Friday Pac-12 Roundup: Home Teams Dominate in Opening Weekend

Home teams went 6-0 in the first six-game slate of Pac-12 play.

Let’s start with the upsets, of which there were two: Southern California improved to 2-0 in conference play with a 55-45 victory over No. 12/14 Colorado. The Women of Troy were led by Cassie Harberts, who poured in 19 points (14 in the second half) after leading scorer Ariya Crook went down with a leg injury after the first minute of play.

Washington State scored 51 points in the second half to top No. 24/25 Arizona State, 85-78. Lia Galdeira scored 27 points, as the Cougs scored a major upset to start Pac-12 play.

Washington held off a game Arizona squad, 55-52. Freshman Kelsey Plum continues to impress, scoring 23 points, going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Aminah Williams scored 13 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the Huskies. A jumped by LaBrittney Jones gave UA the lead with just 2:18 remaining, but Williams and Jazmine Davis took over, sealing the first conference win for the Huskies.

Chiney Ogwumike broke the all-time Pac-12 mark for career rebounds in a 96-66 win for No. 4 Stanford over Oregon. Ogwumike scored 33 points (a Pac-12 high for Friday night) and snared 13 rebounds in just 33 minutes of play. Sophomore Jillian Alleyne went 11-of-15 from the floor, scoring 26 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Bonnie Samuelson hit six threes for the Cardinal, scoring 21 points, a career high.

Coming off a battle with No. 2 Notre Dame, Oregon State gave No. 23/21 California all they could handle at Haas Pavilion, falling 72-63. Point guard Brittany Boyd tallied 25 points, one of four Bears in double figures. OSU’s Jamie Weisner scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and freshman Sydney Wiese added 17 points for the Beavers.

After losing their conference opener to USC at Pauley Pavilion, UCLA bounced back, knocking off Utah 55-38. The shorthanded Bruins only had eight players play. Nirra Fields scored a game-high 21 points, Thea Lemberger added 17, and Atonye Nyingfa scored 14.

Pac-12 Tournament Predictions

Round One

Game One: USC (7) vs. Oregon State (10)

Winner: Oregon State, Scott Rueck’s team seems to be peaking at the end of the year, while the Women of Troy can’t say the same thing.

Game Two: Utah (6) vs. Arizona (11)

Winner: Utah, the Wildcats have the offense to outscore the Utes, but they won’t get the necessary stops to advance to Friday.

Game Three: Washington State (8) vs. Arizona State (9)

Winner: Arizona State, even though WSU got the better of the Sun Devils in their two meetings this season, I have a gut feeling ASU will pull the upset.

Game Four: Washington (5) vs. Oregon (12)

Winner: Washington, the Huskies just aren’t going to fall in the first round, especially in Seattle.

Round Two

Game Five: California (2) vs. Oregon State (10)

Winner: California, don’t be shocked if Oregon State gives the Bears a game again, two weeks after falling by two at the hands of the nation’s No. 5 team.

Game Six: UCLA (3) vs. Utah (6)

Winner: UCLA, the Utes will likely be a little more competitive than they were in their last meeting with UCLA.

Game Seven: Stanford (1) vs. Arizona State (9)

Winner: Stanford, the Sun Devils road almost certainly ends with the Cardinal.

Game Eight: Colorado (4) vs. Washington (5)

Winner: Colorado, Jazmine Davis, Talia Walton and Kristi Kingma will keep it interesting right down to the wire, but Colorado earns the right to take another swing at Stanford.

Round Three

Game Nine: California (2) vs. UCLA (3)

Winner: California, Cal just seems to be a bad matchup for UCLA, and I don’t see that changing in Seattle.

Game Ten: Stanford (1) vs. Colorado (4)

Winner: Colorado, the Buffs will come in with confidence, and will finally put in a full 40 minutes of quality basketball in against the Cardinal.

