Pac-12 hoops making case as nation's deepest, strongest league

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Just over a month into the 2015-16 men's college basketball season, the Pac-12 continues to build its case as the deepest and strongest conference in the country.  

#PAC12HOOPS STARTING FIVE

83-25 - The combined record of all Pac-12 programs through Dec. 14 games. The .769 win percentage is the third-best and 25 losses are the third-fewest of any conference, behind only the Big 12 and Big East.

Conference Non-Conference Record Pct. Wins Per Team vs. Power 5 vs. AP Top 25 vs. USA Today Top 25
Big 12 (10) 69-16 .812 6.9 16-10 4-7 4-5
Big East (10) 77-20 .794 7.7 23-13 5-5 5-5
Pac-12 (12) 83-25 .769 6.9 10-7 6-8 6-7
ACC (15) 101-33 .754 6.7 21-16 7-8 6-8
Big Ten (14) 100-44 .694 7.1 15-15 4-12 4-11
Atlantic 10 (14) 87-39 .690 6.2 14-14 3-9 3-8
SEC (14) 80-38 .678 5.7 7-21 4-8 4-7
The American (11)  63-35 .643 5.7 10-12 1-9 1-10
Mountain West (11)  68-39 .636 6.2 4-16 4-6 4-7

30-7 - The Pac-12’s combined record since Nov. 30. The 30 victories include four against Top 25 teams (UCLA vs. #1 Kentucky & at #20 Gonzaga, ARIZONA at #13 Gonzaga, ARIZONA STATE vs. #18 Texas A&M), six road wins and 15 victories against 2015 postseason teams.

1 - The Pac-12’s ranking in the latest CBSSports.com Conference RPI compiled by Jerry Palm on Dec. 15. The league is also No. 1 in the latest Conference RPI reports from WarrenNolan.com, RPIRating.com and RealTimeRPI.com.

11 - The Pac-12’s 11 teams in the NCAA RPI Top 100 as of Dec. 15 are the most of any conference in the nation. The Pac-12 also has eight teams inside the NCAA Top 100 non-conference strength of schedule rankings.

34 - Number of victories by Pac-12 programs over opponents who participated in the 2015 NCAA, NIT, CBI and CIT postseason tournaments (34-19).

KEY NON-CONFERENCE WINS TO DATE
POWER 5 OPPONENTS (10-7)
WASHINGTON 77, Texas 71 (Shanghai, China)
No. 25 OREGON 74, No. 20 Baylor 67
COLORADO 91, Auburn 84 (Auburn, Ala.)
No. 16 UTAH 73, Texas Tech 63 (San Juan, P.R.)
ARIZONA STATE 79, N.C. State 76 (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
STANFORD 69, Arkansas 66 (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
UCLA 87, No. 1 Kentucky 77
ARIZONA STATE 67, No. 18 Texas A&M 54
WASHINGTON 92, TCU 67
No. 13 ARIZONA 88, Missouri 52

PRESEASON CONFERENCE FAVORITES (11-9)
No. 16 UTAH 81, San Diego State 76
ARIZONA STATE 83, Belmont 74
OREGON STATE 93, Iona 73
WASHINGTON 100, Mount St. Mary’s 67
No. 25 OREGON 73, Valparaiso 67
USC 72, No. 20 Wichita State 69 (Orlando, Fla.)
WASHINGTON STATE 77, Texas Southern 65
No. 19 ARIZONA 68, at No. 13 Gonzaga 63
UCLA 71, at No. 20 Gonzaga 66
USC 68, Yale 56
plus the aforementioned win over Kentucky

2015 NCAA/NIT TOURNAMENT TEAMS (25-18)
STANFORD 93, Green Bay 89
No. 12 ARIZONA 88, Boise State 76
No. 16 UTAH 74, Temple 68 (San Juan, P.R.)
No. 11 ARIZONA 68, Boise State 59 (Anaheim, Calif.)
UTAH 83, BYU 75
CALIFORNIA 78, at Wyoming 72 (OT)
COLORADO 88, at Colorado State 77
COLORADO 92, BYU 83
CALIFORNIA 63, Saint Mary’s 59
WASHINGTON 92, Montana 62
WASHINGTON STATE 84, UTEP 68
plus aforementioned wins over Texas, Baylor, N.C. State, San Diego State, Belmont, Iona, Valparaiso, Wichita State, Arkansas, Texas Southern, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Gonzaga (2x).

PAC-12 QUICK HITS

TOP 100 CHARTS: Of the Pac-12’s 83 wins through Dec. 14, 27 have come against current NCAA RPI Top 100 teams, led by ARIZONA (4-1), ARIZONA STATE (3-1), CALIFORNIA (3-2), OREGON STATE (3-2), UCLA (4-3), USC (4-2) and UTAH (4-2).

HOME SWEET HOME: ARIZONA owns NCAA Division I’s longest active home win streak at 44 consecutive games. OREGON has won 13 in a row at home, tied for the 15th longest streak in the nation.

KENNEL COUGH: ARIZONA became just the seventh non-conference team and 10th team overall to win at 12-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center when it won at then No. 13 Gonzaga on Dec. 5. One week later on Dec. 12, UCLA became the eighth OOC team and 11th overall (154-11) to accomplish the feat with their win at No. 20 Gonzaga.

BUFFALOES ROAM: Following a season-opening neutral site loss to Iowa State, COLORADO has reeled off eight straight victories, its most since a 10-game run in 2013-14, a season in which it earned an NCAA Tournament bid.

A FIGHT-ON START: At 8-2, USC is off to its best start since beginning the 2006-07 season 9-2 en route to an NCAA Tournament bid.

POLLING WELL: At least one Pac-12 program has been in the AP Top 25 for 65 consecutive weeks, including 45 straight with a Top 15 team. ARIZONA remained steady at No. 13 on Monday, while UCLA entered the poll at No. 22.

BEARS BOUNCE BACK: CALIFORNIA’s current four-game win streak has come against four opponents which participated in the 2015 postseason (Seattle - CBI, Wyoming - NCAA, Incarnate Word - CIT, Saint Mary’s - NIT).

FRESHMEN WORKING: Ten Pac-12 freshmen are providing double-figure scoring for their teams as of Dec. 14, including two players each from CALIFORNIA (J. Brown, I. Rabb), OREGON STATE (T. Tinkle, S. Thompson Jr.) and WASHINGTON (D. Murray, M. Chriss).

THE WEEK AHEAD

The Pac-12’s 20-game schedule this week includes a quartet of marquee contests on Saturday, Dec. 19 as UTAH faces No. 7 Duke at Madison Square Garden (12 noon ET, ESPN), No. 22 UCLA goes for another Top 25 victory when it battles No. 11 North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic at Barclays Center (1 p.m. ET, CBS), No. 13 ARIZONA hosts UNLV (7:30 p.m. MT, ESPN2) and STANFORD welcomes Texas (8:30 p.m. PT, ESPN2). The mid-week slate is highlighted by the Cardinal hosting DePaul on Tuesday, Dec. 15 (7 p.m. PT, FS1) and ARIZONA STATE visiting UNLV on Wednesday, Dec. 16 (7 p.m. PT, CBSSN).

 

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