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Pac-12 notes: After Arizona, race for league’s top four spots a cluttered mess

Arizona is starting to run away with the Pac-12 Conference regular season championship.

Yet with three weeks to go in the regular season, how the remainder of the standings will fill out behind the Wildcats remains completely up in the air.

The results across the league this past weekend left seven teams with between four and seven league losses, beginning with a trio of four-loss teams at the top (USC, UCLA, Oregon) and ending with Stanford (8-7) and CU (7-7), which square off on Saturday night in Palo Alto.

With the always-coveted first-round byes at the Pac-12 tournament going to the top four regular season finishers, there is a possibility, however unlikely, that USC and UCLA, AP Top 25 teams all season, could drop out of that top-four mix.

Here is a look at how the final three weeks break down for each of those teams to begin the week (“Games remaining” includes Monday night game between Washington State and Oregon).

USC (10-4). Games remaining (6): Three home (Washington, Washington State, Arizona); Three away (Oregon State, Oregon, UCLA).

UCLA (9-4). Games remaining (7): Four home (Washington State, Washington, Arizona State, USC); Three away (Oregon, Oregon State, Washington).

Oregon (9-4). Games remaining (7): Three home (Washington State, UCLA, USC); Four away (Arizona State, Arizona, Washington, Washington State).

Washington (8-5). Games remaining (7): Four home (Washington State, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State); Three away (USC, UCLA, Washington State).

Washington State (7-5). Games remaining (8): Three home (Washington, Oregon State, Oregon); Five away (Oregon, UCLA, USC, Washington, Oregon State).

Stanford (8-7). Games remaining (5): Two home (Utah, Colorado); Three away (Cal, Arizona, Arizona State).

Colorado (7-7). Games remaining (6): Two home (Arizona State, Arizona); Four away (Oregon State, Cal, Stanford, Utah).

Weekly honors

Drew Peterson took an opportune moment to produce one of the biggest games of his USC career. And on Monday, the senior guard was rewarded with the Pac-12 player of the week award.

Peterson did a little bit of everything in the Trojans’ down-to-the wire win against rival UCLA, going 9-for-13 overall and 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. With Isaiah Mobley out with an injury, Peterson finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and a career-high five blocked shots. Peterson also recorded 12 points, eight assists and four blocks in a nonconference win against Pacific earlier in the week.

It was a loaded week of player of the week candidates. Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin shot 60% and averaged 21 points in three Wildcats wins. Cal’s Jordan Shepherd scored 33 points, tops among all Pac-12 players this season, in the Bears’ upset win at Oregon. Point guard Tyger Campbell went 13-for-14 at the free throw line and scored 27 points at USC. And Washington’s Terrell Brown Jr. kept rolling, scoring 29 points against Arizona.

Stanford’s Harrison Ingram won the Pac-12 freshman of the week for the sixth time this season. Ingram averaged 14.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in three games last week.

Poll positions

Arizona once again inched its way forward in the latest AP Top 25 released on Monday, climbing one spot to No. 3. UCLA dropped one spot to No. 13 while crosstown rival USC moved up four spots to No. 17. Those three teams once again were the only Pac-12 squads to receive votes in this week’s poll.

The Pac-12 NET rankings on Monday: Arizona (2), UCLA (14), USC (28), Washington State (46), Oregon (62), Stanford (91), Colorado (94), Washington (128), Utah (130), Cal (134), Arizona State (135), Oregon State (248).

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