In last week’s action, both ASU basketball and Washington failed to pick up marquee victories away from home. But some schools did find a rhythm, forcing a few pieces to shift in our conference power rankings.
A loss like Arizona State’s to Nevada isn’t an easy pill to swallow. Thus, during postgame handshakes, several Sun Devils sulked their arms to their sides, knowing a golden opportunity had slipped away.
ASU spent the first half dominating the Wolf Pack, building a 12-point lead through 10 forced turnovers and a rebounding margin of +11. But inexperience against a roster seven seniors deep triumphed, as foul trouble and poor shooting handed the Sun Devils their first loss.
Two nights earlier, Washington encountered a similar scenario against first-ranked Gonzaga. Except at halftime, the Huskies trailed by 10, having to climb out of “The Kennel” and its suffocating atmosphere.
UW did so, constructing an 8-0 run in the final two minutes to tie the contest at 79. Yet once again, the effort proved futile, as a game-winning jumpshot from Rui Hachimura sent another Pac-12 school empty of a void for a premiere victory.
The losses sent the conference back another step of its Power 5 peers. Now, they can count on one more game – ASU’s matchup with Kansas on Dec. 22 – and recent developments to recover from it.
Last week, Oregon freshman Louis King returned to the hardwood for the first time since tearing his meniscus in his senior year of high school. In 17 minutes against Nebraska Omaha, he impressed with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
UCLA added a statement – a 3-point home win over Notre Dame – to give the conference a reputable victory. As a byproduct, Kris Wilkes‘ game-winning triple gave the Pac-12 a highlight craved by the national public.
The conference will have a chance for minor ground as six teams open this week against foes from the SEC, Big 12 and ACC. Here’s where each Pac-12 school stands in our Week 6 Power Rankings.