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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10. UCLA Bruins - 5-6

Shockingly, the Bruins are in this position, considering that some folks considered them a threat to win Pac-12 Basketball this season. The problem is that the things they hoped would go right with the freshmen class haven’t.

UCLA landed four international newcomers that all had varying degrees of hype. Aday Mara, a 7’3 center from Spain, had the most of it. However, he and the rest have all struggled in NCAA Basketball and Coach Mick Cronin’s system, with none starting and mostly out of the rotation.

That leaves a core rotation of Adem Bona, Sebastian Mack, Dylan Andrews, and Lazar Stefanovic. They’re all double-digit scorers to this point and Mack (15.2 ppg) has been playing at an all-league level. But if these are the best players and the bench isn’t giving them anything, then the ceiling for UCLA is extremely low, hence why UC Riverside is the best win for them.

Currently on a 4-game losing streak that includes a loss to Cal State Northridge, UCLA is closer to the bottom of the Pac-12 than they are to a postseason bid. And now, they have to go on the road to try and get back on track. If they can’t beat Oregon State and Oregon, the season may truly be lost for them.