Oregon State, Cal, and UCLA simply aren't intimidating. Oregon State may seem like an outlier, but entering conference play 8-3 just to fall to 9-9 three weeks later is extremely concerning. These teams play like they've given up on the postseason and are just ready for the offseason to come and put them out of their misery. They may catch fire and steal a win or two, but it's not a cause for concern.
Though Oregon State isn't at the bottom of the rankings, they're holding down the bottom spot in the Pac-12 standings with an abysmal 1-6 record in conference play. The Beavers spent the weekend getting smacked around by the mountain schools. Utah took its shot first on Thursday, holding Oregon State to just 47 points (32 off the bench) and allowing Dexter Akanno, the game's scoring leader for the Beavers, to only put up 14 points in the 74-47 loss.
Things didn't get much better on Saturday against Colorado. Despite Pope reaching a major career milestone of 700 points, his 10 in the game and Tyler Bilodeau's 18 points still couldn't stop the slide as the Beavers lost 90-57, their fifth loss in a row. Somehow, this 33-point loss managed to be even worse than Thursday's 27-point defeat.
Next week: Oregon State seems poised to be fodder for the desert schools when they come to town, starting with Arizona on Thursday. Things will only get slightly easier when Arizona State plays in Corvallis on Saturday, so don't hold your breath.
Cal, despite having the worst overall record in the conference, still won't occupy the bottom spot in the rankings. This doesn't mean they're good, though; they just can be trusted ever so slightly more. When Washington came to town on Thursday, the Golden Bears almost pulled off a win on the back of a double-double from Fardaws Aimaq that included 18 points and 17 apiece from Jaylon Tyson and Jalen Cone. However, Washington's buzzer-beater sealed the 77-75 loss for the Golden Bears.
The Golden Bears bounced back in a big way, though, when Tyson's career-high-tying 30-point day pushed the Golden Bears past Washington State on Saturday. Washington State's Rice nailed a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime, but Cal responded with a three-ball of their own in OT that gave them the final lead in the 81-75 win.
Next week: Cal will be playing host to Stanford, who won't have to travel far, for a one-off game on Friday. This is actually setting up to be a fun game between two teams who aren't the best, but play exciting basketball.
UCLA holds down the bottom spot for a third straight week despite picking up a win on the weekend. The Bruins were in Tempe on Thursday and pulled off a remarkable comeback win from being down 15 points. Lazar Stefanovic notched 18 points to help UCLA overcome a 15-point lead by Arizona State before Sebastian Mack hit a dagger to give the Bruins a 66-63 lead with under a minute to go. The Bruins found magic in their 68-66 win over Arizona State, but Arizona would not treat them so kindly.
The Bruins held the Wildcats to a horrendous start in both halves and jumped out to as much as a 19-point lead before squandering their opportunity to ice the game up. A 21-point day from Mack and another 17 from Stefanovic weren't enough to stave off a storming Wildcats team on their home hardwood. The game ended as a 77-71 loss for the Bruins and Mick Cronin opted to take an unprompted postgame jab at the Arizona Daily Star's Justin Spears.