Arizona: Although he only made three field goals, Nico Mannion was able to score 20 points in a win against USC 85-80. The Wildcats made 28 of their 40 free throws in the victory. Saturday Arizona was ice cold from the floor, shooting 25.4 percent from the field and was upset by UCLA 65-52. The upset loss has knocked Sean Miller’s squad out of the top 25. This week they travel to play Cal Thursday and Stanford Saturday as they look to bounce back from a frustrating loss.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils took care of business at home against UCLA on Thursday. ASU shot a blistering 50.3 percent from three-point range en route to a 84-66 victory. On Saturday, after trailing by eight at the half, Remy Martin hit a shot to put the Sun Devils up 66-64 with 16 seconds left that would give ASU the win. Now on a three-game winning streak, Arizona State will look to keep the momentum going against Stanford Thursday and Cal Saturday on the road.
California: The Bears were unable to pick up a win on the Rocky Mountain road-trip last week. Against Colorado on Thursday, the Bears were unable to slow down the Buffaloes’ offense, allowing four players to score in double-figures. Saturday was a different story as Timmy Allen was a one man wrecking crew against Cal and it was the Bears offense that couldn’t get it going in a 60-45 loss. Matt Bradley has been stellar this season leading Cal in scoring, averaging 17.6 points per contest. Cal will stay in Berkeley this week, facing Arizona Thursday and Arizona State Saturday.
Colorado: With two big wins at home against Cal and Stanford this past week, Colorado has climbed eight spots to a ranking of 16th in the country. Thursday the Buffaloes really hit their stride in the second half to pick up a 71-65 victory. Saturday was much of the same as Colorado had to storm back in the second half from a 11-point deficit at half to win 81-74. Now at their highest ranking since 2014, Colorado will go on the road to face Oregon in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Pac-12 Thursday. Saturday they play Oregon State at Gill Coliseum.
Oregon: The struggles on the road continued for the Ducks last week, being upset by the rival Oregon State Beavers 63-53. With Francis Okoro out, the Ducks struggled to get anything going from the inside. With no interior presence shooters were unable to get clean shots from the outside, resulting in poor shooting in the second half. With two straight losses, Oregon is now second in the Pac-12 and has slid from 14th to 17th in the rankings. Thursday will be a huge game for the Ducks as they host the now top team in the Pac-12 in Colorado. They host Utah Saturday.
Oregon State: The Beavers picked up a big win against Oregon Saturday night. Four players scored in double figures and the Beavs scored 34 of 63 points in the paint. Tres Tinkle has been great all year and is averaging 19 points and over 45 percent shooting from the floor. Oregon State will host Utah Thursday night and Colorado Saturday.
Stanford: The Cardinal put the clamps down in the second half against Colorado on Thursday but was unable to complete the comeback losing in overtime. Saturday’s was an exciting game that was over-shadowed by a scary moment with Oscar De Silva hitting his head on the floor during a fast-break, leaving him bleeding and unconscious. The Cardinal would lose the game but all thoughts were with De Silva who was able to walk off the floor under his own power. They will play at home versus the Arizona schools this week.
UCLA: Thursday night the Bruins suffered a blowout loss at the hand of Arizona State. It was a game the UCLA was never truly in and was a product of poor shooting mixed with poor defense. Saturday was a much different story as the Bruins were of fire shooting the ball and playing energized defense, picking up the upset win versus Arizona. Mick Cronin’s team has almost looked like two different teams throughout the season, week was a great example of that. They will stay in SoCal this week to play WSU on Thursday and Washington Saturday.
USC: Onyeka Okongwu has emerged as a star and one of the best freshmen in the Pac-12. Thursday night in a loss to Arizona he had his talents on full display, filling up the stat sheet. He finished the game with 23 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Saturday he was held in check and the Trojans lost a heartbreaker to ASU. After losing in a last minute game, USC is sitting at fifth in the conference and will host Washington Thursday and Washington State on Saturday.
Utah: After losing both match-ups at home two weeks ago, the Utes went on the road and beat both Northern California schools this last week. Timmy Allen combined for 36 points on just 25 shots from the floor. Utah is one game behind .500 in conference play and will travel to play Oregon State and Oregon this week.
Washington: With Sunday’s 79-67 blowout loss, the losing streak is now six straight. As this talented roster continues to underachieve, it’s not certain why outside of poor shooting from the perimeter. The Huskies will face a team on the up-and-up in USC on Thursday and team that is in a similar situation as themselves in UCLA on Saturday.
Washington State: The Cougars picked up a huge win against a rival team in blowout fashion. CJ Elleby had a huge night scoring 34 points, boosting his average to 19 points per game. The sophomore swingman has emerged as one of the top offensive players in the Pac-12. Now at 5-6 in conference play, the Cougs are one game out of fifth place in the Pac-12. They will travel to play UCLA Thursday and USC Saturday.
~ Shane Potter