Pac-12 Basketball Power Rankings: Arizona storms back against UCLA in McKale

USC v Arizona
USC v Arizona / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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Dreams of the bubble

Washington State, Arizona State, and Stanford are all rising teams in the conference. They have shown an ability to beat the best teams in the conference on occasion, but will also allow too much wiggle room to the worst teams in the conference. Their chances of landing a tournament bid would need some other teams around the country to start to crumble. Even then, it wouldn't be a prime seed, but rather one of the last four spots.

WSU. . 5. . . . 522. . 13-6, 4-4 in Pac-12. Last week: 5

Myles Rice
Washington State v Utah / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

Washington State continues to be one of the most baffling teams in the conference. Coming off a huge win over Arizona last week, the Cougars kept it rolling in an 89-75 win over Stanford on the road on Thursday. Freshman Myles Rice is blossoming into a superstar, as shown by a Washington State freshman single-game scoring record of 35 points while burying 15 of his 24 shots. Isaac Jones also posted an impressive 24 points.

The Cougars then proceeded to hit a wall against Cal of all teams on Saturday. Despite a 20-point game from Andrej Jakimovski and a serviceable 16-point outing by Rice, who forced overtime with a last-second 3-pointer, Washington State fell by just six points, 81-75, in overtime.

Next week: The Cougars could start making some noise when they host Utah on Wednesday and Colorado on Saturday. Both schools swept good competition last weekend but have shown vulnerabilities that Washington State could capitalize on.

ASU. . 11-7, 5-2 in Pac-12. 512. Last week: 6. . 6. team. .

Adam Miller
USC v Arizona State / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Even though Arizona avoided the disaster against UCLA, Arizona State wasn't able to. The Bruins came to Tempe on Wednesday for a midweek showdown. Despite building up a double-figure lead and four Arizona State players hitting double-digit scoring, it simply wasn't enough to stave off the rally and Arizona State fell 68-66 in a shocker.

The Sun Devils found some footing again against a shorthanded USC team that's slowly withering away. Jose Perez posted 20 points to go alongside a pair of 17-point games from Jamiya Neal and Frankie Collins. After going down 8 points early, they jumped out to as much as a 20-point lead before the final buzzer sounded on the 82-67 win for Arizona State.

Next week: Arizona State, along with Arizona, will take to the road to play the Oregon schools. The Sun Devils will start with the Ducks on Thursday, who will be looking to get back on track after dropping two straight, before heading to Corvallis to play a quickly-fading Oregon State group.

. . Last week: 7. . 7. 517. 10-8, 5-3 in Pac-12. . team. S

Kanaan Carlyle, Kobe Johnson
Stanford v USC / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

Washington State's Rice wasn't the only one to break a freshman scoring record in the game in Palo Alto. Kanaan Carlyle broke a 12-year old Stanford freshman record on his way to a 31-point night while Maxime Reynaud followed him up with a double-double (his third straight) of 22 points and 10 rebounds. However, the magic lay with the Cougars that night as Stanford fell 89-75.

Stanford found more lightning in a bottle when Washington came to town on Saturday. Not only did the Cardinal pull off the 90-80 win, but Spencer Jones knocked down eight shots from beyond the arc and finished the night with a career-high 30 points. This was the second straight game where the Cardinal had a player score 30-plus points, and this one fell in their favor.

Next week: The Cardinal will be crossing the San Francisco Bay for a one-off matchup against cross-town rival Cal on Friday.