Things to watch this week in Pac-12 Conference basketball:
GAME OF THE WEEK: Oregon State at No 21 Oregon, Saturday. One of the nation’s longest home winning streaks will be on the line when the rivalry once known as the Civil War hits the hardwood. The Ducks (9-2, 4-1 Pac-12) return to the court after having games against the two Pac-12 Arizona schools postponed due to COVID-19 issues. Oregon has won 28 straight games at Matthew Knight Arena, the fourth-longest home winning streak nationally and longest among major conference programs. The Beavers (6-5, 2-3) held off Arizona State 80-79 and lost by 34 to Arizona last week.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Territorial Cup rivalry will include two games in four days after a bit of rescheduling. Arizona plays at Arizona State on Thursday, then the Sun Devils head down I-10 to play the Wildcats in Tucson on Monday after the game was moved from March 6 to allow for make-up games. … UCLA returned to the AP Top 25 this week at No. 24 and games against the two Northern California schools. USC also heads north to face Stanford and California. … Colorado and Utah play at the Washington schools.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: At 7-0 in Pac-12 play, UCLA is off to its best conference start since 1993-94. … The Pac-12 has four schools with at least 10 wins (Arizona, Colorado, UCLA and USC) which is tied for second-most nationally behind the Big Ten’s six. … USC, at 5-1, is off to its best conference start since 2001-02. … Colorado leads Division I in free-throw shooting at 84.6%.
PLAYER TO WATCH: McKinley Wright IV, Colorado. The senior guard became the Buffaloes’ all-time assists lead with 582 after averaging 8.0 assists in three games last week. He had 12 in a win over Cal to break the school mark.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: Stanford was knocked from the top spot in the AP Top 25 this week after losing to Colorado last weekend. The Cardinal, who dropped to No. 5, have a top-10 showdown against No. 6 UCLA on Friday and face USC on Sunday, both in Santa Cruz, California. … Colorado’s Mya Hollingshed was named the Pac-12 player of the week after leading the Buffaloes to their first win over a top-ranked team. … No. 10 Arizona is just a half-game behind Stanford at 8-2, with home games against Utah and Colorado this week.
Compiled by AP Basketball Writer John Marshall in Phoenix.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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