Arizona won at Washington State late Thursday while UCLA lost at USC and Utah won at Oregon State. Consequently, the Pac-12 race has tightened up.
The top of the league standings now look like this:
- 1. UCLA (8-2)
- 2. Utah (8-3)
- T-3. Arizona (7-3)
- T-3. USC (7-3)
The class of the conference remains Arizona and UCLA with Utah emerging as a surprising third-best team after being picked 10th in the Pac-12 preseason media poll. I have Arizona at No. 8 and UCLA at No. 10 in Friday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. I could easily see the Wildcats and/or Bruins advancing all the way to the 2023 Final Four. Both are really good -- but their resumes are flawed for different reasons.
Let's start with UCLA.
The Bruins are 4-4 in Quadrant 1 and 6-0 in Quadrant 2 — or 10-4 in the first two quadrants with zero losses outside of Q1. That's solid in the sense that UCLA has no resume-damaging losses, but Mick Cronin's team also has zero wins over schools also ranked in the Top 25 And 1. The Bruins' best win is probably a neutral-court victory over a Kentucky team that's been one of the sport's biggest disappointments, which is among the reasons UCLA really needs to add a win over Arizona in the regular-season finale on March 4. If the Bruins' don't, they'll enter the Pac-12 Tournament with zero wins over teams currently ranked in the top 30 of the NET.
Now to Arizona.
Unlike UCLA, Arizona has big wins over Tennessee, UCLA , San Diego State, Creighton and Indiana, all of which are in the top 25 of the NET. But the Wildcats also have two losses to teams ranked outside of the top 60 of the NET — specifically losses to Oregon (61) and Washington State (72). For some context, consider that four of the seven teams I have ranked ahead of Arizona have zero losses to teams ranked outside of the top 60 of the NET, and that literally nobody else in the top 20 of the Top 25 And 1 has more than one loss to a team ranked outside of the top 60 of the NET.
Again, Arizona has two such losses.
So if you're one of the Arizona fans tweeting me every day wondering why I have the Wildcats slightly lower than where AP voters have them, there's your answer. Arizona's loss column isn't bad but it is undeniably worse than the loss column attached to every team I have ranked ahead of them, and, from my perspective, the loss column should always matter when it comes to ranking or seeding teams.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Zach Edey finished with 19 points and nine rebounds in Thursday's 75-70 win at Michigan. The Boilermakers' next game is Sunday against Michigan State.||--||29-6|
|Noah Clowney finished with 13 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday's 66-63 win over Mississippi State. The Crimson Tide's next game is Saturday at Oklahoma.||--||31-5|
|Marcus Carr finished with 21 points and five assists in Tuesday's 89-75 win over Oklahoma State. The Longhorns' next game is Saturday at Tennessee.||--||28-8|
|Jaren Holmes finished with 23 points and seven assists in Tuesday's 80-76 win over Kansas State. The Cyclones' next game is Saturday at Missouri.||1||19-14|
|Kansas State allowed the Cyclones to shoot 57.1% from the field in Tuesday's 80-76 loss at Iowa State. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday against Florida.||1||25-9|
|Jarace Walker finished with 17 points and four rebounds in Wednesday's 82-71 win at UCF. The Cougars' next game is Saturday against Cincinnati.||1||33-3|
|Zakai Zeigler finished with 11 points and seven assists in Wednesday's 70-41 win over Georgia. The Vols' next game is Saturday against Texas.||1||25-10|
|Azuolas Tubelis finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds in Thursday's 63-58 win at Washington State. The Wildcats' next game is Saturday at Washington.||1||28-7|
|Kansas missed 14 of the 19 3-pointers it attempted in Monday's 75-69 loss at Baylor. The Jayhawks' next game is Saturday at Kentucky.||1||28-8|
|UCLA nearly allowed the Trojans to shoot 50% from the field in Thursday's 77-64 loss at USC. The Bruins' next game is Thursday against Washington.||6||31-5|
|Colby Jones finished with 20 points and four assists in Wednesday's 82-79 win at UConn. The Musketeers' next game is Saturday at Creighton.||--||27-9|
|Armaan Franklin finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's 76-67 win at Wake Forest. The Cavaliers' next game is Saturday against Boston College.||--||25-8|
|Mike Miles Jr. finished with 23 points and three rebounds in Tuesday's 79-52 win over Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs' next game is Saturday at Mississippi State.||--||22-13|
|LJ Cryer finished with 22 points and three assists in Monday's 75-69 win over Kansas. The Bears' next game is Saturday against Arkansas.||--||23-11|
|Kam Jones finished with 22 points and three steals in Saturday's 74-53 win at Seton Hall. The Golden Eagles' next game is Saturday at DePaul.||--||29-7|
|Drew Timme finished with 38 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 99-90 win at Pacific. The Zags' next game is Saturday at Portland.||--||30-5|
|Bryce Hopkins finished with 16 points and seven rebounds in Wednesday's 79-58 win over Butler. The Friars' next game is Sunday at Villanova.||--||21-12|
|Johnell Davis finished with 25 points and six rebounds in Thursday's 85-67 win over Middle Tennessee. The Owls' next game is Saturday against Western Kentucky.||--||33-3|
|Jarkel Joiner finished with 28 points and six rebounds in Tuesday's 85-82 win over Notre Dame. The Wolfpack's next game is Saturday at Wake Forest.||--||23-11|
|Isaiah Wong finished with 18 points and nine rebounds in Tuesday's 86-63 win at Florida State.The Hurricanes' next game is Saturday at Pitt.||--||27-7|
|Aidan Mahaney finished with 20 points and two rebounds in Saturday's 77-58 win over Santa Clara. The Gaels' next game is Saturday at BYU.||--||27-8|
|Auburn missed 13 of the 16 3-pointers it attempted in Wednesday's 79-63 loss to Texas A&M. The Tigers' next game is Saturday at West Virginia.||--||21-13|
|Marcus Shaver Jr. finished with 16 points and six rebounds in Tuesday's 63-53 over Fresno State. The Broncos' next game is Saturday against Colorado State.||--||24-10|
San Diego St.
|Adam Seiko finished with 25 points and three rebounds in Wednesday's 85-75 win over Utah State. The Aztecs' next game is Saturday against San Jose State.||--||29-6|
|Kendric Davis finished with 25 points and 11 assists in Thursday's 99-84 win over SMU. The Tigers' next game is Sunday at Tulsa.||--||26-9|
|UConn allowed Xavier to shoot 53.4% from the field in Wednesday's 82-79 loss to the Musketeers. The Huskies' next game is Tuesday at DePaul.||--||27-8|