Rare December ranked matchups highlight start of Pac-12 play

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#PAC12HOOPS STARTING FIVE

2 -  Ranked matchups in the first week of Pac-12 play as #21 OREGON puts its lengthy home court winning streak on the line against both #2 UCLA and #22 USC. This week’s tilts between the Ducks, Bruins and Trojans will mark the earliest meetings between two AP ranked teams in Conference play since December 1952.

2 (of 6) - UCLA (13-0) and USC (13-0) are two of six remaining unbeaten teams in NCAA Division I as of Dec. 26. The Pac-12 (2) and Big East (2) are the only conferences with multiple unbeaten teams remaining.

3 - Number of times two Conference teams have gone undefeated in non-conference play dating to the founding of the Pac-8 in 1967.
2016-17: UCLA (13-0) and USC (13-0)
2013-14: ARIZONA (13-0) and OREGON (12-0)
1994-95: STANFORD (9-0) and UCLA (9-0, 6-0 prior to start of Conference play)

4 - Pac-12 teams in the national rankings for the third consecutive week: No. 2 UCLA, No. 18 ARIZONA, No. 21 OREGON and No. 22 USC. The Pac-12’s four ranked teams are tied for the second-most of any conference in the nation with the Big East (four) and trails only the ACC’s six.

46 -  Seasons since UCLA (13-0) and USC (13-0) have combined for as good of unbeaten starts to a campaign. The two schools combined to begin the 1970-71 season at 30-0 (UCLA 14-0, USC 16-0). The Bruins (29-1) handed the Trojans (24-2) their only two losses that season en route to a national title.

PAC-12 TIPOFF

HOME SWEET HOME: Two Pac-12 teams have built home court winning streaks among the top 12 in the country. OREGON owns the nation’s third-longest home streak at 33 consecutive games, while ARIZONA has won its last 13 at home, good for a tie for 13th nationally.

UNICORNS: OREGON’s Chris Boucher was named to the NCAA.com National Team of the Week on Dec. 19 after a stat line only seen four times in NCAA Division I this season according to College Basketball Reference. However, Boucher isn’t the only Pac-12 player to make the short list of D-I players with at least 20 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks in a game so far in 2016-17:
Drew Eubanks, OSU - 23p, 16r, 6b vs. Savannah St. (12/11/16)
Chris Boucher, ORE - 23p, 19r, 5b vs. Montana (12/13/16)

INSTANT OFFENSE: A third of the Pac-12’s Top 30 scorers are in their first seasons in the league:

Markelle Fultz, Fr., WASH - 1st, 22.0 ppg
Torian Graham, Sr., ASU - 2nd, 17.8 ppg
TJ Leaf, Fr., UCLA - 4th, 17.5 ppg
Charlie Moore, Fr., CAL - 8th, 16.1 ppg
Lauri Markkanen, Fr., ARIZ - 9th, 16.1 ppg
Shannon Evans II, Jr., ASU - 10th, 15.9 ppg
Derrick White, Sr., COLO - 13th, 15.0 ppg
Lonzo Ball, Fr., UCLA - 21st, 13.7 ppg
Rawle Alkins, Fr., ARIZ - 29th, 12.4 ppg
Kobi Simmons, Fr., ARIZ - 30th, 12.2 ppg

Freshmen also lead the Pac-12 in key categories:
Markelle Fultz, WASH - 22.0 ppg
Lonzo Ball, UCLA - 8.3 apg
TJ Leaf, UCLA - 65.5% FG

RECORD WATCH

UCLA (95.8 ppg, 2nd in NCAA) is currently ahead of its league-record 92.3 points per game average set in 1967-68. OREGON (8.2 bpg, 1st in NCAA) and WASHINGTON (7.2 bpg, 2nd in NCAA) are ahead of the Huskies’ record-setting block mark of 6.59 set last season.

At his current clip of 22.0 points per game, WASHINGTON’s Markelle Fultz is aiming to become the first freshman to lead the league in scoring since CALIFORNIA’s Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1995-96 (Conference freshman record 21.1 ppg).

The 48 career double-doubles for WASHINGTON STATE senior Josh Hawkinson are the highest active total in NCAA Division I. Hawkinson is also second among active Division I players in rebounding with 829 career caroms, a total which currently ranks 53rd in Pac-12 history.

OREGON junior Jordan Bell (180 blocks) and COLORADO senior Wesley Gordon (179 blocks) are both nearing the Pac-12’s career Top 10 in blocked shots, just shy of 10th place Jelani McCoy’s 188 (UCLA, 1996-98).

KEY NON-CONFERENCE WINS (thru 12/27)

POWER 6 OPPONENTS (14-18)
#10 ARIZONA 65, #12 Michigan State 63 (Honolulu, HI)
USC 65, at Texas A&M 63
OREGON 69, Tennessee 65 (OT) (Lahaina, Hawaii)
COLORADO 68, #22 Texas 54 (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
UCLA 82, Nebraska 71 (Fullerton, Calif.)
STANFORD 66, Seton Hall 52 (Orlando, Fla.)
#14 UCLA 74, Texas A&M 67 (Anaheim, Calif.)
#11 UCLA 97, at #1 Kentucky 92
at COLORADO 68, #13 Xavier 66
ARIZONA 79, at Missouri 60
at UCLA 102, Michigan 84
at #24 OREGON 65, Alabama 56
#19 ARIZONA 67, Texas A&M 63 (Houston, Texas)
#2 UCLA 86, Ohio State 73 (Las Vegas, Nev.)

PRESEASON CONFERENCE FAVORITES (8-6)
at STANFORD 67, Weber State 49
at OREGON 76, Valparaiso 54
at UCLA 114, Long Beach State 77
at WASHINGTON 94, Long Beach State 88
at ARIZONA 85, Texas Southern 63
#11 UCLA 97, at #1 Kentucky 92
CALIFORNIA 62, Princeton 51 (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii)
ARIZONA STATE 74, at San Diego State 63

2016 NCAA/NIT TOURNAMENT TEAMS (24-23)
#10 ARIZONA 65, #12 Michigan State 63 (Honolulu, HI)
at CALIFORNIA 82, South Dakota State 53
at ARIZONA 78, CSU Bakersfield 66
at STANFORD 67, Weber State 49
at OREGON 76, Valparaiso 54
USC 65, at Texas A&M 63
at UCLA 114, Long Beach State 77
at WASHINGTON 94, Long Beach State 88
OREGON 79, Connecticut 69 (Lahaina, Hawaii)
STANFORD 66, Seton Hall 52 (Orlando, Fla.)
#14 UCLA 74, Texas A&M 67 (Anaheim, Calif.)
at ARIZONA 85, Texas Southern 63
#11 UCLA 97, at #1 Kentucky 92
USC 91, BYU 84 (Los Angeles, Calif.)
CALIFORNIA 62, Princeton 51 (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii)
at COLORADO 68, #13 Xavier 66
ARIZONA STATE 74, at San Diego State 63
at UCLA 102, Michigan 84
at #24 OREGON 65, Alabama 56
#19 ARIZONA 67, Texas A&M 63 (Houston, Texas)
#2 UCLA 86, Ohio State 73 (Las Vegas, Nev.)
at #20 OREGON 75, Fresno State 63
UTAH 66, at Hawaii 52
UTAH 74, Stephen F. Austin 66 (Honolulu, Hawaii)

OTHER (1-1)
at USC 78, SMU 73

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