Round Four

Game Eleven: California (2) vs. Colorado (4)

Winner: California, in another close game between these two opponents, Cal grabs the win with a late layup from Brittany Boyd.

My All Pac-12 Awards

Here’s who I would choose for my all Pac-12 squad.

First-Team All-Conference

  • Davellyn Whyte, Arizona
  • Brittany Boyd, California
  • Gennifer Brandon, California
  • Layshia Clarendon, California
  • Chucky Jeffery, Colorado
  • Jillian Alleyne, Oregon
  • Jamie Weisner, Oregon State
  • Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford
  • Joslyn Tinkle, Stanford
  • Alyssia Brewer, UCLA
  • Atonye Nyingifa, UCLA
  • Markel Walker, UCLA
  • Cassie Harberts, USC
  • Michelle Plouffe, Utah
  • Jazmine Davis, Washington

All Pac-12 Defensive Team

  • Eliza Pierre, California
  • Chucky Jeffery, Colorado
  • Brittany Wilson, Colorado
  • Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford
  • Markel Walker, UCLA

All Pac-12 Freshman Team

  • Arielle Roberson, Colorado
  • Jillian Alleyne, Oregon
  • Jamie Weisner, Oregon State
  • Talia Walton, Washington
  • Lia Galdeira, Washington State

Pac-12 Player of the Year: Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford

Pac-12 Freshman of the Year: Jillian Alleyne, Oregon

Pac-12 Coach of the Year: Linda Lappe, Colorado

Complete Bracketology

Oklahoma City Region

Waco Pod

1) Baylor
16) Navy
 
8) DePaul
9) Creighton
 

Queens Pod

5) Nebraska
12) St. John’s
 
4) Dayton
13) Duquesne 
 

College Park Pod

6) Purdue
11) West Virginia
 
3) Maryland
14) Quinnipiac
 

Knoxville Pod

7) Villanova
10) San Diego State
 
2) Tennessee 
15) Hampton

 

Spokane Region

Stanford Pod

1) Stanford
16) Texas Southern
 
8) Princeton
9) Michigan
 

Louisville Pod

5) Louisville
12) Illinois
 
4) UCLA
13) Chattanooga
 

College Station Pod

6) UW Green Bay
11) Kansas
 
3) Texas A&M
14) Montana
 

Baton Rouge Pod

7) Oklahoma State
10) Louisiana State
 
2) California
15) Eastern Illinois
 

Norfolk Region

Columbus Pod

1) Notre Dame
16) Oral Roberts
 
8) Vanderbilt
9) South Florida
 

Boulder Pod

5) Colorado
12) Florida Gulf Coast
 
4) Georgia
13) Miami
 

Lubbock Pod

6) Texas Tech
11) Marist
 
3) Kentucky
14) Boston
 

Durham Pod

7) Syracuse
10) SMU
 
2) Duke
15) Liberty
 

Bridgeport Region

Storrs Pod

1) Connecticut
16) Seattle
 
8) Michigan State
9) Oklahoma
 

Newark Pod

5) Delaware
12) St. Mary’s
 
4) North Carolina
13) Pacific
 

Iowa City Region

6) Iowa State
11) Iowa
 
3) South Carolina
14) South Dakota State
 

Spokane Region

7) Florida State
10) Gonzaga
 
2) Penn State
15) Middle Tennessee State
 

Procedural Bumps

9 LSU down to 10
10 South Florida up to 9
9 Gonzaga down to 10
10 Michigan up to 9
10 Iowa down to 11
11 San Diego State up to 10
7 Texas Tech up to 6
6 Florida State down to 7
11 St. John’s down to 12
12 Marist up to 11
 

Bracketology: Pac-12 Edition

It looks like the Pac-12 is a lock to get at least four teams into the tournament. With that said, let’s see where Pac-12 teams could find themselves come March Madness.

Stanford (26-2, 15-1) LOCK

Predicted Seed: 1

The Cardinal should get the last number one seed after Baylor, Notre Dame and Connecticut, and a chance to play in Spokane for the regional semifinals and finals.

