Four Pac-12 teams ranked after notable upsets last week
By the Pac-12 Conference
Four Pac-12 teams are ranked this week in the Associated Press top 25 for the first time since 2006. Colorado makes its season debut in the polling this week, checking in at No. 25 after an upset of a top-10 foe in Louisville. Stanford is No. 1 for the fourth-consecutive week, and three Conference teams are ranked in the top 15 - California is No. 8 and UCLA is No. 12 ... In addition to the Buffs' upset, Washington State posted a big win, defeating then-No. 20 Ohio State last week. Pac-12 teams have posted five notable upsets so far this season and six wins over ranked opponents ... Colorado's Chucky Jeffery was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week and WSU's Lia Galdeira was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after helping their respective teams to upset wins last week ... Jeffery was also tabbed the national player of the week by espnW and the United States Basketball Writers Association's (USBWA) Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week. She is the second Pac-12 player this season to earn national weekly honors.
Monday, December 17
#8/9 California at Northwestern…..CAL, 71-65
Tuesday, December 18
Washington State at #14/13 Louisville…..7 p.m. ET
Samford at Oregon Live Stream…..7 p.m. PT
Wednesday, December 19
#1/1 Stanford at #21/17 South Carolina…..FSS…..4:30 p.m. PT
Oregon State vs. Michigan State…..2:30 p.m. PT
Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic, Las Vegas, Nev.
Thursday, December 20
UC Irvine at Utah…..Live Stream…..7 p.m. MT
Longwood at Arizona…..Live Stream…..5 p.m. MT
CS Northridge at #12/16 UCLA…..Live Stream…..6 p.m. PT
Friday, December 21
Washington at Georgia Tech…..12 p.m. ET
Oregon at Portland…..12 p.m. PT
#19/19 Kansas at #8/9 California…..Live Stream…..7 p.m. PT
Washington State at Syracuse…..7 p.m. ET
UC Davis at USC…..Live Stream…..5 p.m. PT
Women of Troy Classic, Los Angeles, Calif.
Oregon State vs. Texas Tech…..2:30 p.m. PT
Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic, Las Vegas, Nev.
Saturday, December 22
Utah Valley at No. 25/RV Colorado…..Live Stream…..1:30 p.m. MT
#4/4 Duke at USC…..P12N…..12 p.m. PT
Women of Troy Classic, Los Angeles, Calif.
Longwood at Arizona State…..12 p.m. MT
#1/1 Stanford at #10/11 Tennessee…..SportsSouth…..4 p.m. ET
* game times local to site. Live stream of games are available at Pac-12.com.
Two Teams Remain Unbeaten: Two Pac-12 teams are still undefeated and are among eight undefeated teams remaining in Division I. Top-ranked Stanford and Colorado are both 9-0. The Buffaloes have won 22 consecutive regular season non-conference tilts dating back to 2010-11.
NCAA Statistical Leaders: Several Pac-12 players figure prominently in the national statistical rankings, including two who stand atop two statistical categories.
Oregon freshman Jillian Alleyne is the nation's leading rebounder (14.6 rpg), while Stanford junior Chiney Ogwumike has the best shooting percentage in the country at 65.6 percent. Ogwumike eighth and fourth in scoring (22.0) and double-doubles (7.0), respectively. Utah's Danielle Rodriguez (3.38) is second in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio. UCLA's Markel Walker's 3.88 steals per game ranks 10th in the country.
Home Sweet Home: Stanford owns the longest home court win streak in the nation. After a win over Pacific on Dec. 15, the Cardinal have won 82-consecutive contests at Maples Pavilion, by far the longest winning streak in the country. The next longest is a 44-game home win streak by Baylor.
Who's No. 1?: After knocking off the then-No. 1 team in the nation and defending NCAA Champion Baylor in Hawai'i on Nov. 17, Stanford was ranked No. 1 on Nov. 19 and are there for the fifth-consecutive week. The Cardinal earned top billing for the first time since March of 2005. It was also the last time a Pac-12 team was ranked in the No. 1 spot in the polling.
Four Pac-12 Teams Ranked: The Dec. 17 Associated Press poll marked the first time since Nov. 20, 2006 that four Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the top 25. Colorado made its season debut in the poll, coming in at No. 25 after a win over a top-10 ranked opponent last week. It is the Buffs first national ranking since January 14, 2008.
Additionally, it is the second-straight week three Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the top 15 in the AP poll. Last week was the first time three teams accomplished that feat since Nov. 26 2007.
Stanford and California have been ranked in the polls all season, so far. UCLA entered the top 25 after an upset of then-No. 11 Oklahoma, making it the first time since Nov. 14, 2011 three league teams earned national rankings.
The Cardinal is No. 1 for the fourth-consecutive week, while Cal is No. 8. The Bruins are ranked No. 12.
Notable Upsets: With the non-conference season winding down, Pac-12 teams have posted some notable upsets. Below is a list of those games:
• Stanford knocked off the then-No. 1 team in the nation, defending NCAA Champion Baylor, also snapping the Bears' 42-game winning streak, on Nov. 16.
• An unranked-UCLA squad traveled to Norman to upset then-No. 11 Oklahoma on Nov. 14.
• The Bruins were back at it again On Dec. 8. Ranked No. 17/19, UCLA upended then-No. 12/16 Texas in Houston, 62-42.
