Pac-10 “Player of the Week”
The week long war of words between Washington point guard Isaiah Thomas and Klay Thompson added even more fuel to the fire for this mid-season rivalry game. In front of a frenzied crowd Thompson and the Washington State Cougars ended their drought against the Washington Huskies with a convincing 87-80 victory. Thompson scored 25 points on 9 of 18 shooting from the floor and 3 of 6 from behind the three point line. He also contributed 2 rebounds, 4 assists, a block and 5 steals while breaking out of a personal slump against the Huskies. This was a must have game for the Cougars within the Pac-10 Conference and as a resume builder for NCAA Tournament consideration.
What’s “Hot” in the Pac-10?
With the conference schedule now at the midway point, it is time to take a look at possible tournament teams and scenarios. Last year the Pac-10 struggled to get two teams into the NCAA Tournament, but that shouldn’t be the case this year. Assuming that Washington and Arizona don’t collapse down the stretch, both teams appear to be in and playing for seeding. UCLA could make a big statement this week against a solid St. John’s team from the Big East. Washington State’s win against in-state rival Washington was a huge leap forward, but the Cougars can’t afford many missteps.
Traditionally the Big Sky, Big West, MWC, Pac-10, WAC and WCC get awarded approximately 12 tournament bids in a given year. The Big Sky and Big West are traditionally one bid conferences, leaving roughly 10 tournament slots available for the other four conferences. Saint Mary’s and Utah State appear tournament bound at this point and could assist the Pac-10 greatly if each wins their conference tournament and secure an automatic bid. If Saint Mary’s and Utah State both lock up automatic bids it would leave eight spots to divide between the MWC and Pac-10. Under this scenario either Cal or USC would have a shot at making the tournament if they finish above .500 in conference plus make a decent run in the Pac-10 Tournament. Realistically, however, Cal and USC appear to be on the outside looking in.
*All RPI data accurate as of Wednesday, February 2, 2011.
Arizona Wildcats - RPI 19
Record: 18-4 (7-2)
Record against Top 25 RPI: 0-3 Best Wins: UCLA (41)
Record against Top 50 RPI: 1-3 Worst Losses: Oregon State (235)
Record against Top 100 RPI: 4-3 Best Losses: Kansas (1) / BYU (2) / Washington (24)
Washington Huskies - RPI 24
Record: 15-5 (7-2)
Record against Top 25 RPI: 1-2 Best Wins: Arizona (19) / UCLA (41)
Record against Top 50 RPI: 2-3 Worst Losses: Stanford (143)
Record against Top 100 RPI: 5-4 Best Losses: Kentucky (12) / Texas A&M (23) / Mich. St (44)
UCLA Bruins - RPI 41
Record: 14-7 (6-3)
Record against Top 25 RPI: 1-4 Best Wins: BYU (2)
Record against Top 50 RPI: 1-4 Worst Losses: Montana (94)
Record against Top 100 RPI: 3-7 Best Losses: Kansas (1) / Villanova (15) / Arizona (19) / Washington (24)
Washington State Cougars - RPI 65
Record: 15-6 (5-4)
Record against Top 25 RPI: 1-1 Best Wins: Washington (24)
Record against Top 50 RPI: 1-4 Worst Losses: USC (83)
Record against Top 100 RPI: 4-5 Best Losses: Arizona (19) / Kansas St (38) / UCLA (41) / Butler (42)
California Bears - RPI 57
Record: 12-9 (5-4)
Record against Top 25 RPI: 0-5 Best Wins: Temple (37)
Record against Top 50 RPI: 1-7 Worst Losses: Stanford (143)
Record against Top 100 RPI: 4-8 Best Losses: Kansas (1) / San Diego St (3) / Notre Dame (8) / Arizona (19) / Wash. (24) / UCLA (41) / Boston College (43)
What’s “Cold” in the Pac-10?
The bottom half of the Pac-10 standings yields only one team with a legitimate chance of playing their way into the NCAA Tournament. USC has quality non-conference wins against Tennessee and Texas. As each day passes, SC’s win against Texas looks more and more impressive. If the Trojans can string together a couple of high-profile wins in the second half of conference play, they could surpass Washington State as the fourth team out of the Pac-10. Stanford and Oregon are both still playing for secondary post-season tournaments, while Arizona State and Oregon State are playing out the season as spoilers.
Oregon State Beavers - RPI 235
Record: 8-12 (3-6)
Record against Top 25 RPI: 1-1 Best Wins: Arizona (19)
Record against Top 50 RPI: 1-2 Worst Losses: Seattle (294) / Utah Valley (261) /
George Washington (198) / Texas Southern (191)
Record against Top 100 RPI: 2-6 Best Losses: Washington (24) / UCLA (41)
Arizona State Sun Devils - RPI 154
Record: 9-12 (1-8)
Record against Top 25 RPI: 0-3 Best Wins: Alabama-Birmingham (45)
Record against Top 50 RPI: 1-4 Worst Losses: Oregon State (235)
Record against Top 100 RPI: 2-10 Best Losses: Arizona (19) / St. John’s (20) / Washington (24) / UCLA (41)
Oregon Ducks - RPI 157
Record: 9-11 (3-6)
Record against Top 25 RPI: 0-3 Best Wins: USC (83)
Record against Top 50 RPI: 0-5 Worst Losses: San Jose State (187) / Idaho (171)
Record against Top 100 RPI: 1-7 Best Losses: Duke (9) / Arizona (19) / Washington (24) / Missouri (33) / UCLA (41)
Stanford Cardinal - RPI 143
Record: 11-9 (4-5)
Record against Top 25 RPI: 1-1 Best Wins: Washington (24)
Record against Top 50 RPI: 1-4 Worst Losses: Oregon (157)
Record against Top 100 RPI: 2-7 Best Losses: Arizona (19) / UCLA (41) / Butler (42) / Oklahoma St (46)
USC Trojans - RPI 83
Record: 12-10 (4-5)
Record against Top 25 RPI: 2-3 Best Wins: Texas (6) / Tennessee (18)
Record against Top 50 RPI: 3-3 Worst Losses: Bradley (262) / Oregon State (235)
Record against Top 100 RPI: 4-5 Best Losses: Kansas (1) / Arizona (19) / Washington (24)
Top 5 Individual Performances of the Season
1. Tyler Honeycutt (UCLA) vs. Kansas
33 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
11-15 FG / 6-7 FT / 5-6 3PT
2. Klay Thompson (Washington State) vs. Portland
35 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks
13-16 FG / 6-6 FT / 3-4 3PT
3. Derrick Williams (Arizona) vs. Arizona State
31 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
8-12 FG / 15-16 FT / 0-0 3PT
4. Isaiah Thomas (Washington) vs. California
27 points, 4 rebounds, 13 assists, 2 steals
8-16 FG / 8-8 FT / 3-9 3PT
5. Nikola Vucevic (USC) vs. Washington
28 points, 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
6-9 FG / 14-14 FT / 2-3 3PT
Upcoming Games of Interest
02.02.2011 USC @ UCLA
02.03.2011 Arizona @ Stanford
02.05.2011 Arizona @ California
02.05.2011 St. John’s @ UCLA
Results of Interest
01.27.2011 UCLA 74 Arizona 85
01.29.2011 USC 73 Arizona 82
01.30.2011 Washington 80 Washington State 87
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