Busting Brackets

Pac-12 Basketball: Washington and Utah rises, UCLA falls in latest power rankings

Pac-12 Basketball gets league play going. Who have shown themselves to be the teams to beat so far?

Continental Tire Main Event - Washington v San Diego State
Continental Tire Main Event - Washington v San Diego State / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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3. Washington Huskies - 8-3

There might not have been a Pac-12 Basketball head coach on a bigger hot seat heading into the season than Mike Hopkins, who built a strong roster via the transfer portal. The question was whether or not the pieces all fit together or not. It got off to a rough start, falling to teams such as Nevada, San Diego State, and Colorado State, though all are currently projected NCAA Tournament teams.

But Washington was able to get one of the biggest wins from the entire conference, beating rival Gonzaga at home. That’s part of a four-game win streak that’s current, also beating both Seattle and Eastern Washington. A big part of the early season success has been the play of senior forward Keion Brooks, who leads the team with 20.1 ppg and 7.6 rpg.

Also important to the success of Sahvir Wheeler, a transfer from Kentucky currently putting up 15.6 ppg and 7.1 apg. Portland transfer Moses Wood is a double-digit scorer, while big men Franck Kepnang and Braxton Meah have provided needed interior scoring. Rutgers transfer Paul Mulcahy (5.1 apg) has also been a key newcomer to the backcourt as well.

Like its travel partner Wazzu, Washington has to deal with Utah and Colorado on the road to start league play. It’s an interesting scenario in that these four programs are in the top tier of the conference as of now, making this first week highly important. It could determine who ultimately ends up going dancing in March.