Utah among five ranked Pac-12 women’s basketball teams
• No. 21/24 UTAH puts its first ranking in over a decade on the line when it hosts CALIFORNIA and No. 6/6 STANFORD this week. The Utes are off to their best start since 1997. The Cardinal is also off to its best start in five season, while the Bears have won two in a row.
• With Utah joining the top 25 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/WBCA Coaches polls, the Pac-12 has five ranked teams for the 10th week this season, including three in the AP top 10, while two are among the top 10 by the coaches: No. 5/5 OREGON, No. 6/7 Stanford , No. 9/11 OREGON STATE, No. 19/19 ARIZONA STATE and No. 21/14 Utah.
• Pac-12 teams continue to face, some of the toughest schedules in the country. The future schedules of all 12 teams are ranked among the toughest top 50, according to the NCAA (as of Jan. 21), with six ranking in the top 11 and four more in the top 27. UCLA (No. 5) has the toughest schedule remaining in the conference, but the rest of the league does not have it much easier. Washington State’s future schedule is ranked sixth-toughest, USC’s is seventh, California and Oregon State’s schedules are tied for the eighth toughest in the country, while Washington’s slate ranks No. 11 in toughness. Oregon (No. 22), Arizona State (No. 25), Stanford (No. 26) and Arizona (No. 27) are in the top 30 of toughest schedules. Colorado’s and Utah’s schedules are ranked in the top 50.
• Arizona State has played the second-toughest schedule in the country to this point in the season, according to the NCAA’s metrics (as of Jan. 21). Four other team schedules are also in the top 25, including UCLA (No. 6), Washington State (No. 11), Washington (No. 14) and Stanford (No. 24).
• As of Jan. 21, four Pac-12 teams have a RPI in the top 30, including Oregon (3), Stanford (4), Arizona State (14) and California (30). Ten Pac-12 teams have RPI in the top 100, including nine with RPI in the top 60.
• In a week that featured several headline-making performances, California’s Kristine Anigwe was tabbed the Pac-12 Player of the Week after averaging 29.5 points and 20.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 66.7 percent from the field.
• Arizona’s Cate Reese, the program’s first-ever McDonald’s All-American, is the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the second time this season. She averaged 17.0 points per game, also shooting 58.3 percent from the floor.
• Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer claimed her 900th win at Stanford on Sunday, Jan. 20, becoming just the fifth Division I men’s or women’s head coach to win that many games at a single school. Three other Pac-12 coaches are approaching a career milestone, including Oregon’s Kelly Graves (492), ASU’s Charli Turner Thorne (475) and OSU’s Scott Rueck (482 including DI and DIII wins), who are all nearing career-No. 500.
PAC-12 IN THE POLLS
Five Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the Associated Press and USA Today/WBCA Coaches polls 10 of 12 weeks this season, including the preseason polls. Three league teams earned top 10 in the preseason polls, a first in the league’s history. 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.
PAC-12 SCORING IS UP
As a collective group as of Jan. 21, the Pac-12 has the best scoring average among all conferences at 73.0 points per game. League teams also have the best collective shooting percentage (.445) and 3-point shooting percentage in the country (34.62), and second-best free throw percentage (71.83).
Compared to 2017-18, the Conference’s numbers are up in each of those categories. Its scoring average is up the most dramatically, recording 4.0 ppg better than a year ago when it average 69.00 ppg for seventh-best among the leagues. In 2017-18, Pac-12 teams were shooting 42.95 pct. (3rd), 33.77 pct. from long range (4th) and has a slight improvement from last season’s 71.16 free throw shooting (9th). Pac-12 teams have also seen improvement on the boards, last year averaging 37.00 rpg. This season, teams are averaging 39.00 tying for third-most among leagues.
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
|Friday, Jan. 25|
|UCLA at #16/16 Arizona State||P12N||10 a.m. PT|
|California at #21/24 Utah||P12N||6 p.m. PT|
|#6/7 Stanford at Colorado||P12BA||6 p.m. PT|
|USC at Arizona||P12N||6 p.m. PT|
|#5/5 Oregon at Washington State||P12O||7 p.m. PT|
|#9/11 Oregon State at Washington||P12N||8 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Jan. 27|
|#6/7 Stanford at #21/24 Utah||Live Stream||11 a.m. PT|
|California at Colorado||P12N||12 p.m. PT|
|#9/11 Oregon State at Washington State||P12N||12 p.m. PT|
|USC at #16/16 Arizona State||P12N||12 p.m. PT|
|UCLA at Arizona||Live Stream||1 p.m. PT|
|#5/5 Oregon at Washington||P12N||2 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 Tampa, 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.