California (25-2, 15-1) LOCK

Predicted Seed: 2

It would take a loss or two from Duke and another win over Stanford in the Pac-12 tournament for California get a number one seed. I’d love to see Cal and Stanford both end up in the Spokane region.

UCLA (21-6, 12-4) LOCK

Predicted Seed: 4

I think it would take a major run in the Pac-12 tournament for the Bruins to get up to the three line.

Colorado (22-5, 11-5) LOCK

Predicted Seed: 4

The schedule has worked in Colorado’s favor for the last several weeks. If the Buffs get wins at Oregon and Oregon State, they’ll enter the Pac-12 tournament having won their last nine games.

Washington (19-8, 11-5) BUBBLE

The Huskies have had a really solid Pac-12 season, save a rather disappointing loss at the hands of a pesky Utah Utes team last Friday. However, their low RPI will likely leave them on the outside looking come selection Monday.

Pac-12 Week 6 Power Rankings

1) Stanford (9-1)

Stanford stays at number one after a pair of convincing wins over the Oregon schools. Tara VanDerveer celebrated another milestone with her 400th win in Pac-12 conference play.

Last Week: 1

Up Next: Arizona and Arizona State

2) California (9-1)

A huge defensive weekend sparked the Bears to two wins over Oregon State and Oregon.

Last Week: 2

Up Next: Arizona State and Arizona

3) UCLA (8-2)

The Bruins looks awfully impressive in their win on Friday over Colorado. They followed it up nicely with another big win over Utah. Markel Walker is one of the best players on the west coast.

Last Week: 3

Up Next: at Washington and Washington State

4) Colorado (5-5)

After a bad loss at UCLA, the Buffs picked it up with a double-digit win at Southern California. Even though they are 5-5, they still  haven’t lost to a team outside of the top 20.

Last Week: 4

Up Next: Oregon State and Oregon

5) Washington (8-2)

The Huskies have played the weakest schedule to date in the Pac-12, but that will all change this Friday as the Huskies host UCLA. A win over the Bruins would certainly vault them over Colorado.

Last Week: 5

Up Next: UCLA and USC

6) Washington State (4-6)

After stumbling out of the blocks, June Daugherty’s Cougars have won three straight ballgames. It wouldn’t be too surprising if the Cougars made things tough for UCLA and USC on the road.

Last Week: 12

Up Next: USC and UCLA

7) USC (5-5)

Things seem to have gone downhill quickly for Michael Cooper’s Women of Troy. After blowing a very winnable game on the road against Cal, USC has dropped four out of five, the only win being against lowly Arizona.

Last Week: 6

Up Next: at Washington State and Washington

8) Oregon State (3-7)

The Beavers are one of three teams stuck at 3-7 in the conference. I’ll give OSU the nod as the best 3-7 team because they’ve lost so many close games, and they’ve played Stanford and Cal (the others haven’t).

Last Week: 7

Up Next: at Colorado and Utah

9) Arizona State (3-7)

The Sun Devils followed up their very competitive road games against the Los Angeles schools by laying an egg on their home floor against the Washington schools. Now they have to deal with the Bay Area.

Last Week: 8

Up Next: at California and Stanford

10) Utah (2-8)

The Utes got a huge victory against USC, but got smacked by a very good UCLA team. Losing Wicijowski is going to hurt this team in the long run, but I don’t think they’re worse than Arizona.

Last Week: 9

Up Next: Oregon and Oregon State

11) Arizona (3-7)

The Wildcats appear to be in free fall, dropping a league-high five straight games. Look for that number to increase to seven after this weekend.

Last Week: 10

Up Next: at Stanford and California

12) Oregon (1-9)

The Ducks showed a little swagger against Stanford and I’m tempted to put them above a dismal Arizona squad… but I’m not going to. Oregon is simply dreadful.

