Power rankings commentary: Pac-12, WCC, MWC men's basketball, Version 4 (12 items)
Saturday was a great day for the Pac-12 as its teams went 8-0. The three impressive wins were Arizona over Michigan on the road, Oregon over Illinois and Utah’s demolition of BYU.
The Utes were the big winners in the power rankings this week, jumping over the likes of UCLA, New Mexico, Boise State and BYU all the way into the Top 10. In the WCC, Saint Mary’s finally played a decent team and showed well in beating Boise State on the road.
Those that had the worst weeks were New Mexico and BYU.
There are some good games coming up this next week. These are the most impactful to keep an eye on:
1. Thursday: UCLA at No. 8 Duke (5:30 p.m., ESPN)
2. Friday: Pacific vs. Princeton (8:30 p.m.)
3. Saturday: No. 7 Oklahoma State at No. 20 Colorado (9:30 p.m., ESPN2)
4. Saturday: BYU at No. 13 Oregon (8:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
5. Saturday: Texas Tech at Arizona State (4:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
6. Saturday: No. 21 Gonzaga at Kansas State (1:30 p.m., ESPN2)
Here is the fourth edition of the Pac-12/MWC/WCC power rankings — games through Dec. 18.
1 of 12. 1. Arizona Wildcats (Pac-12)
Arizona keeps finding a way to win close games. For most of the game at Michigan on Saturday it looked like the Wildcats were going to lose. As they have multiple times this season, however, they found a way to pull it out at the end.
After also beating New Mexico State last week by 26 — a team that just beat New Mexico on the road — Arizona is now 11-0 and remains ranked No. 1 in both major polls.
2 of 12. 2. Oregon Ducks (Pac-12)
Like Arizona, Oregon found a way to win a tough competitive game. The Ducks trailed Illinois by one at home with just more than three minutes remaining but pulled ahead in the final minute for a big victory. The Ducks were once again led by Johnathan Loyd, the brother of former BYU player Mike Loyd, who scored the final six points to seal the win.
Oregon also beat UC Irvine on Tuesday by 28 to move to 10-0 on the season. The Ducks are ranked No. 11 in the Coaches Poll and No. 13 in the AP.
3 of 12. 3. Colorado Buffaloes (Pac-12)
In between huge games against Kansas and Oklahoma State, Colorado took somewhat of a week off last week, playing just one game against Elon. The Buffaloes won the game easily to move to 10-1 on the season.
Colorado is ranked No. 20 in the AP Poll and No. 24 in the Coaches Poll.
4 of 12. 4. Gonzaga Bulldogs (WCC)
Gonzaga jumped on South Alabama early Saturday night, racing out to a 22-3 lead. The Jaguars cut the lead to single digits a few times in the second half but the Bulldogs were never truly threatened in the game.
The Bulldogs (10-1) have their final non-conference test this Saturday vs. Kansas State.
5 of 12. 5. San Diego State Aztecs (MWC)
The Aztecs (8-1) have not played since Dec. 8 and do not play another interesting game until they take on Kansas on Jan. 5.
The Mountain West looks to be wide open this year with San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico, Boise State and Utah State likely the Top 5.