Pac-12 basketball the good, the bad and the unknown week four: UCLA emerges as best team after Arizona

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

The Bruins had a very strong week with impressive wins over Cal and Stanford.

The Good

UCLA - The Bruins established themselves as the second-best team in the conference this year for the time being by handling red hot Cal and Stanford convincingly and are starting to look like they might be able to fulfill their potential. The Bruins might be getting overlooked right now with how much attention Arizona is getting, but they are still extremely talented and showing that they could be capable of a serious run in March if they can put it all together.

Nick Johnson - The top Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate is emerging in Johnson who is one of the best all-around players in the country and the leader of the seemingly unbeatable Wildcats. He was big in their wins over Colorado and Utah, especially when they really needed him to be in crunch time.

Washington - It seems crazy with how poorly the Huskies performed out-of-conference, but they can still make it back to the NCAA Tournament if they can limit their losses in Pac-12 play and win all of their home games and they took care of business with that last week. The Huskies took good shots in Seattle from both of the Oregon schools and were able to hang on in both for must-win victories.

Arizona State - Welcome back Sun Devils. Wins over Colorado and Utah get the Sun Devils back in the game and keep them in the middle of the conference. I still really like this team and hope that they can finish strong, giving themselves a shot at the NCAA Tournament.

The Bad

Washington State - The Cougars got absolutely shellacked by Oregon in a score that looked like it should have been an Oregon/Washington State football game. The Cougars continue to have an absolutely woeful offense as they haven't scored more than 55 points in a Pac-12 game that didn't go to overtime and have scored more than 70 points only once this season.

Second-level Pac-12 teams - Other than UCLA, the second-level, on-the-bubble Pac-12 teams continued to flounder as Cal, Stanford, Oregon and Colorado had mixed results. Whether it is poor play, a tough bump in the schedule or injuries, these teams just don't look like they are able to compete on a national level right now and it's unfortunate.

NCAA Tournament teams - Going back to the last note, the Pac-12 is going to have to sweat it out to get more than a couple teams into the NCAA Tournament if teams like the ones above don't step up or unless teams like Washington, Arizona State and Utah can finish the season with only a few more losses.

The Unknown

Colorado - I really, really liked the Buffaloes before they lost Spencer Dinwiddie, but his sad loss has exposed just how thin they are this season. They still have a nice nucleus of talent, but have lost four out of their last five and I just don't know if they can bounce back and make the NCAA Tournament, especially with one of the toughest schedules down the stretch of any team in the conference.

Utah - The Utes are one of the most cursed teams in college basketball this year. It seems like every game they play in is a heartbreaking loss. I could see the Utes finally getting some breaks and getting back into the race, but I also wouldn't be surprised if things just stay the same and they remain on the cusp of becoming a mid-level Pac-12 team.

Can Arizona go undefeated? I think this has been asked before, but I think the question is getting a lot more realistic with some of the second-level teams in the conference starting to take step backs and the Wildcats already owning a win over UCLA in their only regular season meeting.

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