PAC-12 Basketball power rankings: Colorado climbs to top, UCLA rises

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Pac-12 Basketball

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 30: Dylan Smith #3 of the Arizona Wildcats works towards the basket against Jamal Bey #5 of the Washington Huskies (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Every Pac-12 Basketball team already has at least three losses in league play so far. So how do they currently rank overall against one another?

This PAC-12 Basketball season is maddening.

We’re at the point of the year when the bid situation for each conference is becoming clearer, and the national scene has largely calmed down a bit in some ways. But stasis seems impossible on the West Coast — more so than any other power conference in the country.

How much do you punish a team for losing when everyone’s doing it?

The upsets have been constant all year, and they keep coming, especially amongst the conference’s top tier. Oregon, previously the league’s most stable and consistent team, has lost its last two to Stanford and Oregon State. Arizona fell to UCLA at McKale Saturday.

Colorado stands alone at the top of the Pac-12 standings with three losses. Behind the Buffaloes, three teams (Oregon, Colorado, USC, Arizona, Stanford) have four losses and three more (UCLA, Arizona State, Cal) have five. And thanks to those weekly double-game road trips, momentum can swing dramatically from week to week.

So yes, there will be teams ranked higher than the teams they just lost to. This conference is all about the big picture.

While that three-team top-tier has largely settled, the turmoil and bursts of parity throughout the league have been a double-edged sword for aspiring tournament teams. The upsets so far have probably helped the league in terms of the number of bids, making middling teams considerably more viable — with five teams in the tournament as of this week, according to Joe Lunardi — but they have hurt the top line much more than the middle. No team is currently seeded above the 4-line and the other four other than Oregon are all in the 6-10 range.

The West Coast basketball gods seem bound and determined to stump the NCAA Selection Committee when league play ends up, and we’re just all along for the ride.

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