Final Pac-10 Weekend Wrap of the season! Home sick today, so what better way to kill some time than writing? What follows are my power rankings, along with thoughts on each team.
Things were pretty well set heading into the final weekend, and not a lot that happened changed my thinking.
1. Washington (1)
I'm done talking about the Huskies.
2. UCLA (2)
Hooray for beating the crap out of the Oregon schools at home! Whatever. We learned what we've always known: That when UCLA shoots well, they're hard to beat. (Case in point? That ridiculous 143.4 efficiency against OSU thanks to 67.9 eFG%.) One thing of note, though -- UCLA really pounded the offensive glass in those games, even more than in the first two matchups with these teams. It'll be interesting to see if it's a fluke or trend this weekend.
3. ASU (4)
Losing to Stanford is inexcusable, but beating the crap out of Cal redeemed the Devils. I have a feeling ASU is going to be one of those teams on Selection Sunday where everyone goes, "How is it possible for a Top 25 team to be a No. 8 seed?" Blame the lack of a good nonconference win, the bad finish and the bad losses.
4. Cal (3)
Outside of the early road sweep through UW and WSU, Cal has been an adventure on the road. The Bears could only pull off wins two times in its final six road games: Arizona (thanks to Jerome Randle being awesome) and Oregon. In there are sound losses at UCLA, ASU and USC, and a close loss at OSU. When filling out your bracket, beware the team that relies so heavily on outside shooting.
5. WSU (5)
I didn't see one thing on Saturday that leads me to change my feeling from last week about this team. Gutty performance against a fired up Washington squad that wanted that outright Pac-10 championship a lot more than I think any of us realized. To stay as close as we did without our full complement of weapons in that environment speaks volumes about what this team is capable of right now. I would have loved to see us get a shot at that Pac-10 Tournament without having to win four games.
6. Arizona (3)
Without at least one win in the Pac-10 Tournament, Arizona will be sweating it come Sunday. With a win or two, though, I think they're in -- the committee is going to like those wins over Gonzaga and Kansas in the nonconference schedule. It's a distinguishing mark in favor of the Wildcats that a lot of other bubble teams just don't have.
7. USC (8)
Interesting fun fact of the day: The team that supposedly has two of the best five defenders in the conference -- including the defensive player of the year -- is only fourth in the Pac-10 in defensive efficiency in conference games.
8. Stanford (9)
Since we tend to think in these parts that beating Arizona State still constitutes a big deal, kudos to the Cardinal for picking up a nice win in a place where the Devils have been exceptionally tough the last two years. Kudos, too, to Johnny Dawkins. I truly thought the Cardinal were in for a three or four win kind of season. Yeah, they only won six, but in there were wins over Cal, Arizona, USC and ASU -- four teams either in the tournament or in the hunt for a bid.
9. Oregon State (7)
For how much better the Beavers were this year, remember -- they're still not that good. The smoke and mirrors of that zone works for a while, but a team disciplined on both offense and defense still can handle them fairly easily. Robinson's got some work to do to build on this.
10. Oregon (10)
Back down to earth for the Ducks, who were annihilated by UCLA and soundly beaten by USC. Cougs beat UW three times two years ago, and were beaten three times by Stanford last year. The point? People make way too much out of that beating a team three times in one year thing. If a team is better, then a team is better. Oregon is one and done on Wednesday.