Pac-12 women’s basketball teams clash in league tilts
• The non-conference slate has wrapped up and every Pac-12 team is in league play this week. Ten matchups this week will be televised on Pac-12 Networks. Only seven undefeated teams remain in the country, including UTAH which won its league opener last week. Defending Pac-12 Champion OREGON starts its title defense against WASHINGTON on Friday.
• OREGON (No. 5/5) and STANFORD (No. 6/8) earned top-10 rankings in both the Associated Press and USA Today/WBCA Coaches polls, leading five ranked league teams. OREGON STATE has not been lower than No. 11 in both polls this season and is there again this week. CALIFORNIA is No. 18/19 and ARIZONA STATE is No. 22/22. USC and ARIZONA, which is riding a program-record tying 10-game win streak after an upset-win over rival ASU, are receiving votes.
• With league play underway for all 12 teams this week, worth noting is that the eventual Pac-12 regular-season champion has won its conference-opening game every year dating back to 2001-02, going 2-0 in the opening week every year except three when it went 1-1 (OSU in 2015-16; Stanford in 2005-06 and 2004-05). In 2000-01, the season three teams tied for first, WASHINGTON went 2-0 in that first week, STANFORD went 1-1 and ASU lost its opener to the Cardinal.
• As of Dec. 31, three Pac-12 teams have a RPI in the top 15, including Oregon (3), Stanford (4) and California (14). Eight Pac-12 teams have a RPI in the top 55 and 10 are in the top 85. As a conference, the Pac-12’s RPI is No. 2.
• WASHINGTON STATE’s Borislava Hristova was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Week after netting a career-high 38 points in WSU’s league-opening win at Washington, the first Pac-12 win under first-year head coach Kamie Ethridge.
• UTAH’s Andrea Torres was tabbed the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, after leading the Utes to a Pac-12 season-opening win. She is the third Ute to earn the rookie nod, marking the fifth time this season.
• COLORADO’s Kennedy Leonard broke the program’s all-time assist record, becoming just the 11th player in Pac-12 history to dish out 600 in a career. She ranks ninth all-time in league history with 615 and is second among the NCAA’s active career leaders.
• Leonard is also one of five Pac-12 guards ranked in the NCAA’s top 25 in assists per game, ranking sixth at 8.8 apg. The only Pac-12 guard with a better average is UO’s Sabrina Ionescu (7.2), which is also tops in the country. USC’s Minyon Moore is seventh (6.8), Utah’s Dru Gylten is 11th (6.3) and WSU’s Chanelle Molina is 25th (5.7). Gylten also has the best average in the country among freshman.
SIX PAC-12 TEAMS IN LATEST BRACKETOLOGY
With the 2018-19 non-conference slate in the books, ESPNW’s Charlie Creme released his latest bracketology, projecting the NCAA Tournament teams based on results as of Jan. 1. Creme projects six Pac-12 teams would be in the NCAA Tournament if the season ended today, three among the top-16 seeds, including No. 1-seed Oregon. Stanford is a No. 2 seed and Oregon State a No. 3 seed. Arizona Staate, California and Utah are also in the bracket.
PAC-12 IN THE POLLS
Five Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the Associated Press and USA Today/WBCA Coaches polls every week this season, including the preseason polls. For the first time ever, three teams were ranked in the top 10 of the preseason polls. On Dec. 17, six Pac-12 teams were ranked in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches poll for just the third time in league history and second time in two years. The last time six teams were in the national coaches poll was the preseason ranking released prior to the 2017-18 and 2006-07 campaigns.
In the final poll of the 2018 calendar year, Oregon and Stanford are in the tpo 10, the Ducks at No. 5 in both pollings, while Stanford is No. 6 in the AP and No. 8 in the coaches’ polll. Oregon State is No. 11/11, California is No. 18/19 and Arizona State is No. 22. After picking up a win over rival-ASU, Arizona is receiving votes, as is Utah.
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
|Friday, Jan. 4|
|Arizona at Colorado||Live Stream||6 p.m. PT|
|#22/22 Arizona State at Utah||P12N||6 p.m. PT|
|UCLA at #18/19 California||P12N||7 p.m. PT|
|Washington at #5/5 Oregon||P12N||6 p.m. PT|
|Washington State at #11/11 Oregon State||P12N||7 p.m. PT|
|USC at #6/8 Stanford||P12N||8 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Jan. 6|
|Arizona at Utah||P12N||11 a.m. PT|
|#22/22 Arizona State at Colorado||P12N||1 p.m. PT|
|USC at #18/19 California||P12N||3 p.m. PT|
|Washington State at #5/5 Oregon||P12N||3 p.m. PT|
|Washington at #11/11 Oregon State||Live Stream||2 p.m.PT|
|UCLA at #6/8 Stanford||P12N||1 p.m. PT|
2018-19 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ROAD TO TAMPA
Teams across the country will be focused on getting to Tampa this season, the site of the 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four on April 5 and 7. To get to Tampe, Fla., teams will have to go through regional sites in Albany, N.Y., Chicago, Greensboro, N.C., and Portland, Ore., where the Oregon State Beavers are hosts Regional play takes place from March 29-April 1, with specific dates to be announced. The first and second round of the tournament will take place on 16 campus sites with the top-16 seeds hosting, March 22-25, 2019. The top 64 teams will learn their fates in the broadcast of the annual selection show on Monday, March 18, 2019.
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