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Pac-12 notes: Race for top four spots heating up

ASU’s Remy Martin wins Player of the Week


As Oregon and Colorado duke it out at the top of the standings in a race likely to go down the wire, while trying to hold off Arizona and surging Arizona State as well, another race is heating up that also likely will go down the final weekend of the season.

That would be for the coveted top four spots in the Pac-12 Conference standings, which come with a first-round bye at the league tournament when it tips off on March 11 in Las Vegas. While Oregon and Colorado begin the week in a first-place tie, Arizona and Arizona State remain even in the loss column. The race for those top four spots seemingly will come down to six teams, with UCLA and USC sporting identical 8-5 league marks behind the 8-4 Arizona schools.

Given their split of the season series, if Oregon and CU finish in a first-place tie, the next tie-breaker would be the teams’ record against the third-place finisher. If that also is even, the tie-breaker moves to the records against the fourth-place team and continues to trail downward from there.

Oregon already has defeated the Arizona schools at home, while CU lost at Arizona and won at Arizona State (CU’s win against ASU in the season-opening game in China, played as a nonconference contest, does not factor into the equation). That makes Oregon’s two-game trip through Arizona this week one that could have wide-ranging ramifications on how the top four spots ultimately align. As will the Wildcats’ trip through Los Angeles next week.

A look at how the competition breaks down the rest of the way for the top half of the conference with three weeks remaining:

Colorado (two home, three away): vs. USC, vs. UCLA, at Cal, at Stanford, at Utah.

Oregon (three home, two away): at Arizona State, at Arizona, vs. Oregon State, vs. Cal, vs. Stanford.

Arizona (four home, two away): vs. Oregon State, vs. Oregon, at USC, at UCLA, vs. Washington State, vs. Washington.

Arizona State (four home, two away): vs. Oregon, vs. Oregon State, at UCLA, at USC, vs. Washington, vs. Washington State.

USC (three home, two away): at CU, at Utah, vs. Arizona, vs. Arizona State, vs. UCLA.

UCLA (two home, three away): at Utah, at CU, vs. Arizona State, vs. Arizona, at USC.

Weekly honors

After leading Arizona State to its first Pac-12 two-game road sweep in 10 years, junior guard Remy Martin on Monday was named the league’s Player of the Week. It is Martin’s second weekly honor of the season.

Martin began the week by going 9-for-14 with 24 points in a win at Stanford before adding 22 points on a 7-for-10 showing with five assists in a win at Cal. In addition to going 16-for-24 from the floor, Martin was 5-for-6 on 3-pointers and 9-for-10 at the free throw line.

Arizona’s Zeke Nnaji won the Freshman of the Week honor for the fourth time this season. The 6-foot-11 forward posted his league-leading 12th double-double of the season in Saturday’s win at Stanford, finishing with 21 points and 11 rebounds. He also scored 21 points two days earlier in a win at Cal, adding five rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots. Nnaji shot 14-for-23 in the two games.


With 25 points in Oregon’s win Sunday night against Utah, senior guard Payton Pritchard increased his career scoring total to 1,810, good for fifth all-time in Ducks history… The Pac-12 NET rankings to begin the week: Arizona (8), Colorado (11), Oregon (22), Stanford (37), USC (49), Arizona State (50), Washington (68), Oregon State (75), Utah (84), UCLA (101), Washington State (110), Cal (155)…In this week’s AP Top 25, the Buffs dropped two spots to No. 18 while Oregon jumped three spots to No. 14. Arizona rejoined the poll at No. 24.