There’s a new No. 2 in town.
After a jumble of losses and near-losses last week for ranked teams, three of the top five teams are in new positions in the Hotline power ratings. Arizona was the prime mover, leaping three places to occupy the No. 2 spot for the first time this season.
The Wildcats’ only Pac-12 loss is to second-ranked Stanford, on the road in their third game in five days. They earned hard-fought wins last week over Oregon State and Oregon to warrant a promotion of unprecedented magnitude.
Utah, which has yet to play one of the Pac-12’s other ranked teams, fell two spots, to No. 4, while Oregon is down one place, to No. 5.
Here are the Hotline’s 10th power ratings of the season.
(NET rankings through Monday.)
1. Stanford (16-1/4-0 Pac-12)
Last week: 1
Results: beat California 60-56
Next up: at UCLA (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 4
Comment: Stanford’s narrow win Sunday was similar to its 63-56 escape against Washington in the 2021-22 regular-season finale. The Cardinal is 9-of-45 (20 percent) from 3-point range in its last two games, a red flag clearly on coach Tara VanDerveer’s radar going into one of the featured Pac-12 games this week. Cameron Brink is the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time this season and sixth in her career.
2. Arizona (14-2/4-1)
Last week: 5
Results: beat Oregon State 72-69 and Oregon 79-71
Next up: at Colorado (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 25
Comment: With their sweep last week, the Wildcats have been bumped up to a No. 4 seed in ESPN’s latest Bracketology predictions for the NCAAs, which would equate to being at home in the first and second rounds. Sophomore guard Madison Conner is averaging 11.3 points over the last three games, an important scoring boost off the bench.
3. UCLA (13-2/2-1)
Last week: 3
Results: beat USC 61-60
Next up: vs. Stanford (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 26
Comment: Charisma Osborne was just 2-of-16 in her return from injury but still scored nine points and added seven rebounds and four assists in the Bruins’ second straight rivalry nail-biter. Freshman Londynn Jones scored a season-high 22 points, continuing her recent scoring roll of four double-digit games out of the last five (13.2 points per game over that stretch).
4. Utah (14-1/3-1)
Last week: 2
Results: lost to Colorado 77-67
Next up: vs. Arizona State (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 6
Comment: Opponents have limited the Utes to 71 points or less in their last three games, bringing their season scoring average down from 92.5 ppg (pre-Christmas) to 87.3 currently. Colorado held Utah to 18 fewer points than in the first meeting, on Dec. 14, an 85-58 Utes win. The matchup Sunday with Arizona will be Utah’s first against a ranked Pac-12 opponent.
5. Oregon (12-4/3-2)
Last week: 4
Results: beat ASU 82-62, lost to Arizona 79-71
Next up: vs. Washington (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 10
Comment: Freshman Grace VanSlooten was injured against Arizona but still finished with a team-high 18 points in the Ducks’ second loss to a ranked Pac-12 team. She also missed practice last week due to illness but scored 16 points in the second half against ASU. Phillipina Kyei is averaging 12.1 rebounds per game, fifth nationally.
6. Colorado (13-3/3-1)
Last week: 6
Results: beat Utah 77-67
Next up: vs. Arizona (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 22
Comment: Aaronette Vonleh, a transfer from Arizona, has 11 consecutive double-digit scoring games, raising her average from 7.2 to 11.5. Frida Formann went 4-of-6 from 3-point range and scored 20 against Utah. The Buffaloes are on a five-game winning streak and have improved to a No. 8 seed in ESPN’s bracket predictions.
7. Oregon State (10-6/2-3)
Last week: 7
Results: lost to Arizona 72-69, beat ASU 69-59
Next up: vs. Washington State (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 55
Comment: Five of the Beavers’ six losses are to AP top-25 teams, with one win (over UCLA) in that category. Raegan Beers is the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for a second straight time and third overall. Coach Scott Rueck expects to have 6-foot-3 freshman Timea Gardiner available soon. It adds up to a team on the NCAA bubble but trending in the right direction.
8. Washington State (11-4/1-3)
Last week: 8
Results: beat Washington 66-52
Next up: at Oregon State (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 46
Comment: The Cougars naturally improved with star Charlisse Leger-Walker’s return from New Zealand and also were more sound defensively in their second rivalry meeting. They held Washington to 30 points less than the Huskies scored in an 82-66 win on Dec. 11 and allowed just one double-figure scorer (instead of five).
9. USC (11-4/1-3)
Last week: 9
Results: lost to UCLA 61-60
Next up: vs. California (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 40
Comment: Even without Kadi Sissoko, the Trojans arguably should have beaten UCLA, carrying a 52-40 lead into the fourth quarter. But the Bruins scored the first 10 points in the fourth and made just enough plays late to clinch a rivalry sweep by just four combined points. Still, USC remains on the ESPN postseason bubble.
10. California (10-5/1-3)
Last week: 10
Results: lost to Stanford 60-56
Next up: at USC (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 74
Comment: The Bears played Stanford closer than anyone this season except No. 1 South Carolina, which beat the Cardinal in overtime. Cal’s improvement from a 21-point loss in the first meeting to four in the second validates the progress coach Charmin Smith is making in her fourth season.
11. Washington (9-5/1-3)
Last week: 11
Results: lost to Washington State 66-52
Next up: at Oregon (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 101
Comment: The Huskies have lost four of their last five games, averaging just 53.7 points in the defeats. Points won’t be any easier to come by for the rest of the season, so any wins largely hinge on defense.
12. Arizona State (7-9/0-5)
Last week: 12
Results: lost to Oregon 82-62 and Oregon State 69-59
Next up: at Utah (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 120
Comment: ASU lost seven straight games, including a forfeit, at the end of last season and needs a win at one of the Mountain schools to avert matching that streak. Tyi Skinner had two more 20-point games last week, playing 40 minutes in both. The Delaware transfer has 10 games with at least 20 points in her first ASU season and double figures in every game.
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