Top seeds still up for grabs in final weeks of Pac-12 play
• Just two weekends remain in the regular season and the top-four seeds of the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas are still up for grabs. Earning its highest-ever Associated Press ranking this week, the No. 2/3 OREGON Ducks are in the driver’s seat to claim their second-straight regular-season crown despite suffering its first loss of the season on Monday.
• Six games highlight the Pac-12 Networks schedule this week, including a top-20 rematch between the No. 17/15 ARIZONA STATE and No. 7/7 STANFORD. The Sun Devils are sitting in fourth place in the standings and are looking to maintain that lead over UCLA, which is right behind ASU. The Bruins travel to face Oregon and No. 12/8 OREGON STATE this week.
• At least four Pac-12 teams have been ranked every week this season and the Ducks continue to lead the Conference spending all but two weeks in the top five in both the AP and the USA Today/WBCA Coaches polls. The Cardinal has been in the top 10 in all but four weeks and OSU, fresh off an upset win over rival Oregon, received its lowest ranking in the AP this week at No. 12 but has not been lower than No. 11 in the coaches’ polling. ARIZONA STATE has been steady in the rankings, this week claiming the No. 17/15 spot.
• After the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced the top-10 finalists for each of the five national positional awards, 10 of the 50 hail from the Pac-12, the most for any conference in the country.
• Stanford’s Alanna Smith was voted Pac-12 Player of the Week for the third time this season. Recording her 1,500th-career point, she posted a pair of double-doubles in the Cardinal’s sweep of the LA schools last week, including hitting the game-winning layup against USC. She was also named Naismith Trophy National Player of the Week.
• For the sixth time this season, UTAH’s Dre’Una Edwards was voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, marking the ninth time a Ute has received the rookie nod, a Pac-12 single-season record.
• Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu needs just 10 assists to become the fifth player in league history to log 700 career assists. The last player to reach the threshold was UCLA’s Jordin Canada who is the first to get to 800 (831 career assists).
• Scoring in the conference is up this season, in part due to ARIZONA’s Aari McDonald, CALIFORNIA’s Kristine Anigwe, WASHINGTON STATE’s Borislava Hristova, Smith, Ionescu and UTAH’s Megan Huff, who all rank in the NCAA’s top 32 in scoring.
• Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck became the seventh coach in Pac-12 history to reach 200 wins at a Pac-12 institution. Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer and ASU’s Charli Turner Thorne are Nos. 1 and 2 on the all-time wins list in league history. Rueck also just won his 100th league game, making him the eighth all-time to reach the threshold.
NO EASY ROAD FOR PAC-12 TEAMS
Boasting the No. 2 Conference RPI, Pac-12 teams have faced tough schedules and, with two weeks left in the season, it does not get much easier. Six Pac-12 future schedules are ranked in the top 17. Arizona State’s and Arizona’s upcoming schedules are ranked Nos., 1 and 2, respectively, with UCLA’s remaining slate ranking No. 10. (NCAA metrics are through Feb. 17 games.)
PAC-12 FAN SUPPORT
Nearly 22,000 fans went to two games in Oregon and Oregon State over four days from Feb. 15-18 when the rivals battled in a home-and-home series. Both the Ducks’ and Beavers’ fan base has seen a dramatic increase from last season, with UO averaging nearly 3,000 more in attendance compared to last season. OSU has also seen an increase in attedance from last season, as have five additional programs: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Stanford and Utah.
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
|Friday, Feb. 22|
|USC at #12/8 Oregon State||P12N||6 p.m. PT|
|Washington State at Colorado||Live Stream||6 p.m. PT|
|Washington at Utah||Live Stream||6 p.m. PT|
|#17/15 Arizona State at California||P12N||7 p.m. PT|
|Arizona at No. 7/7 Stanford||Live Stream||7 p.m. PT|
|UCLA at #2/3 Oregon||P12N||8 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Feb 24|
|USC at #2/3 Oregon||P12N||11 a.m. PT|
|Washington State at Utah||Live Stream||11 a.m. PT|
|Washington at Colorado||Live Stream||12 p.m. PT|
|#17/15 Arizona State at #7/7 Stanford||P12N||1 p.m. PT|
|UCLA at #12/8 Oregon State||P12N||1p.m. PT|
|Arizona at California||Live Stream||1 p.m. PT|
2018-19 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
NANCY LIEBERMAN AWARD WATCH LIST (PG)
Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (pre/finalist)
Destiny Slocum, Oregon State (pre/finalist)
Kennedy Leonard, Colorado (preseason)
ANN MEYERS DRYSDALE AWARD WATCH LIST
Aari McDonald, ARIZ (finalist)
Kennedy Burke, UCLA (preseason)
Aliyah Mazyck, USC (preseason)
Amber Melgoza, Washington (preseason)
Kiana Williams, Stanford (pre/finalist)
CHERYL MILLER AWARD WATCH LIST
Borislava Hristova, Washington State (pre/finalist)
Katie McWilliams, Oregon State (pre)
Satou Sabally, Oregon (pre/finalist)
KATRINA MCCLAIN AWARD WATCH LIST
Ruthy Hebard, Oregon (pre/finalist)
Megan Huff, Utah (pre/finalist)
Kianna Ibis, Arizona State (pre)
Alanna Smith, Stanford (pre/finalist)
LISA LESLIE AWARD WATCH LIST (Center)
Kristine Anigwe, California (pre/finalist)
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.