With conference play officially underway, the Pac-12 is heating up. Stanford is still at the top of the conference and ranked No. 2 in the country, but a marque matchup is happening between USC and UCLA, and Utah continues to climb the ranks while Arizona took a couple of steps back.
1) No. 2 Stanford Cardinal (10-1, 0-0)
Stanford is still 10-1 and ready for their next test against No. 16 Crieghton next Tuesday. Until then, Cameron Brink and company will look to win against Tennessee.
2) No. 10 UCLA Bruins (9-1, 0-0)
Every week, the Bruins climb up the ranks, and this week is no exception. UCLA appears to be here to say and will play their So-Cal rival USC on Wednesday and end the month against No. 17 Oregon. With Charisma Osborne leading the way, beating UCLA will be a tough challenge in 2023.
3) No. 13 Utah Utes (9-0, 1-0)
Now one of two undefeated teams in the Pac-12, Utah is right where it wants to be. With no big tests until January, Alissa Pili and the rest of the Utes should be in good shape until then.
4) No. 16 Oregon Ducks (7-1, 1-0)
Just outside the Top 15, Oregon just beat its in-state rival, Oregon State, to win its first Pac-12 game of the season. The backcourt of Endyia Rogers and Te-Hina Paopao is leading the charge, scoring a combined 27.9 points per game. Their next big test will be against No. 21 Arkansas.
5) No. 20 Arizona Wildcats (8-1, 0-0)
Arizona finally lost its first game of the season against Kansas 77-50 and dropped in the rankings by eight spots. They'll have to get over that defeat quickly as they face off against No. 18 Baylor on Friday.
6) USC Trojans (9-0 0-0)
USC has not played since our last Pac-12 update, so things remain the same for the Trojans. They play UCLA next which will be a great rivalry matchup for both teams.
7) Washington Huskies (8-1, 1-0)
The Huskies are on a roll. They’ve won three in a row, including a Pac-12 game against Washington State. Dalayah Daniels has led the team in points, rebounds and blocks. Can the Huskies keep this momentum going for the rest of December?
8) Oregon State Beavers (6-3, 0-1)
The joy of victory, the agony of defeat; for Oregon State, it was agony as they lost 75-67 to Oregon. With back-to-back games and a matchup against the LSU Tigers, things might get harder before they get easier for the Beavers.
9) Washington State Cougars (7-2, 0-1)
The Cougars have split their last two games and with Charlisse Leger-Walker averaging 22.4 points, five rebounds and 4.3 assists, she is having a career year. Regardless of the Cougars’ play, it will be fun to watch Leger-Walker test herself against the best teams in the Pac-12.
10) Colorado Buffaloes (8-3, 0-1)
Colorado was blown out against Utah, ending their four-game winning streak. With no other Pac-12 matchups for the rest of December, the Buffaloes can run the table with what's left of December.
11) California Golden Bears (7-2, 0-0)
Cal has a tough road ahead with games against Stanford and Arizona next week. Can Jayda Curry carry the Golden Bears to a couple of upset victories, or will the tough start to their Pac-12 schedule keep Cal at the bottom of the rankings?
12) Arizona State Sun Devils (6-4, 0-0)
The Sun Devils are still struggling. They are 6-4 and seem to be the weakest team in the conference. It's early, but unless things take a 180-degree turn, it's going to be tough for the Sun Devils to win games come January.
With two teams still undefeated and five top-ranked teams, the Pac-12 can make a claim as the best conference in all of college basketball. Stanford is the frontrunner, but who can be number two or even possibly take them down? These questions will be explored and answered in the coming weeks.