January 27, 2023

There’s stability at the top and bottom of this week’s Pac-12 women’s basketball ratings and movement, albeit minimal, in the middle.

With third-ranked (AP poll) Stanford, No. 8 UCLA and No. 19 Arizona going undefeated last week, plus No. 9 Utah and No. 25 Colorado losing only to Stanford, the status quo all remains in the Hotline Ratings.

However, Oregon and Washington State are each down a spot, with the Ducks dropping out of the AP rankings. USC and Oregon State, which upset Oregon, are each up a spot.

Eight of those nine teams are included in ESPN’s latest classification for the NCAA tournament, with Oregon State in the bubble. This is the second week in a row that eight are expected to make up the 68-team field.

Here are the latest ratings.

1.Stanford (19-2/7-1 Pac-12)

Last week: 1
Results: Beat Utah 74-62 and Colorado 62-49
Next: vs. Oregon State (Friday)
NET ranking (until Monday): No. 4
Commentary: Cameron Brink eluded Haley Jones as Stanford’s top player until last week, when Jones had big double-doubles, including 25 points against Utah and 18 rebounds against Colorado. She is Pac-12 Player of the Week and has up to 30 career double-doubles, the seventh most in school history.

2. Utah (16-2/6-2)

Last week: 2
Results: lost to Stanford 74-62, beating Cal 87-62
Next: vs. USC (Friday)
NET Ranking: #7
Commentary: The Utes were just five points behind at Stanford in three quarters before giving up the first five points in the fourth and never recovering. They made sure to split the straight, doubling Cal’s points in the suit (44-22), dropping 23 points in turnover and leading 16-1 in second chance points.

3.UCLA (17-3/6-2)

Last week: 3
Results: Beat Washington 51-47 and Washington State 73-66
Next: in Colorado (Friday)
NET Ranking: #27
Commentary: There can be an argument to lift the Bruins to the No. 2 performance rating after road wins, but none were convincing enough to make that move ahead of a game in Utah on Sunday. This weekend is important for UCLA and Utah in terms of post-season seeding, as both are currently predicted by ESPN to host NCAAs first- and second-round games.

4. Colorado (15-4/6-2)

Last week: 4
Results: Beating Cal 73-66, losing to Stanford 62-49
Next: vs. UCLA (Friday)
NET Ranking: #22
Commentary: The Hotline still puts Colorado ahead of Arizona based on the Buffaloes’ head-to-head Jan. 13 win. Colorado never led but played decently at Stanford despite earning just one bank point. The Buffs broke out for 30 points in the fourth quarter to get past Cal.

5Arizona (15-4/5-3)

Last week: 5
Results: Beat Arizona State 80-67
Next: vs. Washington (Friday)
NET Ranking: #26
Commentary: The Wildcats ended a two-game losing streak and played well enough against ASU, particularly against Esmery Martinez (13 points, 15 rebounds) and Shaina Pellington (defending against Tyi Skinner). In the previous two seasons, including 2020-21, which ended in a run to the NCAA championship game, Arizona eluded rivalry.

6.USC (15-4/5-3)

Last week: 7
Results: Beat Washington State 51-44 and Washington 63-54 (OT).
Next: in Utah (Friday)
NET Ranking: #29
Commentary: With four straight wins, USC is the hottest team in the Pac-12 – although against Washington it took overtime to get there. The Trojans can cement their NCAA tournament chances with a road split against the Mountain Schools. Six of their eight games in February are at home and six against teams currently unranked by the AP.

7 Oregon (13-6/4-4)

Last week: June 6th
Results: Lost to Oregon State 68-65
Next: in California (Friday)
NET Ranking: #14
Commentary: The Ducks are a bit of a mystery at the moment, having lost three of their last four games by a total of 12 points. Freshman Grace VanSlooten scored just three points against Oregon State, a deviation in an otherwise stellar season. The Cal game is critical as Stanford comes on Sunday.

8. Oregon State (11-8/3-5)

Last week: 9
Results: Beat Oregon 68-65
Next: at Stanford (Friday)
NET ranking: No. 58
Commentary: After disappointing home losses to the Washington schools, Oregon State pulled off a much-needed win over then-No. 23 Oregon. Timea Gardiner had 15 points in her third college game and was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week. More importantly, 6-foot-9 Jelena Mitrovic had a near double-double (9 points, 11 rebounds), her best Pac-12 game of the season.

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