Last Week: 11

Up Next: at Utah and Colorado

Friday’s Prime Time Performers

Utah’s Iwalani Rodrigues and UCLA’s Markel Walker are Friday’s Pac-12 Prime Time Performers.

Rodrigues scored a game-high 23 points, as Utah traveled to Los Angeles to defeat the USC Women of Troy. Rodrigues stepped up to fill the void left by Taryn Wicijowski, who is sidelined with a torn meniscus.

Walker contributed 17 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists, as No. 19 UCLA toppled No. 22 Colorado 62-46. Walker was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, bouncing back nicely from a back injury that sidelined her last weekend.

Week 5 Pac-12 Predictions: Sunday’s Games

Colorado @ USC (10:00 a.m., Pac-12 Network)

Colorado played easily their worst game of their season on Friday against UCLA. USC is also coming off a tough three-point loss to a scrappy Utah team. This contest will be all about who can bounce back from disappointment the quickest.

Winner: USC

Washington @ Arizona State (10:00 a.m., Pac-12 Network)

Washington is on a roll, having won their last five contests, and carrying a 7-2 Pac-12 record. The Sun Devils followed up some good performances in Southern California by laying an egg on their own home court, getting blown out by Washington State on Friday. Look for Washington to advance to 8-2 on Sunday.

Winner: Washington

Utah @ UCLA (12:30, Live Stream)

After sitting out last weekend’s games with a back injury, Markel Walker nearly recorded a triple double against Colorado, finishing with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Additionally, Walker was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field. However, Utah will be looking to make it two in a row after an impressive victory at USC.

Winner: UCLA

California @ Oregon (1:00, Live Stream)

California played stellar defense on Friday, allowing only 38 points to Oregon State. The Ducks put up a pretty solid fight against Stanford, but still fell by 24 points. The Bears should feel pretty comfortable about their chances to advance to 9-1 in conference, even if they are without the services of Reshanda Gray for the second straight game.

Washington State @ Arizona (1:00, Live Stream)

After starting conference play 1-6, Washington State will all of a sudden be looking for their third-straight Pac-12 win, after a dominating performance against Arizona State.

Winner: Washington State

Stanford @ Oregon State (2:00, Pac-12 Networks)

Tara VanDerveer will be looking for her 401st Pac-12 victory, after picking up number400 against Oregon on Friday night. Scott Rueck’s club had a hard time hitting shots against California, only scoring 38 points.

Winner: Stanford

Week 5 Pac-12 Predictions: Friday’s Games

Stanford @ Oregon (6:00, Pac-12 Networks)

Oregon finally got a taste of conference victory last Friday, knocking off Washington State. However, their competition Friday night will be much stiffer than anything they saw in Washington.

Winner: Stanford

Washington State @ Arizona State (6:00, Live Stream)

Arizona State is coming off a very impressive week, defeating USC in a monster second half comeback, and hanging tough with UCLA. This should be a very winnable game for the Sun Devils, in a weekend that could get them back to .500 in league play.

Winner: Arizona State

Washington @ Arizona (6:00, Live Stream)

With Jazmine Davis back in action for the Huskies, UW should feel pretty good about this game. However, Arizona will be thrilled to be back at home. If Kama Griffitts gets hot and Davellyn Whyte is her usual self, Washington could be in for quite a fight.

Winner: Arizona

California @ Oregon State (7:00, Live Stream)

The Beavers will have something to prove this weekend, after dropping two overtime decisions last week against the Washington schools. Cal will be pleased to finally see a team that isn’t in the top 20.

Winner: California

Utah @ USC (7:00, Live Stream)

Utah isn’t nearly as bad as their conference record (1-7) would indicated. Six of those seven losses have been at the hands of top-25 teams. Without Taryn Wicijowski in the post, Utah could have a hard time handling Cassie Harberts.

