So you're sayin' there's a chance?
Washington State made a statement by going 2-0 on the weekend. A 26-point day from Issac Jones off the bench brought the Cougars their first win on the road against USC in almost a decade. The Cougars turned it on in the final two minutes and scored 9 unanswered to secure the victory.
The real story is how well the Cougars played No. 8 Arizona on a cold Saturday night in Pullman. Despite it being an extremely close affair the entire time, the Cougars showcased real grit on defense and benefitted from some questionably light officiating. With the 73-70 win over the best team in the conference, the Cougars showcased that they could be March material.
Next week: The Cougars will be heading to the Bay Area for matchups against Stanford on Friday and Cal on Sunday. Both teams have pulled off upsets within the past month, so Washington State will need to come prepared.
The magical run to start conference play had to end at some point for the Sun Devils, and it finally happened against Washington on the road in Seattle. The game sat at 50-49 in Arizona State's favor with a little over 11 minutes remaining in the game before Washington turned on the jets and scored 33 more points. With four of the starting five hitting double-digit points, this will be a tough loss for the Sun Devils to swallow.
Next week: Arizona State will be treated to an off weekend and nearly a full week of rest before returning home to host the lowly UCLA on Wednesday. They'll face stiffer competition against USC on Saturday, so the Sun Devils will have to tighten back up for the weekend.
Stanford continues to take care of business against teams that have a better record than it does. The Cardinal staved off the Beavers on the road in Corvallis and will be heading back to Palo Alto with an 88-84 overtime win in its back pocket. Three players scored at least 18 points, and freshman Kanaan Carlyle is looking like a revelation for this team, having posted a game-leading 22 points.
They followed it up with an even more shocking win against Utah. Maxime Reynaud posted 20 points and was one of three Stanford players to score at least 15 points (Brandon Angel, 16; Michael Jones, 15). The Cardinal is suddenly rolling and has built up a 4-2 record in Pac-12 play that includes wins over Arizona and Utah.
Next week: The Cardinal will stay at home to host Washington State on Friday and Washington on Sunday. Washington State seems like a long shot to win, but Washington seems like a team that could slip up and Stanford has capitalized on ill-prepared teams (see: Arizona).