Pac-12 leaders No. 14 Arizona, Stanford face off Saturday
A look at things to watch this week in the Pac-12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 14 Arizona at Stanford, Saturday. The Wildcats (14-4, 4-1 Pac-12) bounced back from a road loss to Colorado by beating both Oregon schools last week. The Wildcats were picked to win the Pac-12, so it's no surprise they're tied for the conference lead. The team they're tied with: Stanford. The Cardinal (10-8, 4-1) have been the surprise of the early conference season, winning four straight games since opening the Pac-12 season with a loss to California after a nonconference schedule that included losses to Eastern Washington and Portland State. Stanford knocked off UCLA and USC two weeks ago and had a Washington-school sweep last week. The Cardinal have a tough game before they get to Saturday's showdown, facing No. 16 Arizona State on Wednesday.
LOOKING AHEAD: Oregon (12-6, 2-3) had a solid trip to the Grand Canyon State last week, knocking off Arizona State and taking Arizona down to the wire. The trip could be a sign the Ducks are headed back in the direction, but this week doesn't get any easier. Oregon hosts USC on Thursday, then has a short turnaround to face UCLA on Saturday. Find a way to win those and Oregon can definitely say it is back.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The two longest Pac-12 series win streaks will be on the line this week. Arizona has won 15 straight games against Stanford, dating to 2009, and Oregon has won 14 straight against USC since 2010. ... Oregon's Kenny Wooten has 51 blocks this season, three shy of the top 10 by Pac-12 freshmen. ... Freshmen have been named the Pac-12 player of the week three straight weeks for the second time since 1983-84. Stanford's Daejon Davis earned the award this week, following Colorado's McKinley Wright IV and Arizona's Deandre Ayton.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Robert Franks, Washington State. The Cougars have struggled, losing eight of their last 11 games, but their sharp-shooting junior forward hasn't. Franks leads Washington State with 18.2 points per game, grabs 7.0 rebounds and is shooting 45 percent from the 3-point arc. He also matched the Pac-12 record with 10 3-pointers against California last week. Washington State plays at Colorado and Utah this week.
ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: Two rivalry games highlight the Pac-12 women's schedule this week. Washington and Washington State play the first one on Wednesday, then it's No. 7 Oregon at No. 18 Oregon State. ... Cal's Kristine Anigwe was the conference player of the week last week after averaging 28 points and 13.5 rebounds. ... No. 22 Arizona State is sixth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.51
Compiled by AP Basketball Writer John Marshall in Phoenix.