Stanford is surprisingly battle-tested, having taken on two ranked opponents so far. In the non-conference slate, the Cardinal gave No. 20 Arkansas a run for its money, and the Razorbacks narrowly escaped with a 77-74 victory in double overtime. The Cardinal has shown to be a team that falls just short, with three of its losses coming by 5 points or fewer. The Arkansas game was a 3 point affair, and they lost to ASU by just 3 points, and Michigan served up an 83-78 loss. Stanford concluded non-conference play with tough 14-point loss on the road against San Diego State.
Stanford has had the most exciting Pac-12 games so far, having taken down both the best team (Arizona) and the worst team (UCLA) in the conference in back-to-back weeks. Notably, Stanford never trailed when they played No. 4 Arizona and the 100-82 upset win moved the Cardinal to .500 on the season. When playing Arizona State, they fell by a mere 3 points. Stanford is going to win some games that it shouldn't, but will also lose some games that it shouldn't.
Last weekend: Stanford headed down south to Los Angeles to take on UCLA and USC. Though the weekend started off right, with a 79-73 win over UCLA that may have sealed Mick Cronin's future with the Bruins, the Cardinal fell flat against USC and lost in a 93-79 outing.
Next week: The Cardinal will head to Corvallis for a road showdown against Oregon State on Thursday before returning home for a test against Utah on Sunday.
Just because USC is above .500, the Trojans aren't intimidating the vast majority of the Pac-12. There are a few solid wins littered throughout the non-conference slate, including a win over Kansas State to start the season and a 71-63 takedown of Seton Hall. They couldn't get past Oklahoma, though, and fell a full 10 points short against UC Irvine. The Trojans proceeded to lose three of the next four, which included No. 11 Gonzaga and a road game against Auburn.
They beat Alabama State to get back above .500 before Pac-12 play began, but the script quickly flipped. The Trojans proceeded to lose to Oregon, who staved off their comeback attempt, and got handled by Oregon State on the road by 16 points.
Last Weekend: USC picked up the Pac-12 scraps last weekend, taking down both Cal and Stanford at home. They ended the skid against Cal in an 8-points win before taking care of business with a 93-79 win over Stanford.
Next week: The Trojans will be playing Washington State on Wednesday before heading to Boulder for a matchup against Colorado on Saturday.
Cal simply hasn't looked good this season, and the schedule is littered with losses against middling and low-caliber teams across both the non-conference and Pac-12 portions of the schedule. The Golden Bears were 2-1 after three games, and that was the last time they were above .500. They proceeded to lose six of the next seven games, with the sole win being a shocking semi-upset over Santa Clara.
They beat UC San Diego just before Pac-12 play to get back in the win column, but they immediately dropped a pair of games in the desert. The Golden Bears were dealt a 19-point loss by No. 4 Arizona before falling to Arizona State by a mere 2 points in a heartbreaking 16-point comeback by the Sun Devils
Last weekend: Cal headed south to Los Angeles, and left with a rough 82-74 loss against USC before finally getting some licks in against UCLA. The only reason they aren't at the bottom is because UCLA is seemingly on an even worse trajectory.
Next week: The Golden Bears will likely be fodder for higher-tier competition when they host a Colorado squad on Wednesday that wants to find another win and take a road trip on Sunday to play Oregon.
The blue-blood program looks like it's falling apart at the seams right now. Since losing Jaime Jacquez to the NBA's Miami Heat last offseason, the Bruins are simply not as good of a team as they've been in years past. Head coach Mick Cronin has turned into the laughingstock of the college basketball world, and didn't even make himself available after last weekend's loss against Cal inside an empty Pauley Pavilion.
UCLA is a few plays away from having a vastly different record, as the Bruins have had six games where their final score was within 5 points of their opponents'. They lost to No. 4 Marquette by just 2 points and fell to No. 11 Gonzaga just two weeks later by 4 points. The Bruins somehow even have a few embarrassing wins: a 28-point thumping of Division II Chaminade and a far-too-close 66-65 win over UC Riverside, who is now 6-10. Their sole conference win against a middling Oregon State team isn't all too impressive either.
Last weekend: The Bruins headed to the bay area to take on Stanford and Cal, where freshman Sebastian Mack scored 34 points over the course of the two games. After falling short against the same Stanford team that stunned Arizona, the Bruins simply looked out of sorts two nights later against Cal. The writing seems to be on the wall for Cronin, as Assistant Coach Rod Palmer was thrown to the dogs.
Next week: UCLA will be hitting the road to play Utah on Thursday before retuning home to host Washington on Sunday, and a pair of losses against teams that want to get back in the win column seems likely.