Winner: USC

Colorado @ UCLA (8:00, Pac-12 Networks)

The Buffs will no doubt be hungry for a win over a ranked Pac-12 team, as this is will likely be their last chance before the tournament. UCLA wasn’t outstanding last week in two wins over the Arizona schools. This could be Colorado’s chance.

Winner: Colorado

Record Last Week: 8-4

Week 5 Pac-12 Power Rankings

1) Stanford (7-1)

The Cardinal remain ahead of their rivals across the bay on the virtue of their strong performances against Utah and Colorado last weekend.

Last Week: 1

Up Next: at Oregon and Oregon State

2) California (7-1)

The Bears fell behind by 16 points at home against Colorado, only to storm back to win by three. They didn’t make it through the weekend unscathed, as Gennifer Brandon and Reshanda Gray suffered minor injuries.

Last Week: 2

Up Next: at Oregon State and Oregon

3) UCLA (6-2)

The Bruins were led by their freshmen in their sweep of the Arizona schools. Kari Korver heled stretch the zone against the Wildcats, while Nirra Fields led the way for UCLA against Arizona State.

Last Week: 3

Up Next: Colorado and Utah

4) Colorado (4-4)

The unbalanced schedule has not blessed Colorado with an easy start. CU faced the Bay Area schools for the second time so far this season, dropping a heartbreaker to California, as Brittany Wilson missed a game-tying three at the buzzer. The Buffs looked good at times against Stanford, but they made way too many mental errors to win at Maples. Things don’t get much easier, as Colorado travels to Los Angeles to face UCLA and USC.

Last Week: 4

Up Next: at UCLA and USC

5) Washington (6-2)

Without the services of super sophomore Jazmine Davis, the Huskies came through with a huge, come-from-behind, overtime win against Oregon State. They backed it up with a nice win over an Oregon team that just tasted victory for the first time in conference play.

Last Week: 6

Up Next: at Arizona and Arizona State

6) USC (5-3)

The Trojans missed a golden opportunity to be 6-2 before facing Utah and Colorado. USC led Arizona State by 16 at halftime, only to be outscored by 23 in the second half, losing 60-53. The Trojans managed to split, picking up a big win against a struggling Arizona team.

Last Week: 5

Up Next: Utah and Colorado

7) Oregon State (3-5)

OSU could easily have five or six conference wins, but little mistakes (like fouling Kristi Kingma, allowing Washington to send Friday’s game into OT) have cost the Beavers. Now, Stanford and California will provide Oregon State with their toughest test to date.

Last Week: 8

Up Next: California and Stanford

8) Arizona State (3-5)

Most Pac-12 teams will be happy to split games with UCLA and USC, and that’s exactly what Arizona State did last weekend, mounting a huge second half comeback to beat the Trojans in Los Angeles, giving coach Charli Turner-Thorne her 300th victory at Arizona State.

Last Week: 7

Up Next: Washington State and Washington

9) Utah (1-7)

Yes, Utah is 1-7 in conference play, but six of those seven conference losses are to top 20 teams. After this weekend, Utah won’t see Colorado, Stanford, California or UCLA until the Pac-12 tournament.

Last Week: 9

Up Next: at USC and UCLA

10) Arizona (3-5)

Niya Butts has to be happy to have Kama Griffitts back in the lineup, giving the Wildcats a threat from behind the three-point line. The Wildcats return home for the first time in two weeks after a tough road swing to the Mountains and Los Angeles.

Last Week: 10

Up Next: Washington and Washington State

11) Oregon (1-7)

This was a difficult choice. Washington State has two conference wins, but Oregon did beat WSU on the road last weekend. Time will tell whether Oregon or Washington State will finish in the basement of the Pac-12.

Last Week: 12

Up Next: Stanford and California

12) Washington State (2-6)

The Cougars split with the Oregon schools, but not in the way one might have expected. Falling to Oregon, only to rebound well against OSU is a good sign for Wazzou going forward.

Last Week: 11

Up Next: at Arizona State and Arizona