Pac-12 MBB power ratings: UCLA on top in 2022-23 debut

Opening day featured a few ghastly details for Pac-12 men’s basketball as it attempts to duplicate the resurgence seen this season in football.

Cal lost to UC Davis by 10 points in Berkeley while USC produced an absolute face plant with its 13-point loss, also at home, to Florida Gulf Coast.

Also, Oregon State needed a ferocious rally to beat Tulsa.

But the raw number of wins, 10, constituted a victory for the conference.

To make optimum use of the multiplier effect at the heart of the NET rankings — and therefore position itself for success on Selection Sunday — the Pac-12 must win at least 70 percent of its non-conference games.

The data:

— The Pac-12’s non-conference win rate has been below the 70-percent threshold four times in the expansion era. On each occasion, the conference received just two or three bids to the NCAA Tournament.

— But on each of the six occasions the Pac-12 won at least 70 percent of its non-conference games, it placed four or more teams into the NCAAs.

(We’re excluding 2020, when the tournament was canceled.)

So keep that figure in mind over the next six weeks.

The current non-conference win rate is 83.8 percent. That won’t hold — and it doesn’t need to hold.

But where will it land?

To the power ratings …

(Note: The NET rankings are scheduled to make their 2022-23 debut on Dec. 5.)

1. UCLA (1-0)

Results: beat Sacramento State 76-50Next up: vs. Long Beach State (Friday)Comment: From the department of bold predictions: The Bruins will be undefeated this season when Jaylen Clark goes 7-of-7 from the field.

2. Oregon (1-0)

Results: beat Florida A&M 80-45Next up: vs. UC Irvine (Friday)Comment: If you’re tracking one Oregon statistic this season (that doesn’t involve injuries), we suggest Will Richardson’s assist-to-turnover ratio. If it’s 2.5-to-1 or better, the Ducks will be in great shape.

3. Arizona (1-0)

Results: beat Nicholls State 117-75Next up: vs. Southern (Friday)Comment: Only 117 points? We knew Tommy Lloyd would be a bust in his second year.

4. Colorado (1-0)

Results: beat UC Riverside 82-66Next up: at Grambling (Friday)Comment: We should note that after Grambling, the Buffs head to Nashville for a neutral-site duel with Tennessee that stands as one of the most important non-conference games on the Pac-12 schedule.

5. Washington (1-0)

Results: beat Weber State 69-52Next up: vs. North Florida (Friday)Comment: The retooled Huskies are already ahead of the pace set last year, when they lost the opener and closed November with a 4-4 record.

6. Washington State (1-0)

Results: beat Texas State 83-61Next up: at Boise State (Saturday)Comment: We set the Over/Under for double-doubles this season by forward Mouhamed Gueye at 9.5. His first came in the opener (18 points, 13 rebounds). Many more will follow.

7. Stanford (1-0)

Results: beat Pacific 88-78Next up: vs. Wisconsin (Friday in Milwaukee)Comment: Michael Jones, a graduate transfer from Davidson — and Stanford’s first incoming transfer since 2009 — set a high bar for himself with 31 points in the opener.

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8. Arizona State (1-0)

Results: beat Tarleton 62-59Next up: vs. NAU (Thursday)Comment: As always, Bobby Hurley must create enough chemistry from his overhauled roster to give ASU a fighting chance once the schedule turns rugged in December.

9. Utah (1-0)

Results: beat Long Island 89-48Next up: vs. CSU-Bakersfield (Friday)Comment: The non-conference schedule has its share of creampuffs, which is to be expected. But with BYU, TCU, Georgia Tech and a Power Six opponent that’s TBD, there are several chances for quality wins.

10. Oregon State (1-0)

Results: beat Tulsa 73-70Next up: vs. Florida A&M (Friday)Comment: Had the 2021-22 Beavers trailed Tulsa by 16 points at halftime, they would have lost by 26. So … progress!

11. USC (0-1)

Results: lost to Florida Gulf Coast 74-61Next up: vs. Alabama State (Thursday)Comment: The Trojans better hope Andy Enfield’s former school dominates the Atlantic Sun this season, or that loss will drag down their NET ranking for the duration.

12. Cal (0-1)

Results: lost to UC Davis 75-65Next up: vs. Kansas State (Friday)Comment: Good chance the Bears lock down the 12th position for the remainder of the season. On the bright side, they only have two more games against those daunting UC schools: San Diego and L.A.

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