Around the League: Jan. 8

Men’s Basketball
Jack Perez, assistant Sports editor

Parity in college basketball has reached the Pac-12.

Eight Pac-12 teams are tied after the first weekend of conference play. Only Stanford and No. 24 Arizona stand above the pack, as each won its lone conference matchup of the week.

No. 9 Oregon fell at Colorado and has yet to beat the Buffaloes in Boulder. This was the Ducks’ third loss of the season, which dropped them from No. 4 to No. 9 in the latest AP Poll.

Washington fell to UCLA on Thursday, though Husky forward Isaiah Stewart is averaging 21 points in his first two Pac-12 games in Seattle.

Stewart is near the top of Pac-12 leaderboards, ranking third in points and blocks per game and fourth in rebounds per game in the conference.

Arizona will put its undefeated conference record on the line when it travels to Oregon on Thursday in the lone top-25 matchup this week.

Women’s Basketball
Jacqueline Dzwonczyk, assistant Sports editor

Through 10 weeks of basketball season, the Pac-12 has lived up to the hype.

Three of the top five teams in the country come from the conference, plus No. 8 UCLA not far behind. There are also two Pac-12 teams – No. 3 Oregon State and UCLA – that remain undefeated.

One of the Beavers’ key contributors has been forward Taylor Jones, who was named the National Freshman of the Week by the US Basketball Writers’ Association as well as being named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.

In her first two Pac-12 games, Jones logged 15 points and four rebounds against Utah, and 16 points and 10 rebounds against Colorado. She is shooting 61.5% from the field overall this season.

Oregon State sits in second place in the conference, followed by No. 5 Stanford and No. 2 Oregon – all three of which are 2-0. UCLA is at the top of the leaderboard at 3-0.

Beaver guard Sabrina Ionescu leads the nation with 8.8 assists per game. The 2019 Wade Trophy winner is also averaging 15.6 points and nine rebounds per game.

The nation’s best conference will see two more top-25 matchups this weekend when Oregon State and Oregon head south to face No. 18 Arizona.

Sam Connon, Sports editor

The Conference of Champions may have been left out of the College Football Playoff for the third straight year, but they have managed to crawl a little closer to becoming champions again.

After stringing together a 4-12 record in bowls over the 2017 and 2018 seasons, the Pac-12 posted a 4-3 record in bowls this year. Washington opened things up with a Las Vegas Bowl victory over then-No. 19 Boise State on Dec. 21, and No. 6 Oregon capped things off with a Rose Bowl win against No. 8 Wisconsin on New Year’s Day.

The Ducks were down 27-21 midway through the fourth quarter, but a fumble by the Badgers and a 30-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Justin Herbert turned the tables and secured them the victory. Oregon’s victory on UCLA’s home turf was the conference’s first Rose Bowl win since USC won it at the end of the 2016 season.

The Trojans entered the Holiday Bowl ranked No. 22 in the country, but they were blown out by Iowa in a 49-24 route. Washington State and No. 11 Utah were the only other Pac-12 teams to drop their bowl games, with Utah’s 38-10 loss to unranked Texas capping off the careers of quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss.

California and Arizona State each brought home victories over Power Five teams, winning the Redbox Bowl and Sun Bowl, respectively.

UCLA, Colorado, Arizona, Stanford and Oregon State missed the postseason and did not participate in bowls this holiday season.

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