Power rankings: Pac-12, WCC, MWC men's basketball, Version 3

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

Colorado is the big winner in Version 3 of the power rankings, moving from No. 8 to No. 3 with its win over then No. 6 Kansas (as predicted here last week). Every person who loves to play basketball should get the chance to feel what it must have felt like to be Askia Booker when he hit that 35-footer at the buzzer to beat the Jayhawks.

Incredible shot.

Others that impressed included Pacific of the West Coast Conference in beating Utah State comfortably in Logan, and UNLV of the Mountain West Conference. The Rebels nearly beat Arizona, the top-ranked team in the country, on the road.

Those that dropped in the rankings include BYU, UCLA, San Diego State, Utah State and Utah.

The best upcoming games to watch:

1. Saturday: BYU at Utah (8 p.m., Pac-12 Network)

2. Saturday: No. 1 Arizona at Michigan (10 a.m., CBS)

3. Saturday: New Mexico vs. No. 13 Kansas (5 p.m., ESPN2)

4. Saturday: Saint Mary’s at Boise State (4 p.m., Root Sports)

5. Saturday: Illinois at No. 15 Oregon (7 p.m., ESPN2)

6. Dec 18: Stanford at No. 9 UConn (7 p.m., ESPN2)

Here is the third edition of the Pac-12/MWC/WCC power rankings (games through Dec. 10):

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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Down under
Salt Lake City, UT

No surprises here. BYU needs to pick their defense to be a contender.

Cinci Man
FT MITCHELL, KY

I'd like to see BYU live up to the hype and potential. Just make free throws. The rest is coming along nicely.

pocyUte
Pocatello, ID

I love that Utah is being written off. The Utes know they have to win this game to gain traction on the season, and BYU obviously wants to keep their dominance rolling. On paper Utah finally has the horses to play, now can the execute and play with the defense they need to in order to keep BYU in check. Saturday should be fun.

Go UTES!!

goforit
Provo, UT

BYU will not do much against quality teams. They have no defense and because of that will also lose a few games against lesser teams. It wouldn't surprise me if the Utes win Saturday, they will play very physical basketball and the Y can't handle that. Another NIT invite for Cougars this year.

Eldo
Bountiful, UT

Utah drops after a win, and UNLV rises with a loss? By your logic, Arizona should have dropped for struggling to beat a .500 UNLV team.
Teams shouldn't be ranked for losing games no matter how good the opponent... even if the game is close. Just ask the Utah football team. It doesn't work that way.
UNLV also lost to UCSB by 20 (at home), and haven't beaten any teams that should put them in the top 15.
They may end up being a good team, but their record doesn't show that right now. Your rankings lose credibility having a 3-4 team in the top 15.

Duckhunter
Highland, UT

@eldo

utah never should have been in the rankings to begin with, this just put them back where they belong.

DresdenBalla
Germany, 00

@Eldo

I think Utah only moved into the rankings last week after a close loss to Boise State. I don't have a problem with the logic. UNLV especially has also been quite good in recent times, so maybe they deserve some benefit of the doubt.

Randelius
SCOTTSDALE, AZ

@ PocyUte. I love that Utah is being written off, too. That shows journalistic integrity, seeing as Utah had their hands full with Idaho State. Embarrassing!

Eldo
Bountiful, UT

@Duckhunter

You're right, Utah hasn't proven themselves yet. My comment was meant to point out the poor logic that was used in putting a team with only 3 wins (none of them of any quality.. Similar to Utah), and a losing record in the top 15. Losses, no matter the team or how close shouldn't move a team up in ranking.

phramahaphil
Saint George, UT

Ummm. UNLV lost to Dixie State in Vegas.

Eldo
Bountiful, UT

@DresdenBalla

UNLV has been good in recent times.. Like their 20 point loss at home to UCSB and current losing record? What they did last year should have no bearing on a current ranking. That's the kind of thinking that had Florida's football team (the one that finished with a losing record) ranked near the top 10 in the pre season rankings this past season.
Power rankings should be done with the same logic for all teams. I'm not claiming Utah deserves to be ranked higher, but UNLV shouldn't be in the top 15 either. Not until they prove it with wins.. Not losses (no matter how close).

Dougedug
Henderson, NV

Having been to all UNLV home games this year, its clear the Rebels have improved a lot since the exhibition lost to Dixie State. The lost to UC Santa Barbara would not have been so rough if it was not a blow out, but the Gauchos so far have played really well this season. UNLV needs to know how to close out games and once they do that they will be unstoppable. Dave Rice is one of the best Head Coaches in the nation as well as coaching staff we will be a top team in the MWC once we start conference play and will make the NCAA tournament.

WisCoug
VERONA, WI

BYU could probably have been lower, but Utah definitely deserves to find itself off this list. 13 of their first 14 games will be at home and so far they have played the second worst schedule in college basketball. Games against BYU and Oregon will tell us if they have it this year or if their fans will have to wait at least one more although the loss to Boise in their only trip away from home indicates that the latter is probably closer to the truth.

As to the comments about playing physical being advantage, it they try that then they will just end up with players in foul trouble and BYU scoring all their points with the clock stopped. The physicality defensively is exactly what the NCAA is trying to get OUT of the game with the new emphasis on calling even the slightest of physical actions, hand-checking.

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