League title, key seeds up for grabs in final week of Pac-12 play
#PAC12HOOPS STARTING FIVE
1 - Entering the final week and 10 games of regular-season play, 10-of-12 seeds remain up for grabs for next week’s Pac-12 Tournament, including the coveted No. 4 seed and its first-round bye as well as the regular-season champion and No. 1 seed.
>> Should there be a tie for first, the group of tied teams will be crowned regular-season co-champions. Seeding will then be determined by tiebreak procedures.
3x25 - For the first time in Conference history, three teams have reached the 25-victory plateau during the regular season. It marks the seventh season in league history that at least three teams have reached 25 wins (2006-07 (4), 2007-08, 2008-09, 2012-13, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17).
3 - Three Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top 10 of this week’s AP Top 25 poll in #3 UCLA, #6 OREGON and #7 ARIZONA - the only conference in the nation with three in the top 10. It marks the fifth week this season the league placed three teams in the top 10, the second-longest stretch in league history.
>> All-time weeks with three Conference teams in top 10 in AP poll history (since Jan. 1949):
1997-98: 7 weeks (12/23/97 - 2/3/98)
2016-17: 5 weeks (1/23/17, 2/6/17 - 2/27/17)
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)
5 - Five Pac-12 teams (ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, OREGON, UCLA, USC) are projected for the 2017 NCAA Tournament field by a majority of major media bracketology sites as of Feb. 28:
CBS Sports (5 teams, Avg. seed: 5.0)
NBC Sports (5, 5.6)
Sporting News (5, 5.6)
SI.com (5, 5.8)
ESPN (5, 6.0)
FOX Sports (4 +1 First Four Out, 4.5)
USA Today (4 +1 First Four Out, 4.8)
Bleacher Report (4 +1 First Four Out, 5.0)
60 - It has been 60 years since the Conference featured three teams with three-or-fewer league losses in the regular season (1956-57: California - 14-2, UCLA - 13-3, Washington - 13-3).
>> The best Conference record for regular-season co-champions is 15-3 (1999-00: Arizona/Stanford; 1989-90: Arizona/Oregon State; 1983-84: Oregon State/Washington).
NCAA.com Team of the Week - Lonzo Ball, UCLA (Nov. 28)
NCAA.com TOW - TJ Leaf, UCLA (Dec. 5)
Lute Olson Player of the Week - Isaac Hamilton, UCLA (Dec. 5)
USBWA Freshman of the Week - 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)
NCAA.com TOW - Lauri Markkanen Arizona (Feb. 20)
USBWA FrOW - Lauri Markkanen, Arizona (Feb. 21)
NCAA.com TOW - Allonzo Trier, Arizona (Feb. 27)
DRAWING A CROWD: 98 games into the 108-game Pac-12 slate, league contests are drawing 8,624 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 an 8,323 average through 98 league games.
EVERY GAME’S A BATTLE: Through 98 league games as of Feb. 26:
>> Average scoring margin is 12.9 ppg.
>> 45 have been decided by single digits.
>> 16 have been decided by one possession (3 pts or less).
>> 9 decided by a team’s final possession.
>> 3 overtime games (4 total OT periods).
HOME SWEET HOME: OREGON owns the nation’s longest home court winning streak at 42 consecutive games. The Ducks (2016-17) have joined ARIZONA (1988-91, 1998-2000, 2014-15) and STANFORD (2003-04) as the only Conference programs to go a perfect 9-0 at home in consecutive league seasons.
INSIDE THE RANKINGS: ARIZONA’s 95 consecutive weeks in the AP Top 25 dates back to 2013 and is the second-longest nationally behind Kansas’ streak of 159. OREGON’s stretch of 25 consecutive appearances is its longest in program history, surpassing 21 from 2007-08.
ARIZONA’s Sean Miller is the 21st coach in league history to reach 100 career Conference victories. His .741 winning percentage in league games (106-37) is fourth to only John Wooden (.810), Lute Olson (.764) and Jim Harrick (.743) among those to reach 100 wins.
OREGON (6.8 bpg, 2nd in NCAA) is ahead of WASHINGTON’s Pac-12 single-season record block mark of 6.59 set last season.
ARIZONA STATE is only the fourth team in league history to reach 300 made three pointers in a season along with OREGON (350 in 2007), WASHINGTON (305 in 2011), and OREGON (304 in 2002). UCLA (293) is also on pace to join the Sun Devils this season.
While not on pace to break marks, UCLA’s offense has proven to be one of the most-prolific in modern Conference and Division I history as it would rank among the best of the past three-plus decades in several categories:
>> 91.6 PPG - highest in league since 1990-91 (UCLA, 92.3), highest nationally since 2008-09 (VMI, 93.8)
>> 52.9% FG - highest in league since 1987-88 (ARIZ, 54.5%), highest nationally since 1991-92 (Duke, 53.6%)
>> 21.7 APG - highest in league since assists became official NCAA stat in 1983-84, highest recorded in Conference since 1979-80 (OSU, 21.7), highest nationally since 1995-96 (Kentucky, 21.8)
>> 293 3FG - Sixth-most in a season in league history
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). He’s on pace to be the first Division I player since 1997-98 to average at least 23 points, five rebounds and five assists in a season.
With 219 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. Ball is on pace to be the first Conference player to average at least 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a season since CALIFORNIA's Jason Kidd in 1993-94.
UCLA’s Bryce Alford has entered the Pac-12 career top 10 in three-point field goals as his 307 triples (5th active in NCAA) are sixth all-time. Alford’s 1,832 career points are the most among active players from Power 6 programs (17th active in NCAA) and rank 30th in Conference history.
ARIZONA STATE’s Torian Graham (95 3FG) has cracked the Conference’s single-season top 10 in made threes, currently in 10th place. UCLA’s Bryce Alford (94 3FG) is close behind.
The 54 career double-doubles for WASHINGTON STATE senior Josh Hawkinson are the highest active total in NCAA Division I. Hawkinson is also fifth among active Division I players in rebounding with 982 career caroms, a total which currently ranks tied for 17th in Pac-12 history, 10 shy of 15th place occupied by WSU career leader Steve Puidokas and UCLA’s Don MacLean. He’s on pace to be the 13th player in league annals to reach 1,000 career boards.
OREGON junior Jordan Bell (208 blocks) has moved into sixth on the Pac-12’s career blocked shots list, while COLORADO senior Wesley Gordon (196 blocks) is just behind in eighth and OREGON’s Chris Boucher (182) is nine shy of the top 10.