This week in Pac-12 men's basketball
• MARQUEE MATCHUPS... UCLA takes on No. 1 Kentucky at the United Center in Chicago, Ill., while No. 16 WASHINGTON faces No. 15 Oklahoma at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.... Those games will mark the 14th and 15th games played against non-conference ranked opponents this season. Last year, the Pac-12 played 10 regular season games against ranked opponents.
• POLL WATCHING... Three Pac-12 teams are in this week’s Top 25 - ARIZONA (No. AP/No. 3 Coaches), UTAH (14/14) and WASHINGTON (16/16)... It’s the highest ranking for the for the Huskies since coming in at No. 12 on Nov. 30, 2010.
• HOT STARTS... ARIZONA is off to a 10-0 start. The ‘Cats have won 37 consecutive non-conference regular season games dating back to December 2011, which is currently the longest streak in the nation... At 9-1, CALIFORNIA is off to its best start since the 2001-02 season when it also started 9-1. The last time the Bears had a better start to the season was the 1959-60 season when they stared 20-1 and finished as NCAA runner-up... WASHINGTON is off to a 8-0 start, equaling its best start since 2005-06 when it started the season 11-0.
• NO PLACE LIKE HOME... So far this season, Pac-12 teams have racked up a 61-6 home court record. ARIZONA leads the way with a 7-0 home mark, followed by ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA and UTAH at 6-0... Arizona is currently riding a 28-game winning streak at McKale Center, the fifth-longest in program history. Since 2010-11, the Wildcats lead the Pac-12 in home court winning percentage and is 81-11 (.880).
• FRESHMEN BOARDERS... UCLA freshman F Kevon Looney leads the Pac-12 in rebounds (10.9 per game), while UTAH freshman C Jakob Poeltl is third in the league (9.4 per game). In fact, six freshmen are ranked among the Pac-12’s top 20 rebounders. The last freshman to post a double-digit rebound average was UCLA’s Kevin Love (10.6 rpg) in 2007-08. The last freshman to lead the league in rebounds was California’s Leon Powe (9.5 rpg) in 2003-04.
• DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE... Eight Pac-12 teams are limiting the opposition to shooting less than 40 percent from the field. Five teams are among the NCAA’s top 31 teams, led by WASHINGTON which is fifth at 34.0 percent, while OREGON STATE is eighth at 34.7 percent... The Huskies also limit the long ball as they rank 11th in three-point field goal percentage (.261). It also helps your defense when you have the nation’s leading shot-blocker in sophomore C Robert Upshaw (39 blocks, 4.9 per game). He has more blocks than 245 Division I teams.
• APPROACHING MILESTONES... CALIFORNIA senior F David Kravish needs four blocked shots to reach 200 for his career. Only five other players in Pac-12 history have recorded 200 or more blocked shots in a career. Cal’s school record-holder is Michael Stewart (207, 1994-97)... UCLA head coach Steve Alford needs one victory to reach 500 career wins... COLORADO head coach Tad Boyle needs two victories to reach 100 wins at Colorado.
UPCOMING PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Mon., Dec. 15, Time (local to site) (Network)
Grambling State at OREGON STATE, 7 p.m. PT (P12N)
Tues., Dec. 16
Oakland at No. 3 ARIZONA, 7 p.m. MT (P12N)
ARIZONA STATE at Marquette, 8 p.m. CT (FOX Sports 1)
Wed., Dec. 17
Loyola Marymount at STANFORD, 6 p.m. PT (P12N)
Cal State Northridge at OREGON, 8 p.m. PT (P12N)
Grambling State at No. 16 WASHINGTON, 8 p.m. PT (P12N)
Thurs., Dec. 18
DePaul at OREGON STATE, 7 p.m. PT (P12N)
Fri., Dec. 19
Eastern Washington at CALIFORNIA, 7 p.m. PT (P12N)
No. 3 ARIZONA at UTEP, 9 p.m. MT (FOX Sports 1)
Sat., Dec. 20
Delaware State at OREGON, 12 noon PT (P12N)
No. 1 Kentucky vs. UCLA (1), 2:30 p.m. CT (CBS)
No. 15 Oklahoma vs. No. 16 WASHINGTON (2), 6 p.m. PT (ESPNU)
Lehigh at ARIZONA STATE, 7 p.m. MT (P12N)
STANFORD at Brigham Young, 9 p.m. MT (ESPNU)
No. 14 UTAH vs. UNLV (2), 8:30 p.m. PT (ESPN2)
Sun., Dec. 21
OREGON STATE at Quinnipiac, 1 p.m. ET
USC at Boston College, 4 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
San Jose State at WASHINGTON STATE, 4 p.m. PT (P12N)
Rankings listed are AP poll; Game times local to site
This Week’s Tournaments/Neutral Sites
(1) CBS Sports Classic, Chicago, Ill. (United Center)
(2) MGM Showcase, Las Vegas, Nev. (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
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