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Power rankings: Pac-12, WCC, MWC men's basketball

Published: Thursday, Nov. 21 2013 7:13 p.m. MST

It was not a good NCAA Tournament last season for the three most important local conferences: Pac-12 (Utah), West Coast Conference (BYU) and Mountain West Conference (Utah State).

Not a single team from those three conferences reached the Elite 8. Only Arizona (No. 6 seed) and Oregon (No. 12 seed) reached the Sweet 16. Even then, Arizona benefited from playing No. 14 seed Harvard in the second round, while Oregon benefitted from playing No. 4 seed Saint Louis.

WCC champion Gonzaga went into the tournament as a No. 1 seed, but did not live up to that billing in losing in the second round (not counting the “play-in” round) to Wichita State.

San Diego State (No. 7 seed), Colorado State (No. 8 seed) and Cal (No. 12 seed) also lost in the second round, while New Mexico (No. 3 seed), UNLV (No. 5 seed), UCLA (No. 6 seed), Colorado (No. 10 seed), Saint Mary’s (No. 11 seed) and Pacific (No. 15 seed), then of the Big West Conference, all lost in the first round. Boise State lost as a No. 13 seed in the play-in round.

BYU, Utah and Utah State (playing in its final year in the Western Athletic Conference) all missed the NCAA Tournament.

The Cougars, after a fairly disappointing season, put it together in the postseason and made a run to the Final Four of the NIT before losing a close game to Baylor.

The Aggies also had a down season, failing to advance to the semifinals of the WAC Tournament when they were upset by University of Texas-Arlington to end their season.

The Utes, meanwhile, showed improvement, finishing 15-18 (5-13 Pac-12), after going 6-25 (3-15) the previous season. Utah was picked to finish ninth in the Pac-12 preseason media poll this season, led by third-team All-Pac-12 selection Jordan Loveridge.

In preparing this first set of power rankings for these combined conferences, the results of last season were considered fairly significantly. As the season progresses, what happened in the past will become less and less relevant because there will be more games from this season by which to judge the teams.

Although last year is relevant to these first power rankings, the most weight is still given to impressive victories this season, such as Oregon’s over Georgetown; Arizona’s at San Diego State; BYU’s at Stanford and Arizona State’s at UNLV. Thus far no team from these three conferences has defeated a team that is currently ranked.

Here are the inaugural 2013-14 power rankings:

Nate Gagon is a published sports, music, and creative writer. He is also a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life. He shoots roughly 94% from the free throw line and can be reached at: nategagon@hotmail.com or @nategagon.

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UteMiguel
Go Utes, CA

what a joke. colorado, SDSU, and others are ranked in your top 12 because they lost to decent teams?

scott
Alpine, UT

The real joke is the program on the hill playing one of the ten worst OOC schedules in the entire country and forfeiting any chance of an at-large NCAA bid before the season even began.

Hawk
Littleton, CO

Despite living in Colorado, I'm not a big CU fan, but I think they are going to surprise some people in the PAC this year. They've had a couple of good recruiting classes and Tad Boyle is an under-rated coach -- he seems to be getting the most out of the talent he has.

nategagon
Taylorsville, UT

@UteMiguel

I understand your point, but it wasn't because they lost to good teams - it was because they were very competitive in those games. With the season being so short and most of these teams having played really bad competition, a close loss to a good team counts for more than beating a team no one has heard of by 20 points.

As the weeks go along, we will have a lot more to judge the teams by. We could always take a shortcut, not do any unique research, and just copy the rankings of the polls - but we're better than that.

The feedback is appreciated though - either way!

UteMiguel
Go Utes, CA

Nate,
You have to admit you are putting a lot of weight on a 12-point loss to a barely-ranked team.

shorts
Payson, UT

RE UteMiguel

"You have to admit you are putting a lot of weight on a 12-point loss to a barely-ranked team."

What team are you talking about?

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