First half of Pac-12 women’s basketball league play wraps up this week
• The first half of league play wraps up this week as three teams go into the games deadlocked in second place in the Pac-12 standings, just one game behind No. 4/4 OREGON, who is 8-0 in league play for the first time ever. No. 14/17 UTAH, one of the three second-place teams, looks to ride momentum from a big win last week when it travels to face the Ducks on Saturday on Pac-12 Network and No. 9/11 OREGON STATE on Sunday. The Beavs are also tied for second.
• CALIFORNIA and No. 8/8 STANFORD play their home-and-home series while No. 21/20 ARIZONA STATE looks to avenge its league-opening loss to ARIZONA when the teams wrap up their series. All three games will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
• For the second-straight week, and for all but two weeks this season, five teams are ranked in the top 25 of the national polls, the Pac-12 also claiming three teams in the Associated Press’ top 10. No. 4/4 in the pollings, UO received one first-place vote in the WBCA Coaches poll. The Cardinal are in the top 10 for the seventh-consecutive week and OSU has been in the top 11 of the polls all season. Utah moves into the top 20 after entering the top 25 last week for the first time in over a decade. ARIZONA STATE has been holding steady in the top 25 all season, coming in this week at No. 21/20.
• The Utes’ Megan Huff was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Week after leading her squad to the program’s first-ever win over Stanford and a win over Cal. She has reached double digits in every game this season.
• Arizona’s Cate Reese was tabbed the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the third time this season and for the second-straight week. She is the first Wildcat since 2012-13 to record five double-doubles in a season.
• As of Jan. 28, five Pac-12 teams have a RPI in the top 30, including Stanford (3), Oregon (5), Arizona State (15), California (28) and Utah (29). Eight Pac-12 teams have RPI in the top 50 and nine are in the top 65.
• Sunday’s 3OT game between Arizona and UCLA was the first in league history since 2001 when Washington and USC needed the three extra periods to decide a game in Seattle. The Huskies won that contest, 91-79. The only other 3OT game since 2001 involving a Pac-12 team was in 2008 when UA went the distance against Loyola Marymount, winning the road contest, 93-88.
PAC-12 IN THE POLLS
Five Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the Associated Press and USA Today/WBCA Coaches polls in all but two weeks of the 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.
SEVEN PAC-12 TEAMS IN LATEST BRACKETOLOGY
ESPNW’s Charlie Creme latest bracketology projects seven Pac-12 teams in the NCAA Tournament teams based on results as of Jan. 28. He has three among the top-16 seeds, including No. 2 seeds Oregon and Stanford, as well as No. 3 seed Oregon State. Arizona State, California, UCLA and Utah are in his 64-team field, with Arizona on the bubble.
PAC-12 SCORING IS UP
As a collective group as of Jan. 29, the Pac-12 has the best scoring average among all conferences at 73.1 points per game. League teams also have the best collective shooting percentage (.442) and 3-point shooting percentage in the country (.345), and second-best free throw percentage (.716).
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 which ranks sixth.
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
|Thursday, Jan. 31|
|#8/8 Stanford at California||P12N||8 p.m. PT|
|Friday, Feb. 1|
|Arizona at #21/20 Arizona State||P12N||5 p.m. PT|
|Colorado at #9/11 Oregon State||P12M||7 p.m. PT|
|#14/17 Utah at #4/4 Oregon||P12N||7 p.m. PT|
|Washington State at UCLA||Live Stream||7 p.m. PT|
|Washington at USC||Live Stream||7 p.m. PT|
|Saturday, Feb. 2|
|California at #8/8 Stanford||P12BA||4 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Feb 3|
|Colorado at #4/4 Oregon||Live Stream||12 a.m. PT|
|#14/17 Utah at #9/11 Oregon State||Live Stream||12 p.m. PT|
|Washington at UCLA||Live Stream||12:30 p.m. PT|
|Washington State at USC||Live Stream||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.
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