The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Pac-12 collapse gets worse, Conference best start for basketball

Pac-12 sits atop power Conferences
Cole Quinn
Jaylen Watts celebrates from the bench, Nov. 10, in Pullman, Wash.

There is magic in the final year of the Pac-12. Like several sports before it, both in men’s and women’s basketball, the Pac-12 has the best performance from top to bottom. Football started as the best Conference, with teams combining for a Power-Five best 13-0 record through the first week.

They had several ranked teams, even now, they have two top-six teams, with Washington and Oregon ranking as the No. 5 and No. 6 teams. As of Sunday, Pac-12 volleyball has the No. 4 team (Stanford), No. 6 (Oregon), No. 9 (WSU), No. 17 (Arizona State) and No. 25 team (USC). 

WSU specifically had three ranked teams at a point, with the Cougs football, women’s soccer and volleyball teams all ranking within the top 25 of teams nationally. 

Back to the Pac-12, women’s soccer had the No. 2 (UCLA) and No. 3 team (Stanford) in the country entering the NCAA Tournament, as well as the No. 22 team (USC). The Trojans and Cardinal are still in the running, with Stanford holding the best chance to run the table. 

As for basketball, WSU’s women’s team ranks No. 24 in the nation to start the year and is just

one of many teams to start the year undefeated. 

Pac-12 WBB is a combined 28-0, MBB is a combined 22-3, both being among the best in the nation from top to bottom. It is yet another sign that the Pac-12 teams feature premier national teams, making the inability to find a strong media suiter unfathomable. 

Yet another reminder that at the end of day, more is lost than gained with the collapse of the Pac-12. But once again, the final year of the Pac-12 is lining up to be spectacular. 

After Monday’s new rankings, the Pac-12 has several top-ranked teams. UCLA is No. 3, Utah No. 4, then Colorado at No. 5 and Stanford at No. 6, USC comes in at No. 10 and WSU rounds out the ranked teams at No. 24. 

First, looking at women’s basketball. With six teams in the top 25, there is a lot of talent and a lot of potential to do big things in 2023 from top to bottom. The No. 20 Colorado Buffaloes started their season with a massive upset win over then-No. 1 LSU in Las Vegas. A dominating 92-78 win set the tone for the season, proving no one is above the rest of the competition. 

They then proceeded to beat Oklahoma State, another team in another power conference. UCLA is ranked No. 3, with an upcoming matchup with the currently No. 8 ranked UConn women. 

Reigning Pac-12 Champ Wazzu started off with an easy win over Cal Poly, and sandwiched between that opening win and Sunday’s win over Idaho State, the Cougs won a big OT game over Gonzaga and reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Year Kaylynne Truong. 

Despite not being projected to finish too highly in the Conference, Oregon State has already taken down Villanova and is 2-0 to begin the year. Stanford destroyed Hawaii and then brought their momentum to a top-10 showing against Indiana, a convincing 96-64 win. 

USC continued the winning ways with an opening win over No. 7 Ohio State, a 83-74 final score and a subsequent 67-51 win over NCAA Tournament hopeful Florida Gulf Coast University. 

Utah has scored 100 points in their first two games and UW had their largest margin of victory in program history with a 113-39 win over North Carolina Central. 

It has been a historic start and that is just the perfect ending to the Pac-12 Conference.

The men have been just as strong. However, only two teams are currently ranked in the top 25.

No. 12 Arizona has the biggest win in the Pac-12 already, entering Durham, North Carolina, and taking down the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils 78-73. Oregon has beaten Georgia and Montana, USC has taken down Kansas State, WSU has been better than advertised and will look to prove that against Mississippi State and Arizona State has already taken down that Mississippi State team. 

It is early. After all, it is a long season. But to start, there is nothing like premier Pac-12 basketball.

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About the Contributors
BRANDON WILLMAN, Editor-in-chief
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be EIC starting in summer 2023 and enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.
Cole Quinn, Evergreen Sports Photographer
Cole Quinn is a photographer and columnist for the Daily Evergreen. Cole primarily shoots sports for the Daily Evergreen and writes album reviews in his spare time. Cole is a junior broadcast production major and sports communication minor from Snoqualmie, Washington. Cole started working for the Evergreen in the fall of 2020 as a photographer. Cole was the Photo Editor during his sophomore year and Deputy Photo Editor for the fall 2022 semester.