Pac-12 women’s basketball standings have Stanford and Utah at the top
The Pac-12 women’s basketball landscape went through a number of changes this past weekend.
USC handed Colorado its first home loss of the season, knocking the Buffaloes out of a second-place tie with Utah. The Utes are now alone in second place, one game behind Stanford in first place. Later this season, Stanford goes to Utah and Colorado, so the Buffaloes’ loss robs them of a realistic chance to overtake Stanford. They can pin Stanford, but it will be very difficult to jump past the Cardinal in a month.
UCLA’s losses to Colorado and Utah knocked the Bruins out of the Pac-12 title hunt. Arizona’s loss to Washington State did the same to the Wildcats’ conference championship hopes. Teams have eliminated themselves from title contention or at least hurt their chances.
The other big story: Washington State — by beating the Arizona schools on the road — moved into the NCAA Tournament field. If the Cougars can string together a few more wins in February, they should give the Pac-12 eight teams in the women’s NCAA tournament.
Here are the full standings at the end of January:
USC remains the only Pac-12 team to defeat the Cardinal, who swept but did not dominate the Oregon schools last week. An injury to guard Talana Lepolo slowed this team down.
Utah had a great weekend, sweeping USC and UCLA to stay one game behind Stanford in the Pac-12 race. Utah hosts Stanford later this season. The Utes have a real chance to share the Pac-12 title.
USC’s win over Colorado likely cost the Buffaloes a shot at the Pac-12 title. They now have to make up against Utah and Stanford, and they have to make up two games against Stanford, not just one. Beating the Cardinal later this season won’t be enough. They will need other sources of help. It’s asking a lot.
UCLA had a terrible Mountain road trip. USC men’s basketball can certainly relate to that. The Bruins lost to Colorado and Utah in one-score games decided in the final seconds. UCLA’s Pac-12 title hopes are done and over.
Arizona lost at home to Washington State, a decisive blow to any remaining Pac-12 title chances this team might have had.
USC didn’t just beat Colorado on the road; it dominated in Boulder and handed the Buffs their first home loss of the season. USC isn’t an NCAA Tournament lock yet — the Trojans still need to win a few more games — but they’re getting very close. It’s great to see.
Beating Arizona in Tucson has Washington State on the good side of the bubble. The Pac-12 is now likely to send eight teams to the NCAA Tournament.
Oregon gave Stanford a tough fight on Sunday, but fell short.
Washington has been competitive all season, but has been unable to close out opponents late in tight games.
Oregon State’s bubble position took a big hit with a loss to Cal, days after a close loss to Stanford. It was a brutal Bay Area road trip for the Beavers.
Cal beat Oregon State and showed it’s no pushover.
ASU came very close to getting its first Pac-12 win of the season on Sunday, but fell just short against Washington in Tempe.