ASU Basketball: 2019 Pac-12 Week 19 Power Rankings

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 07: Head coach Bobby Hurley of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts during a first-round game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament against the Colorado Buffaloes at T-Mobile Arena on March 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Buffaloes won 97-85. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 07: Head coach Bobby Hurley of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts during a first-round game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament against the Colorado Buffaloes at T-Mobile Arena on March 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Buffaloes won 97-85. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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TUCSON, AZ – JANUARY 29: Matisse Thybulle #4 of the Washington Huskies reacts during the first half of the college basketball game against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center on January 29, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
TUCSON, AZ – JANUARY 29: Matisse Thybulle #4 of the Washington Huskies reacts during the first half of the college basketball game against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center on January 29, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

1. Washington Huskies (24-7, 15-3 Pac-12) LW: 1

There is no debating who was the best team in the Pac-12 this season. It was Washington.

The Huskies nearly swept the all-conference awards – winning Player of the Year (Jaylen Nowell), Defensive Player of the Year (Matisse Thybulle) and Coach of the Year (Mike Hopkins) – and used a league-best 15 conference wins en route to the No. 1 seed in this week’s Pac-12 Tournament.

But is UW – who might be the league’s only team worthy of an at-large bid – peaking in March? It doesn’t appear that way.

After starting conference play 10-0, the Huskies have since tumbled. They lost two of four to close the season – including last week’s Senior Day defeat to Oregon – and have been in a major offensive rut.

In its last six games, UW is averaging 64.8 points on 43 percent from the field. Granted, this wasn’t a prolific offensive team to begin with, but its averages are down from 73.3 points and 49.7 percent shooting through the first 10 conference contests.

Opposing teams are shooting better, too. While the Huskies’ defense saved them against Stanford and Oregon State, their last four opponents have shot 36 percent from 3-point range – a number that limits transition chances and quick offense.

Washington did receive a favorable draw in Las Vegas, facing either Arizona or USC before a potential semifinal matchup against Cal, Colorado or Oregon State. Hopkins’ team is 7-1 against those foes.

Based on their dominance, the Huskies should be the favorites to cut down the nets this weekend. Defensive execution is critical in March, and having a player like Thybulle will give them a chance in every game.

ASU Basketball: 2019 Pac-12 Week 18 Power Rankings. light. More

But tournament success is also about who gets hot at the right time. Washington will need to find that spark again to become Pac-12 Tournament Champions.

– Booth