• Colorado defeated then-No. 8 Louisville, 70-66, on Dec. 14. It was the Buffs first win over a top-10 opponent since 2002.
• Washington State posted a 62-55 win over then-No. 20 Ohio State on Dec. 15. It was the Cougars first win over a ranked opponent since 2001.
Duck Breaks Record: Oregon freshman F Jillian Alleyne registered 27 rebounds in a double-overtime loss to Portland State Nov. 15 establishing a new league standard for rebounds in what was just her second-collegiate game. The 27 boards bested the previous Pac-12 mark set nearly 20 years ago by UCLA's Natalie Williams in 1994. Alleyne's rebounding mark also took down UO's 34-year-old mark that had stood since 1978. Alleyne also scored a school-record tying 38 points in the game. She went on to be named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.
Preseason Recognition: Four Pac-12 women's basketball players have received preseason recognition for several prestigious awards.
Junior F Chiney Ogwumike was listed as a preseason candidate for the State Farm/Wade Trophy Award, presented to the national player of the year. In addition, she is a candidate for the John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Award, both are national player of the year honors. Joining Ogwumike on the Wooden preseason candidate list is senior F Jasmine Dixon. Teammate senior F Markel Walker was named to the Naismith preseason watch list, as was California senior F Layshia Clarendon.
Clarendon is also a preseason candidate for the Senior CLASS Award. The CLASS award honors the outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year across nine different sports.
All-Star Returns: All signs indicate another competitive season as eight of the 15 members of the 2012 All-Pac-12 team return for the 2011-12. In addition, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year (F Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford) and the last two Pac-12 Freshmen of the Year (G Jazmine Davis, Washington and Ogwumike). Also among the returnees are seven of the 11 players named honorable mention all-conference.
Also returning this season are three of the five members of the 2012 Pac-12 All-Defensive team: Ogwumike; F Patricia Bright, Oregon State; and F Chucky Jeffery, Colorado.
Offensive Returns: The Conference returns 10 of last year's top-15 scorers from a year ago. The Pac-12 lost its top scorer from last year in Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who was the only player in the league to average more than 20.0 ppg (22.5 ppg). However, the 10 that are back include four who averaged more than 15.0 ppg. Arizona senior G Davellyn Whyte is the top-returning scorer from last year. She tallied 17.0 ppg, ranking second in the league in 2011-12. She has ranked in the top five in the Conference in scoring in each of her seasons as a Wildcat.
On the Boards: The Pac-12 welcomes back eight of the top-10 rebounders from last season, including UCLA senior F Markel Walker, who led the Conference with 11.0 rebounds per game and was one of three players in the league to average double-digit boards.
The other double-digit rebounder from last year were Stanford junior F Chiney Ogwumike, who was third with 10.1 rpg, and her sister, Nnemkadi, was second with 10.2 rpg. Nnemkadi was the No. 1 draft pick in the WNBA.
Familiar Faces: For the first time since 2006-07, every Pac-12 head coach returns to lead their respective teams. Arizona State head coach Charli Turner Thorne took a hiatus last season, but has been at the Sun Devils helm for 15 seasons prior to last year and has coached or recruited the current squad.
The Pac-12 has a mix of veteran and young coaches. Leading the way is 10-time Pac-12 John R. Wooden Coach of the Year Tara VanDerveer who is in her 27th season at Stanford and 34th overall. Pac-12 coaches average 6.2 years of experience in the Pac-12 and 11.5 years overall in collegiate basketball (does not include Cooper's and Westhead's tenure at the professional level, but includes Westhead's experience as a collegiate men's coach).
Road to New Orleans Goes Through the Pac-12: For teams looking to get to New Orleans for the NCAA Final Four, they may have to go through Pac-12 country. Two league schools were awarded first- and second-round sites for the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship, and one other is hosting a regional.
Colorado will host on the opening weekend of tournament action on March 23 and 25 at the Coors Events Center. Stanford will also host a first- and second-round at Maples Pavilion on March. 24 and 26. Visit each schools' athletic websites for ticket information. Should either team earn a postseason bid, they would play their opening-round games at their home site.
Additionally, Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena arena will serve as a regional site, with the NCAA Sweet Sixteen slated for March 30 and the NCAA Elite Eight taking place April 1. Washington State is playing host.
The Final Four is slated to be held on April 7 and 9 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La.
Tuesday, December 11
Colorado at Denver, COLO…..83-63
Wednesday, December 12
San Diego at Arizona State…..ASU, 72-39
Oregon at Illinois…..ILL, 80-62
Thursday, December 13
CS Fullerton at Oregon State…..OSU, 54-36
Friday, December 14
#8/8 Louisville at Colorado…..COLO, 70-66
Saturday, December 15
#14/19 UCLA vs. Saint Mary's (Calif.)…..UCLA, 76-62
#20/20 Ohio State at Washington State…..WSU, 62-55
#23/RV Texas A&M at USC…..TXAM, 79-61
UC Santa Barbara at Washington…..WASH, 54-46
Oregon State at Loyola Marymount…..LMU, 73-62
Houston Baptist at Utah…..UTAH, 71-33
Pacific at #1/1 Stanford…..STAN, 78-43
Sunday, December 16
#14/19 UCLA at RV/25 St. John's…..UCLA, 53-52 OT
Idaho at Washington…..WASH, 62-48
Fresno State at Oregon…..ORE, 65-64
Weber State at Arizona…..ARIZ, 81-49