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ASU men's basketball leapfrogs in final Pac-12 power rankings

The Sun Devils pulled off an impressive win Sunday, gaining momentum as the season ends

ASU senior guard Torian Graham (4) takes a contested layup during a men's basketball game against the University of Southern California Trojans in Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. ASU won 83-82.
ASU senior guard Torian Graham (4) takes a contested layup during a men's basketball game against the University of Southern California Trojans in Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Arizona on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. ASU won 83-82.

Every Monday, The State Press will be taking a look around the Pac-12 men's basketball landscape as the conference tournament in Las Vegas nears.

Here it is folks, the final week of conference play. The final standings are still up for grabs with Arizona and Oregon tied for first and a three-way tie for eighth place, likely leading to a hectic final week of Pac-12 play. 

1. UCLA (26-3, 13-3 Pac-12)

The Bruins swept their Arizona road trip for the first time since 2007-08 when Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook donned the blue and gold. UCLA has made its way up to third in the AP Poll and is looking for its first Pac-12 regular season title since 2012-13 and first Pac-12 Tournament championship since 2013-14.

2. Oregon (26-4, 15-2 Pac-12)

The Ducks are closing out conference play on a high note, winning five in a row entering the final weekend of play with just rival Oregon State left to go. A win clinches the top seed in the Pac-12 Tournament and the best two-year stretch in program history.

3. Arizona (26-4, 15-2 Pac-12)

The Wildcats could not hold serve at home, costing themselves the inside edge at winning the conference regular season title. No matter, Arizona travels to Tempe Saturday and then up to McKale North next week with a chance at the real number one seed that matters, the NCAA Tournament.

4. Cal (19-9, 10-6 Pac-12)

The Golden Bears snapped their losing streak with a throttling of Oregon State on their senior day. One win clinches Cal a bye in Las Vegas as the fourth seed, setting themselves up for a run to the NCAA Tournament to avenge its first round loss a year ago.

5. Utah (18-10, 9-7 Pac-12)

The Utes bounced back from being swept in Oregon by completing a season sweep of Colorado and keeping pace with Cal for the final bye spot. Junior forward Kyle Kuzma is the only player in the conference in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding, but is overshadowed by the dynamic guards in the Pac-12, as happens to many a Ute.

6. ASU (14-16, 7-10 Pac-12)

The Sun Devils played No. 3 UCLA tough Thursday and then rallied in the final minutes to beat USC at home Sunday, giving themselves an inside edge at the seventh seed at the Pac-12 Tournament in a couple weeks. Junior guard Kodi Justice put up a career-high 22 points in the ASU win over the Trojans, including a clutch 3 to cut the lead in the game's final minute.

7. USC (21-8, 8-8 Pac-12)

The Trojans have lost four games in a row, last night by allowing a 12-1 run in the final three-plus minutes. The epitome of brutality. USC, which once seemed like a lock for an NCAA Tournament appearance, need a good final weekend to secure a spot, despite a 20-plus win season.

8. Washington State (13-15, 6-10 Pac-12)

The Cougars shut down in-state rival Washington in Pullman Sunday, sending senior forward Josh Hawkinson out with a win in his final home game. As of now, Washington State is in line to play ASU in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament, one of two teams it swept this season, despite the fact the Cougars are lower in the standings.

9. Colorado (16-13, 6-10 Pac-12)

The Buffaloes could not sustain a late rally and fell to Utah, setting up an important final weekend at home. Colorado has overcome a horrible start to conference play, winning six of their last nine games to maneuver into the middle of the Pac at just the right time.

10. Stanford (14-14, 6-10 Pac-12)

The Cardinal can work their way up to the seventh seed in the tournament with a sweep in the mountains this week. In fact, Stanford's game at Colorado Saturday is the most important game of the weekend in deciding the final standings, as the teams sit with identical records.

11. Oregon State (5-25, 1-16 Pac-12)

The Beavers remain bad, losing by 30 at Cal this week. On the bright side, Oregon State is likely playing Utah in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament, the one conference opponent the Beavers have figured out.

12. Washington (9-19, 2-14 Pac-12)

The Huskies have lost 10 games in a row, but we still are treated to one more of the best matchup in the conference this week. Freshman guard Markelle Fultz goes head-to-head with UCLA freshman guard Lonzo Ball in a duel of the likely top two picks in June's NBA Draft, adding some entertainment to an otherwise dreary situation in Seattle.

Reach the reporter at or follow @Tonis_The_Tiger on Twitter.

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