Thursday, July 31, 2014

Power rankings commentary: Pac-12, WCC, MWC men's basketball, Version 4 (12 items)

By Nate Gagon, For the Deseret News

Dec. 19, 2013

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)

No change

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)

No change

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)

No change

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)

No change

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)

No change

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.
1. Kralon
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA,
Dec. 19, 2013

BYU was helped by Stanford and Texas winning as they moved up in KenPom's rankings from 48 to 47 but BYU's disastrous shooting against Utah was a little deja vu of the BYU-Virginia football game and hurt them far more.

If BYU's basketball team proves to be very inconsistent this year they likely won't make it to the NCAA tournament.

Other than BYU's performance in the Utah game I have been mildly surprised at how well they've played this year, hopefully the Utah game was an anomaly. No disrespect intended to Utah as a Utah win was not a big surprise considering Utah's performance last year at the Marriott Center.

Go Cougars and Utes!

2. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
Dec. 19, 2013

Congratulations to the Pac 12 Utes, the best team in Utah.

byu basketball fans have been noticeably absent compared to the past. The silence is deafening!

Tell me byu fans, how does it feel to know going into Christmas break you're an 8-5 basketball team, 0-4 against ranked teams and having been dominated by your rival, and with only one ranked team left to play in your entire conference?

I supposed if byu wins 20 straight games you'd be back in the NCAA tournament picture, but in all likelihood, your season is OVER!

3. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
Dec. 19, 2013

For as much as byu fans have been bragging about their RPI, it'll be fun to watch it tank, even if they win against teams in the 11th "best" conference in the country, the WCC.

Sure, based on TODAY's Rpi one may conclude byu is an NCAA team.

But that would be pretending a horrible conference schedule didn't await byu.

Utah has a better chance of dancing than byu, and we're better!

Tators, where are you my byu friend?

4. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
Dec. 19, 2013

Thanks to byu fans all year in football, we all remember one thing:

Playing ranked teams doesn't count for ANYTHING if all you do is lose.

0-5 against ranked teams
0-1 against your rival

If byu fans could be honest, they'd admit that unless they go 18-2 the rest of the way, your season is OVER!

5. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
Dec. 19, 2013

For those who are in love with the RPI this early in the season, I'll remind you that as of a week ago(I haven't checked lately) byu had a better RPI than Duke, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Kentucky.

So go ahead and tell us byu is better than those teams since your RPI is/was higher.

LOL!