Pac-12 Basketball: Week 4 Recap - Arizona State Shows They Are For Real

USA TODAY Sports

The Sun Devils stole center stage from the Bruins and the Ducks widened their lead atop the conference standings.

Many thought that the primary reason that the Sun Devils were near the top of the conference was simply the ease of their early-conference schedule, but most of those thoughts can be put to rest after the Sun Devils took down the Bruins on Saturday, tying them up with Arizona and UCLA for second place. The Sun Devils' upset creates a cluster of teams at second place, which is great news for Ducks, who now have a comfortable lead over everyone.

Arizona State 78 UCLA 60

The Sun Devils showed the Bruins that the Wildcats aren't the only team that you have to worry about in Arizona, as they hammered the Bruins, who were without big man Travis Wear, down low for a convincing win. Taking advantage of Wear's absence, the Sun Devils were led by big efforts from their two big men - Carrick Felix (23 points and 11 rebounds) and Jordan Bachynski (22 points and 15 rebounds).

The win gives the Sun Devils a sweep of the LA schools at home and keeps them right in the thick of the race for the conference championship while the loss immediately kills most of the momentum and excitement the Bruins built with their win at Arizona on Thursday.

Washington State 71 Oregon State 68

The Cougars got their first road win of the year behind another great performance by Mike Ladd who finished with 23 points and 5 rebounds and help from Brock Motum who finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Cougars came back from a 4-point halftime deficit and beat the Beavers on the boards, outrebounding them 33 to 22.

In a battle of teams with just one conference win each, the win helps the Cougars stay out of the conference basement and eliminates the positives the Beavers gained in their win over Washington on Thursday.

Arizona 74 USC 50

The Wildcats looked determined to put their loss to UCLA on Thursday behind them as quickly as possible as they smothered the Trojans, keeping any Trojan from scoring 10 points. Nick Johnson stayed hot on offense for the Wildcats as he scored 14 on 6-8 shooting.

The Wildcats desperately needed to make a statement after dropping Thursday's game and did just about as much as they could to hold court. For the Trojans, it is in fact looking like they are going to slide down the standings as their schedule toughens up.

Oregon 81 Washington 76

The Ducks used hot shooting and a devastating full court press to frustrate Washington and remain undefeated in conference. The Huskies shot 51 percent from the field, but Ducks were even better, shooting 57 percent and got another great game from E.J. Singler, who finished with 18.

With the win, the Ducks have now already beaten the four other teams in the conference that are expected to finish in the Top 5 and now have a two game lead in first place. The Huskies played fairly well, but have to be incredibly frustrated as they dropped their third straight game.

Cal 81 Colorado 71

Colorado took care of business early and used an efficient offensive attack to comfortably get by the Bears and get their third-straight win. The Buffs shot nearly 60 percent from the field and got 20 points from Askia Booker along with 18 from Xavier Johnson and 16 from Spencer Dinwiddie.

The win was another step forward for Colorado in their hopes to get back into contention for the conference title while it showed that the Bears still aren't ready to compete for the top of the conference.

Stanford 87 Utah 56

The Cardinal destroyed the Utes in the most lopsided game of this Pac-12 season thus far. The Cardinal built an early lead, with the game basically at hand by halftime as they held a 20-point lead and then stretched it out even further in the second half.

The Cardinal keep themselves in the middle of the pack with the win ad get a split at the mountain schools while the embarrassing loss makes it clear that Utah's win last week at Washington was probably a fluke and that they will likely stay at the bottom of the conference this season.

Player of the Week

E.J. Singler Oregon

Singler stepped up this week when the Ducks needed him the most after the loss of point guard Dominic Artis with two all-around great games against the Washington schools. Singler plays like a glue guy, but the best glue guy ever as he dropped 18 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds against Washington and 19 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals against Washington State.

Freshman Player of the Week

Shabazz Muhammad UCLA

Muhammad continues to develop into one of the best freshman the conference has ever seen as he lead the Bruins in their huge win at Arizona with 23 points and then was one of the few Bruins to show up in their loss at Arizona State with 18 points. Muhammad has looked downright unstoppable at some times this season.

Rising

Arizona State

The Sun Devils showed that they are for real this week by getting by USC in overtime and then really putting themselves on the map with a win over UCLA who was fresh off their statement win over Arizona. It is four weeks into the Pac-12 season and the Sun Devils are only two games out of first place.

Falling

Washington

The Huskies followed up giving Utah their first conference win last week by giving Oregon State their first conference win on Wednesday and then dropping a game at Oregon. There's no shame in losing to the Ducks on the road, but it was their lackluster performance against the Beavers earlier in the week in which they fell behind by 20 points in the first half that earns them this spot.

Power Rankings

1. Oregon - The Ducks are really sitting pretty with a two game lead over the three teams that are tied for second in the conference. Add in the fact that they have already beaten each of those teams and don't face them again in the regular season and it looks like the Ducks have a great path to the regular season conference title.

2. Arizona - The Wildcats still haven't strung together back-to-back solid performances in conference and are 0-2 against the two other power teams in the Pac-12 this season.

3. Arizona State - An NCAA Tournament berth is a real possibility if the Sun Devils keep playing the way they did this week.

4. UCLA - The Bruins are talented but inconsistent and looked like they really missed Travis Wear against Arizona State.

5. Colorado - The Buffs look like they are putting it back together.

6. Washington - Husky fans are on red alert as they have truly been on a free fall since their 4-0 conference start.

7. Stanford - The Cardinal can look good at times, but still don't look like they can compete at the top of the conference.

8. Cal - The Bears need to get some more consistent scorers outside of Allen Crabbe.

9. USC - The Trojans are descending back towards the bottom of the conference as their schedule strengthens.

10. Washington State - It may not seem like much, but getting a road win at Oregon State was actually pretty good for the Cougars.

11. Oregon State - The Beavers really needed to follow up their upset of the Huskies with a win over the Cougars but just couldn't get it done.

12. Utah - The Utes are beginning to look hapless after a surprisingly decent start to conference play.

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