December 31, 2012
Conference play looms, one team remains atop
A year ago, the Pac-12 was historically low on the college basketball totem pole. While it hasn't made enough strides to be among the nation's best, only USC enters conference play with a losing record. Where do the rest stack up. Here is the latest edition of our Pac-12 power rankings.
1. No. 3 Arizona
The Wildcats are as hot as anyone throughout the country right now. Not only do they sit at 12-0 heading into Pac-12 play, but they've beaten Florida and San Diego State in the non-conference, who were ranked No. 5 and 17 respectively at the time. Solomon Hill I has separated himself from the other Player on the Year candidates thus far and sophomore guard Nick Johnson is playing at an all-conference level. They host Colorado on January 3 to kick off e "second season".
Tad Boyle needed his group to respond after a 90-54 drilling at the hands of Kansas; they did just that. The Buffs have won three in a row against Fresno State, Northern Arizona and Hartford with the last two averaging a 37 point margin of victory. Spencer Dinwiddie has been the unquestioned leader of the group and is playing as well as any guard in the conference.
Who would have thought that the Ducks would be in this position? Dana Altman has to be in the conversation for conference Coach of the Year already. Make no mistake, transfer Arsalan Kazemi is the x-factor for this team. Kazemi is an ultra active forward with the ability to rebound, pass, shoot and steal the basketball. In fact, he is one f the nations best in steals per game. Oregon will need a very strong conference showing due to the decline of formerly ranked UNLV, the Ducks' signature win.
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