Top 10 trio seizing control of Pac-12 men's basketball race
#PAC12HOOPS STARTING FIVE
3 - Three Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top 10 of this week’s AP Top 25 poll in #5 ARIZONA, #6 UCLA and #7 OREGON, a feat matched only by the Big 12. It marks the third time this season the league placed three teams in the top 10.
>> All-time weekly streaks with three Conference teams in top 10 in AP poll history (since Jan. 1949):
1997-98: 7 weeks (12/23/97 - 2/3/98)
1974-75: 4 weeks (1/7/75 - 1/21/75, 2/4/75) & 1980-81: 4 weeks (1/27/81, 2/10/81 - 2/17/81, 3/10/81)
1998-99: 3 weeks (12/29/98, 1/12/99, 2/9/99) & 2016-17: 3 weeks (1/23/17, 2/6/17 - 2/13/17)
3 - Three Pac-12 teams appeared in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee’s early top 16 bracket reveal on Saturday, Feb. 11 in No. 2 seed OREGON (8th overall), No. 3 seed ARIZONA (9th overall) and No. 4 seed UCLA (15th overall). Three teams in the top 16 trailed only the ACC’s five.
5 - Five Pac-12 teams are projected for the 2017 NCAA Tournament field by a majority of major media bracketology sites as of Feb. 14:
CBS Sports (5 teams, Avg. seed: 4.6)
Sporting News (5, 4.8)
SI.com (5, 4.8)
NBC Sports (5, 5.2)
USA Today (5, 5.2)
Bleacher Report (5, 5.4)
ESPN (5, 5.4)
FOX Sports (5, 5.6)
7 - Seven Pac-12 teams rate in the top 81 of the NCAA RPI rankings as of Feb. 14 (OREGON, ARIZONA, UCLA, USC, CALIFORNIA, STANFORD, UTAH), including five in the top 35, three in the top 25, and Arizona and Oregon in the top 10.
>> Six teams rank in the top 60 in the KenPom, Sagarin and ESPN BPI indexes (Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Cal, Utah).
4x20 - The Pac-12 and the ACC are the only leagues with four 20-win teams as of Feb. 14. It marks the earliest point in any season since the formation of the Pac-8 in 1968 that four Conference teams reached the 20-win plateau.
NCAA.com Team of the Week - Lonzo Ball, UCLA (Nov. 28)
NCAA.com TOW - TJ Leaf, UCLA (Dec. 5)
Lute Olson POW - Isaac Hamilton, UCLA (Dec. 5)
USBWA FrOW - TJ Leaf, UCLA (Dec. 6)
NCAA.com TOW - Derrick White, Colorado (Dec. 12)
NCAA.com TOW - Chris Boucher, Oregon (Dec. 19)
NCAA.com POW - Dillon Brooks, Oregon (Jan. 2)
USBWA POW - Dillon Brooks, Oregon (Jan. 2)
USBWA FrOW - Markelle Fultz, Washington (Jan. 2)
NCAA.com TOW - Ivan Rabb, California (Jan. 9)
NCAA.com POW - Ivan Rabb, California (Jan. 16)
Lute Olson POW - Lauri Markkanen, Arizona (Jan. 23)
USBWA POW - Lauri Markkanen, Arizona (Jan. 24)
USBWA FrOW - TJ Leaf, UCLA (Feb. 6)
DRAWING A CROWD: 72 games into the 108-game Pac-12 slate, league contests are drawing 8,728 fans per game. That mark would be the highest average since the formation of the Pac-12 for 2011-12, besting the 8,380 during 2015-16, which featured a 8,174 average through 78 league games.
ROAD RARITIES: Of the 36 two-game Conference road swings so far in 2016-17, seven teams have completed sweeps:
OREGON at WASH/WSU
ARIZONA at CAL/STAN & USC/UCLA
UCLA at COLO/UTAH & WSU/WASH
USC at WASH/WSU
UTAH at WSU/WASH
During the 2015-16 season, only six times in 48 swings did a Pac-12 team complete a road sweep.
# VS. #: There have been five ranked Conference clashes so far in this Pac-12 season, the most regular-season meetings of ranked league teams since 2008-09.
>> Between 2009-10 and 2014-15, there were three total matchups, now nine the past two years.
HOME SWEET HOME: Two Pac-12 teams have built double-digit home court winning streaks. OREGON owns the nation’s longest home streak at 40 consecutive games, while ARIZONA has won its last 20 at home, good for fifth nationally.
INSIDE THE RANKINGS: ARIZONA’s 93 consecutive weeks in the AP Top 25 dates back to 2013 and is the second-longest nationally behind Kansas’ streak of 157. OREGON’s stretch of 23 consecutive appearances is its longest in program history, surpassing 21 from 2007-08.
WEST COAST BLOCK PARTY: Five Pac-12 teams are ranked inside the national top 30 in blocked shots: OREGON (1st, 6.9 bpg), WASHINGTON (6th, 6.0 bpg), USC (7th, 5.8 bpg) and UCLA (19th, 5.4 bpg) and CALIFORNIA (28th, 5.2 bpg).
EVERY GAME’S A BATTLE: Through 78 league games as of Feb. 12:
>> Average scoring margin is 13.3 ppg.
>> 34 have been decided by single digits.
>> 11 have been decided by one possession (3 pts or less).
>> 5 decided by a team’s final possession.
>> 3 overtime games (4 total OT periods).
ARIZONA’s Sean Miller is the 21st coach in league history to reach 100 career Conference victories. His .741 winning percentage in league games (103-36) is fourth to only John Wooden (.810), Lute Olson (.764) and Jim Harrick (.743) among those to reach the 100-win plateau.
OREGON (6.9 bpg, 1st in NCAA) is ahead of WASHINGTON’s Pac-12 single-season record block mark of 6.59 set last season.
At his current clip of 23.2 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). Fultz would be only the third freshmen to pace the league in scoring along with Abdur-Rahim and Cliff Robinson (USC, 1977-78).
With 198 assists, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball is already third on the Pac-12’s freshman single-season assists list. At 7.6 apg, he’s on pace to shatter the rookie mark of 229 set by OREGON STATE’s Gary Payton in 1986-87.
UCLA’s Bryce Alford has entered the Pac-12 career top 10 in three-point field goals as his 296 triples (5th active in NCAA, most among Power 6 players) are eighth all-time. Alford’s 1,776 career points are the most among active players from Power 6 programs (15th active in NCAA) and rank tied for 43rd in Conference history.
The 53 career double-doubles for WASHINGTON STATE senior Josh Hawkinson are the highest active total in NCAA Division I. Hawkinson is also third among active Division I players in rebounding with 952 career caroms, a total which currently ranks 22nd in Pac-12 history.
OREGON junior Jordan Bell (201 blocks) has moved into seventh on the Pac-12’s career blocked shots list, while COLORADO senior Wesley Gordon (195 blocks) is just behind in a tie for eighth and OREGON’s Chris Boucher (174) is fast rising.
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