See you next season
USC fell back below .500 with the loss to an improving Washington State squad. In a game that featured 10 lead changes in the final 10 minutes, a late surge by the Cougars and a total of 21 personal fouls by the Trojans may have been their undoing. Paired with the fact that the starting five only shot 36.4% from the field, this USC team still doesn't intimidate anybody.
This carried over into the Saturday matchup against Colorado. Despite carrying a 37-24 lead into halftime, the Trojans simply couldn't stay on top of Colorado and committed nearly double the turnovers (12) that the Buffs did (7). Bronny James, the highly-touted freshman and son of NBA legend Lebron James, saw his first start but fell entirely silent.
Next week: The Trojans drew a tough pair next week. They will head to McKale Center for a midweek showdown against an Arizona team that still hasn't lost back-to-back games under Tommy Lloyd. Afterwards, they'll head to Tempe to play a still-hot Arizona State team on Saturday. It doesn't look good for USC.
So much for fodder. Cal avoids the final spot on the list thanks to some second-half heroics against Colorado and a career-high 30-point day from Jaylon Tyson. Despite being down big at the start of the second half, the Golden Bears rallied and not only overcame the deficit but held off Colorado's last-minute attempt to ruin the comeback.
The magic couldn't continue against a rolling Oregon squad on Saturday, though, where they fell in a surprisingly close 80-73 showdown in Eugene. Despite building an 18-point lead, the Golden Bears simply couldn't finish the game strong and dropped their third straight game against Oregon.
Next week: Don't expect the slide to stop. Next week, Washington comes to town on Thursday before the real test against a rolling Washington State squad just two days later on Saturday. Washington could surprise and fall short, but it's not likely.
UCLA couldn't have looked any worse on Thursday in a morale-destroying 46-point loss. The Bruins scored 44 points in the entire game, not a single player managed double-digit points, and Mick Cronin looked like a defeated husk of a man on the sidelines. While Cronin's sideline conduct improved, the whole team looked deflated.
Much like Utah did to them, the Bruins took out their frustrations on a Washington team that had no business losing by over 10 points to the conference bottom-feeders. Adem Bona's 22 points were a large contributing factor in UCLA's first win of 2024. However, this won't move them out of the bottom spot on the list yet.
Next week: UCLA has a tough test this upcoming week against the Arizona schools. Arizona State is the Bruins' first matchup on Wednesday and they will have an extra day to prepare to play Arizona on Saturday.