In the end, W-L, polls, Sagarin ratings, and RPIs all show a logjam of good, but not great, teams vying for the regular season title and NCAA bids. TOW is a tie between the two Arizonas for their symmetrical sweep of the El Lay pair. Game one they each win by 7, game two they each win by 12.

Below are our exclusive BootPowerRatings™ of the Pac-10 conference. Each week during the basketball season, we will release our secret-formula rating of all teams of the Pac-10. The BootPowerRating™ (BPR) is calculated by utilizing a wide range of factors rumored to include: past results, statistics, common-opponent comparative results factor, strength-of-schedule, home-venue environment, cheerleader attitude and an unrevealed school spirit multiplier. The resulting rating score falls within a 1-100 scale, where 100 approximates a championship-bound team and a score of 1 is somewhere south of D-1.

Pac-10 BootPowerRatings
As of 2/19/09

1. Washington (10-3, 20-5)
Pasted OSU after halftime then crushed Oregon early before simply running up and down the floor launching shots in the second half. Stats from that game should have an asterisk, as the teams combined to take 129 shots and 71 FTs while not even pretending to play defense. Easily the best rebounding team in the conference, which not only allows them to get out on the break but also covers for their rather average shooting. Interesting tidbit: while this is just his seventh season, Romar is second in Pac-10 seniority at current school list (trailing only Oregon's lame Duck). Huge game Thursday, a win at UCLA will leave Ben howling and likely end the Bruin title streak at three. Polls:20.5 Sagarin:22 RPI:24  []
2. Arizona St. (9-4, 20-5)
Tweaking from the BPRs clearly helped Ty Abbott as he finally found his stroke. His 12 points against UCLA was his first double-digit game of 2009. Topped USC despite just 25 combined points from their dynamic Harden/Pendergraph duo. Truly doing it with D, as they are just sixth in FG%, sixth in FT%, and last in 3PT%. 3-0 in games decided by less than six points, while Stanford is 0-3. So Stanford is kinda sorta as good as ASU, except for the winning the games part. Polls:12.5 Sagarin:19 RPI:25  []
3. UCLA (8-4, 19-6)
Wow, didn't see that one coming. Lost to ASU late and blown out by Arizona early, Bruins now have their first three game road losing streak in five years. Jrue's game was on holiday as the frosh had an awful weekend, with more turnovers than points. Their road woes are shared by the rest of the conference and doesn't bode well for postseason success. The five teams at the top of the Pac are a combined 65-7 at home and just 21-19 on the road. That is a fairly remarkable split. Get a chance to run with the Huskies in town, Vegas expects them to get their revenge with a hefty eight-point opening line Polls:17.5 Sagarin:20 RPI:32  [Bruin Report Online]
4. Arizona (8-5, 18-8)
En fuego. Hotter than Tucson asphalt in July (which I know for a fact can melt sneaker soles, which I used as a good excuse to stay inside drinking for the next three days). Still haven't lost since the miracle comeback over Houston, the streak is now at seven. Nic Wise chalks up the player of the week award, making him the fourth different Wildcat to snag the honor this year (Jamelle Horne snuck one in over the Christmas holidays when most teams were off). Risking charges of blasphemy, is it possible that the Cats are better off under Russ Pennell than they would have been under Lute? Their MVP is probably Aubrey Coleman…of Houston. He's the guy who stepped on Budinger's face, which some how woke up Mr. Laid Back Beach Dude and turned him back into the lottery pick he was supposed to be three years ago. Now third in scoring, seventh in rebounding, eleventh in assists, and gunning for POY at this rate. Memo to Johnny Dawkins: have you tried stepping on our guys' faces? Couldn't hurt. Polls:30 Sagarin:39 RPI:42  []
5. California (8-4, 19-6)
#@$%&! Polls:29.5 Sagarin:24 RPI:26  [The Bear Insider]
6. USC (6-6, 15-9)
Now or never time for Floyd's boyz. Dropped another pair on the road, making them 2-6 in their ugly gold unis. But with four of their last six at home, where they are almost perfect at 12-1, postseason hopes are still alive. ASU game was far closer than the 12-point margin would indicate, as a potential three-point play with 48 seconds would have gotten them to within three. But the original call was overturned, becoming a charge and no basket, leading to Coach Floyd doing his best George Brett pine tar impression. Double technicals, ejection, lots of free throws, bingo, lose by 12. Polls:NR Sagarin:41 RPI:43  [SCPlaybook]
7. Washington St. (5-8, 13-12)
Downed the Ducks by the ultimate WSU score: 67-38. Unfortunately, then proceeded to pull the ultimate "Couging it" by losing at home to OSU. Blew a 12-point halftime lead by going scoreless for an amazing eight minutes in the second half. Brutal closing schedule should leave them steadily dropping to an eventual ninth place finish, but if one word can describe this season it is youneverknow. Coach Bennett will try to lead them from rags to riches, but I don't see it. Polls:NA Sagarin:75 RPI:112  []
8. Stanford (4-8, 15-8)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a half of hot shooting, it was a half of bricks. It was a half of Duke basketball, it was a half of guys trying to play Duke basketball. It was a half of a bright young rookie coach, it was a half of a wily veteran coach. The Beloveds were hot as the Dickens for 16 minutes, starting 8 for 10 from beyond the arc. Alas, just 2 of 9 the rest of the way, with an opening 50-point half being, well, halved. Still 0-fer the road in conference, if the streak doesn't end in Oregon it never will. FYI, one Stanford player leads the conference-only stats in something, can you guess who and what? Need more time? We don't have all day, this column has to end. Correct! Or, wrong! You decide. Will Paul, 3PT%, .571. Polls:NR Sagarin:61 RPI:86  []
9. Oregon St. (5-8, 11-13)
Officially guaranteed to not finish behind Oregon for the first time since '05, so the locals are happy no matter what happens the rest of the way. OSU has one guy leading also, Seth Tarver with 22 steals. Making just seven FTs per game, no other team is below 10. Despite a one-game lead and playing at home, still a 4.5 point dog to Stanford. That is what a 2-5 home conference record gets you. Polls:NR Sagarin:124 RPI:138  []
10. Oregon (0-13, 6-19)
Shooting .395 from the floor while allowing .518. Doesn't quite match the .139 margin OSU "achieved" last year, but scarily close. More amazing number is opponents hitting .458 from three-point land! That is better than what four Pac-10 teams are shooting overall. Needless to say, the Porter-Sim backcourt redefines "defensively challenged." "Honestly, this may have been the most disappointing season I have ever been associated with" – former Detroit Lions GM Matt Millen, who probably said the same thing seven years in a row. Polls:NR Sagarin:160 RPI:161  [eDuck]

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