Pac-12 basketball: Our first ever basketball power rankings

Our first ever Pac-12 power rankings for men’s and women’s basketball are here and we’re interested to see what you have to say. The first part of these post, like our football rankings, will include the top stories from each the women’s and men’s basketball from the previous week; then we’ll move onto our power rankings and discuss some of why we made the rankings were made the way they were. After that is the actual rankings in table format which will also show how much the squads moved from the previous week.

Oh no, our Oregon State men’s team…it’s broken

There is no way that Wayne Tinkle could have predicted such a disastrous start to the season for the reigning Pac-12 tournament champions. After eight games, the Beavers are 1-8 with their only win on the slate a come from behind win against Portland State.

While Oregon State did lose stars Ethan Thompson and Zach Reichle after its miraculous run to the elite eight last season, the Beavers have found entirely new ways to struggle and drop games throughout the first nine games of the 2021-22 season. The biggest problem for the Beavs has been their inability to hold onto the rock and they’ve completely and utterly failed to stop teams from taking three pointers. It’s like the roster has completely and utterly lost its identity.

Kenpom currently has them ranked at No. 136 with OSU’s adjusted efficiency margin — when adjusted for the strength of schedule — at 73rd in the country. The defense is ranked at 164th and the offense 111th. Oregon State will need to develop an identity quickly as conference play ramps up.


The Colorado women might be contenders this year

At 8-0 on the season, with wins over Oklahoma State (NET ranking No. 21) and Marquette (No. 32) the Colorado Buffaloes look like they might have a real shot at the Pac-12 crown this season.

Colorado’s defense has stolen the rock on 12.4% of its opponents’ offensive possessions throughout the season thus far, that’s good for 17th highest rate in the country. That’s an impressive ability to get the rock out of their opponents hands and it should play well as we head into conference play. If the Buffaloes can shorten their conference opponents possessions and get the ball into the hands of their own shooters (particularly Tyanna Johnson, who’s shooting 50% from the field so far this year) they can really tilt games into their favor.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Buffs are able to handle the intensifying competition as the season moves along though. Their opponents’ NET ratings have wildly fluctuated throughout the year so it is particularly difficult to get a grasp on how good this squad is in the 2021-22 season.


Power rankings

This space is where we’ll typically talk about, and defend, what I expect the most controversial ranking to be. And for this week I fully expect that to be the placement of the Washington State women’s team (6-1) at eighth. So far, the only blemish on the Cougars record is a 28 point loss to — then ranked — No. 5 North Carolina State. The teams ahead of WSU in these rankings have been far more competitive in their top 15 match-ups when they’ve lost and that’s the major reason for ranking Kamie Ethridge’s squad so low in these first power rankings.

Now the Cougs responded by traveling down to Davis, Calif. to beat the absolute shite out of the Aggies on Saturday afternoon and they’ll have their chance to move up with head-to-head matchups with the programs ahead of them once conference play opens. Despite the blow out loss to a top five team, Washington State received two votes in the AP poll and five votes in the coaches poll last week (Nov. 28th).

Women’s power rankings

1)Stanford Cardinal  –
2)Arizona Wildcats
3)Oregon Ducks
4)Colorado Buffaloes
5)UCLA Bruins
6)Oregon State Beavers
7)ASU Sun Devils
8)WSU Cougars
9)Utah Utes
10)USC Trojans
11)California Golden Bears
12)Washington Huskies

Men’s power rankings

1)UCLA Bruins
2)USC Trojans
3)Arizona Wildcats
4)Oregon Ducks
5)WSU Cougars
6)Utah Utes
7)Colorado Buffaloes
8)Stanford Cardinal
9)ASU Sun Devils
10)Washington Huskies
11)California Golden Bears
12)Oregon State Beavers

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Photo Credit: Arizona men’s basketball