Looking at the national rankings, it would be easy to assume that there is a two-team race in the Pac-12 with UCLA and Arizona. While the Bruins and Wildcats are sitting in first and second place, as expected, there are three other teams two games in back of the Bruins in the loss column.
Oregon has a chance to make things even more interesting with a win over Arizona on Thursday.
Six teams in the Pac-12 have winning marks against the college basketball betting lines with USC and UCLA leading the way with 12-9 records. Utah checks in at 13-10.
UCLA (-185) has the best odds to win the Pac-12 title followed by Arizona at +175. The next closest competitor is USC as the Trojans are priced at +1000 in the conference title odds.
Arizona moved up one spot to No. 5 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll while UCLA fell from eighth to ninth. Arizona is seventh and UCLA is tied for ninth in the coaches poll. Southern California had 11 points in the coaches poll and received one 25th-place vote in the Associated Press rankings.
According to the college basketball playoff odds, Arizona (+1200) and UCLA (+1400) are tied for sixth in the odds to win the national title.
Here’s a look at the best games this week in the Pac-12.
Let’s check the latest college basketball news, stats, injury reports and college basketball lines. We’ve got plenty of NCAA basketball picks for you to consider.
Game of Week
Oregon vs Arizona
Date, time (TV): Thursday, Feb. 2, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Oregon is 1-4 against ranked opponents so this is another chance to make a statement. The Ducks are coming off an impressive win over Utah behind 18 points from Jermaine Couisnard. Leading scorer Will Richardson is shooting a career-low 42.7% from the field so if he gets going, this is a dangerous team.
Arizona (19-3, 8-3 in the Pac-12) has won four games in a row including a victory against UCLA. Azuolas Tubelis has four consecutive double-doubles as he is putting up 18 points and 12.3 rebounds per game during the streak. He isn’t doing it alone as Kerr Kriisa and Courtney Ramey combined for 10 3-pointers in Saturday’s win over Washington.
These two combined for 10 (!!!) 3-pointers at UW. #RunWithUs pic.twitter.com/iSRd8PX7TV
— Arizona Basketball (@ArizonaMBB) January 29, 2023
Oregon (13-9, 7-4) has won eight of the last nine games against Arizona and covered against the Las Vegas odds in each of the last five. Arizona did win the last time the Ducks came to town.
Rest of Thursday’s Schedule
Stanford vs Utah
Date, time (TV): Thursday, Feb. 2, 8 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Don’t look now but Stanford is tied with Arizona for the longest active winning streak in the Pac-12.
Harrison Ingram has led the way as he is averaging 12 points, 6.8 rebounds and four assists during the four-game winning streak for the Cardinal (9-12, 3-7).
Utah (15-8, 8-4) is just a game out of first place in the Pac-12 even after falling to Oregon the last time out. Second-leading scorer Gabe Madsen played two minutes before suffering a leg injury in the loss to the Ducks. He is questionable for this contest.
Four of the last five games in the series went over the total while Utah is 7-2 against Stanford over the last nine meetings.
Oregon State vs Arizona State
Date, time (TV): Thursday, Feb. 2, 8 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Arizona State has lost four games in a row. Over the last three games, they are shooting 34% from the field and 28% on 3-pointers. Those numbers could have been worse if not for Desmond Cambridge as he is putting up 19.2 points on 45% shooting over his last six games.
Freshman Jordan Pope is averaging 16.3 points over his last three games for Oregon State (9-13, 3-8). He had a season-high five 3-pointers in a win over Colorado on Saturday.
Nine of the last 10 games between the Beavers and Sun Devils have been decided by six points or less and that includes six one-possession games.
Five of the last six meetings finished over the total. The Sun Devils (15-7, 6-5) have won seven of the last eight games in the series. However, they have covered just three times during that stretch.
Saturday’s home game against Oregon could be a tough matchup for the Sun Devils.
Washington vs UCLA
Date, time (TV): Thursday, Feb. 2, 9 p.m. ET (FS1)
Things got much more interesting in the Pac-12 race after UCLA dropped back-to-back games to Arizona and USC.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. ended a streak of seven straight games shooting less than 50% from the field when he made 5 of his 10 shots in the loss to the Trojans. Freshman Amari Bailey returned to action after missing more than a month. He had 11 points and three rebounds against USC.
UCLA (17-4, 8-2) still leads the conference in scoring defense and scoring margin.
Washington (13-10, 5-7) played in four games in January decided by three points or less and won three of them.
Kenny Brooks has scored more than 20 points in four of the last five games. However, no other Washington player is scoring in double digits. Still, the Huskies lead the Pac-12 with 14 of their games going over the Las Vegas odds total.
UCLA has won the last seven games against Washington and that includes a 74-49 win on the road on Jan. 1 as Adem Bona had 18 points for the Bruins and the Huskies were 2 of 25 from 3-point range.
UCLA is the only Pac-12 team still undefeated at home.
California vs Colorado
Date, time (TV): Thursday, Feb. 2, 10 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Colorado (12-11, 4-8) has lost three of its last four games. However, the three losses came by a combined total of 17 points. Top scorer KJ Simpson is 3 of 26 from the field over his last two games.
The Bears (3-18, 2-8) have lost five games in a row with four of those defeats by at least 15 points. Leading scorer Devin Askew has a combined total of 19 points on 6 of 20 shooting over the last three games.
Cal is looking for its first road win of the season.
The home team has won four of the last five regular-season meetings and that includes Cal’s 80-76 win on Dec. 31 when the Bears were listed as a 10.5-point underdog at home according to the sportsbook.
Washington State vs Southern California
Date, time (TV): Thursday, Feb. 2, 11 p.m. ET (FS1)
USC is the only team to rank in the top three in the Pac-12 stats in both field-goal percentage and FG percentage defense.
Washington State (10-13, 5-7) leads the conference in 3-pointers made and attempted and 3-point percentage.
USC (15-6, 7-3) has won four of its last five games with none of the wins as impressive as a 13-point victory against rival UCLA with Boogie Ellis recording a season-high 31 points.
The Cougars ended January by throwing a scare into Arizona and then beating Arizona State as Andrej Jamikovski had 22 points and Justin Powell added 20.
Washington State is 1-6 on the road. USC is 10-1 at home.
The Cougars snapped a 12-game losing streak to USC with their 81-71 win on Jan. 1 behind 16 points each from Jabe Mullins and DJ Rodman.
USC welcomes Washington to town on Saturday.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.