Stanford, Arizona and Colorado at the top

Five more Pac-12 women’s basketball games were postponed Tuesday after a weekend in which only two conference games were played.

The latest COVID-related postponements mean that Utah, Arizona State and Washington (and probably others) will not have played any league games during the first two weeks of the round-robin schedule – and that all 12 teams have been through at least one game. Will miss.

How many, if any, will be made is unknown.

Only a small number of teams have competed since the hotline’s power ratings were published just before Christmas, so there hasn’t been a radical change.

But we’re resetting deck chairs and crossing fingers that many of the seven games still scheduled through this week are actually played.

(Net rankings are as of Monday: The nCAA IEvaluation TeaThe ool is used by the tournament selection committee to determine the seed and big bids.)

1. Stanford (9-3/1-0)
Last week: 1
result: beat Washington State 82-44
next: vs. Oregon (Friday)
Net Ranking: No. 4 (change from December 21: +3)
Comment: The Cardinal is ranked No. 2 (Associated Press) and No. 3 (USA Today) in major polls, the latter being voted first. There were five players missing because of COVID protocol against Washington State on Sunday, but some may return this week. “This is the world we live in,” Cardinals coach Tara Oneidarveer said after the WSU game.

2. Arizona (10-0/0-0)
Last week: 2
result: At USC and UCLA, postponed
next: vs. Washington State (Friday)
Net Ranking: No. 7 (change from December 21: +1)
Comment: The Wildcats last played on December 17th and there is already a postponement this week versus Washington. He is number 4/5 in major polls, with three first-place votes in AP and one in USA TODAY. However, that’s no reason to push Arizona ahead of Stanford, which is No. 3 nationally in strength-of-schedule. Arizona number is 82.

3. Colorado (11-0, 0-0)
Last week: 3
result: Postponed in Oregon State and Oregon
next: vs USC (Friday)
Net Ranking: No. 29 (Dec 21: change from +6)
Comment: Coach JR Payne’s home sustained it through the wildfires that destroyed nearly 1,000 homes between Denver and Boulder, a non-COVID reminder about keeping athletics in perspective. The number of unbeaten teams in Division I is down to three: Colorado, Arizona and No. 19 North Carolina.

4. Oregon (7-4/0-0)
Last week: 5
result: v. Utah and Colorado, adjourned; defeated Carroll College 88-57
next: Stanford (Friday)
Net Ranking: No. 17 (Dec 21: Change from -2)
Comment: We’ve been bouncing the Ducks in one spot not based on a one-sided victory over an NAIA opponent, but because of his improving health, including the return of guard Te-Hina Paopao. It’s probably going to be hoping for Stanford’s road upset too soon too much, but Oregon is almost certainly going to rise from its current ESPN trajectory as the NCAA Tournament No. 10 seed.

5. Utah (8-3/0-0)
Last week: 4
result: In Oregon and the State of Oregon, postponed
next: California (January 13)
Net Ranking: No. 21 (change from December 21: none)
Comment: Home games against UCLA and USC are called off this week due to the Utes’ covid issues, rendering them useless since their December 21 loss to Oklahoma No. 23. His first game is on Thursday against Cal, who could play his third game in seven days.

6. Oregon State (7-3/0-0)
Last week: 6
result: vs. North Carolina Central, canceled; vs Colorado and Utah, postponed
next: In California (Friday)
Net Ranking: No. 60 (change from December 21: +4)
Comment: It’s like a toss-up between the state of Oregon, the state of Arizona, UCLA, and Washington state, with not enough information to definitively resolve it. We’re staying with Beavers on top of that level for now, mainly based on December 4-1.

7. Arizona State (8-5/0-0)
Last week: 7
result: postponed at UCLA and USC; beat Lipscomb 70-54
next: In Oregon (Jan 13)
Net Ranking: No. 43 (change from Dec 31:-2)
Comment: The Sun Devils added a non-conference game last week, aimed at ending the battle and filling the gap created by COVID issues for their opponents. Now, the ASU is dealing with COVID, forcing the postponement of home games against Washington schools and leaving the Sun Devils with only one game played between December 21 and January 13.

8. UCLA (5-3/0-0)
Last week: 8
result: vs USC, State of Arizona and Arizona, postponed
next: in Colorado (Sunday)
Net Ranking: No. 66 (change from December 21:-6)
Comment: It’s going to be hard to remember that UCLA last played six games after canceling/postponing, including this weekend (in Utah). The odds favor some positive injury-wise for the Bruins since their December 11 game versus No. 11 Connecticut.