No. 22 Washington re-entered the college basketball rankings this week, but perhaps more important the Huskies are well positioned in the initial NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings, which made its season debut Monday.
UW ranks No. 31 out of 353 teams.
Many college basketball fans are still getting familiar with the NET rankings, which replaced the outdated RPI last season.
The NCAA tournament selection committee also uses KenPom, Sagarin Ratings, KPI and ESPN’s BPI and Strength of Record ratings.
However, NET rankings, which still has systematic analytical flaws early in the season, is the NCAA’s official metric and best tool to gauge a team’s resume.
The Pac-12 has seven teams listed among the top 50 in the NET rankings, which is tied with for the second most nationally.
Additionally, nine Pac-12 teams rank among the top 100 in the NET, including No. 9 Stanford, No. 14 Arizona, No. 17 Oregon, No. 29 Arizona State, No. 31 No. 33 Colorado, No. 42 Oregon State, No. 58 Utah and No. 78 USC.
Meanwhile, No. 131 Washington State, No. 170 UCLA and No. 173 California are outside of the top 100 in the NET.
Washington is ranked lower in the other computer metrics. The Huskies are No. 47 in KenPom, No. 52 in Sagarin and No. 97 in ESPN’s BPI.
To coincide with the start of the NET rankings, we’re launching the Seattle Times weekly Pac-12 men’s basketball power rankings.
WEEK 1 Pac-12 Power Rankings
1. Oregon (8-2): Lost by an average of 2.5 points against Gonzaga and North Carolina. The Ducks are the only Pac-12 team with multiple wins over then-ranked teams (No. 5 Michigan, No. 13 Memphis and No. 13 Seton Hall). Plus, Oregon just got better with the addition of five-star freshman center N’Faly Dante, who missed the first 10 games due an NCAA reclassification violation.
2. Arizona (10-2): The Wildcats have beaten the teams they were supposed to beat and have fallen short against elite competition. Arizona’s best wins are a home victory over Illinois and a neutral-court victory over Wake Forest. Still, against ranked teams (Gonzaga and Baylor), Arizona lost by a combined nine points.
3. Washington (8-2): Freshman forward Isaiah Stewart is averaging 20.2 points and 10.2 rebounds in the past five games. And sophomore guard Quade Green is averaging 18 points and 6.3 assists in the past three games.
4. Colorado (8-2): At first glance, last week’s 79-76 home loss to Northern Iowa looks distressing. But the Panthers (10-1) are a potential NCAA tournament team and the Buffaloes could make amends with what would be a signature win against No. 13 Dayton on Saturday.
5. Stanford (10-1): The Cardinal is off to its best start since 2011 and is one of the biggest surprises in college basketball. We’ll find out if Stanford is for real when it faces No. 1 Kansas on Dec. 29. The Cardinal was picked 10th in the Pac-12 preseason poll and I suspect it’ll finish near the bottom of the conference standings.
6. Oregon State (8-1): The Beavers have the longest active winning streak in the Pac-12 with six straight wins. Their 8-1 start is the best since the 1984-85 season. Others may have greater NBA potential, but Tres Tinkle is the leading candidate to win the Pac-12’s Most Valuable Player award. He’s the only Pac-12 player ranked among the top eight in the league in scoring (21.9, 1st), rebounds (8.3, 4th), assists (4.8, 6th) and steals (1.9, 8th).
7. USC (9-2): Will off-court distractions derail the Trojans? Last week, USC received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA stemming from a FBI bribery investigation of former USC assistant Tony Bland.
8. Arizona State (8-2): The Pac-12 is 11-8 against the WCC, which constitutes as progress for a beleaguered conference looking to reclaim the West. Still, the Pac-12 is 0-3 versus Gonzaga and needs ASU to take down Saint Mary’s on Wednesday. The Sun Devils played their most complete game of the season in their last outing, a 79-59 victory over Georgia.
9. Utah (8-2): Last month’s 79-57 upset loss to Coastal Carolina is just as puzzling as the Utes’ school-record 143-point performance against Mississippi Valley State. Big week for Utah, which has a chance to crack AP top 25 if it can upset No. 6 Kentucky and No. 20 San Diego State.
10. UCLA (7-4): It’s hardly a surprise that the three Pac-12 teams with first-year coaches reside at the bottom of the rankings. When the Bruins face North Carolina on Sunday Mick Cronin will discover the Bruins are deficient in offensive talent, which is a stunning development for the conference’s blue blood.
11. Washington State (6-4): No surprise sophomore guard CJ Elleby has increased his scoring average nearly seven points to 20.1. However, Florida A&M transfer Isaac Bonton, who is second on the teame with 12.9 ppg., has been a nice addition.
12. California (6-5): Going 0-3 in a battle of Bay Area teams, including losses to Saint Mary’s, Santa Clara and San Francisco, hurts the win-loss record and is going to particularly painful when new coach Mark Fox goes out on the recruiting trail.