Stephen Vilardo’s Week 18 SuperWest Hoops Power Rankings

Our final power rankings and what these teams need to do to keep playing beyond the weekend

Posted on March 7, 2023

  By Stephen Vilardo, SuperWest Sports

As the regular season is behind us all the attention is on tournaments.

Conference tournaments are upon us.

What work needs to be done to continue postseason play? We will find out in less than a week.

Until then, let’s take a look at our final power rankings and what these 16 teams need to do to keep playing beyond next weekend.

1. UCLA Bruins 27-4 (1)
UCLA has ended the season with the nation’s longest active home-court win streak with 25 straight wins inside of Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins will head to the Pac-12 Tournament as the 1-seed for the proceedings in Vegas with eyes on a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Bruins lost the services of Jaylen Clark in the win over Arizona.

That is a huge loss and changes UCLA from perhaps being the overall favorite to cut down the nets in Houston to one of a handful of teams that could do so during the first weekend in April.

Clark was 19th in the nation with 1.219 steals per foul committed.

David Singleton scored 17 in the win over the Wildcats on five of nine on three-pointers. If UCLA can continue to get that kind of production from him then they will be difficult for any team in the country to beat.

Postseason outlook: Securely in the NCAA field, a lock for a 1 or 2-seed.

2. Arizona Wildcats 25-6 (2)
Arizona heads into the postseason having lost three of their last six games. Certainly not the momentum they’d like to be carrying into tournament time.

Arizona football Pac-12Against UCLA, the Wildcats raced out to a 15-4 lead in the first six minutes before getting outscored 78-58 over the final 34 minutes of basketball.

Arizona is still third in the nation averaging 83.1 points per game and is eighth in the nation shooting 62.2% on non-blocked two-point FGs this season

Postseason outlook: Securely in the NCAA field, most likely a 2-seed could slip to the 3 line. Would need to win the Pac-12 Tournament for a shot at a 1-seed, and may need some additional help.

3. Gonzaga Bulldogs 28-5 (5)
Gonzaga picked up a 39-point win over Chicago State to end the regular season.

They headed into the WCC Tournament having won seven in a row, averaging 95.7 points per game during the winning streak.

Since the tournament moved to Las Vegas in 2009, the Zags are 31-3 in the WCC Tournament.

Postseason outlook: Securely in NCAA field, fairly locked into a 3-seed, Gonzaga could fall to a 4 depending upon the WCC Championship.

4. San Diego State Aztecs 24-6 (3)
The Aztecs picked up their 24th win of the season over Wyoming.

It is the 10th time in the last 18 seasons they have reached the 24-win mark.

SDSU enters tournament time having won seven of their last eight games with the lone loss at Boise State last week.

The Aztecs have held 11 of their 30 opponents to under 60 points this season.

Postseason outlook: Securely in the NCAA field, looking like a 5-seed with room to move up or down one rung depending upon the coming week.

5. Saint Mary’s Gaels 26-6 (5)
The Gaels shared the WCC regular season championship for the first time since 2016.

Since the Conference Tournament set up shop in Las Vegas in 2009, the Gaels have gone 23-10 with three championships.

Saint Mary’s improved to 7-3 as the number one seed in Vegas with their win over BYU

Postseason outlook: Securely in the NCAA field, looking like a five, could rise to a three if things shake out.

6. USC Trojans 22-9 (6)
The Trojans saw their 14-game home-court win streak come to an end at the hands of Arizona, but rebounded nicely with a huge win over Arizona State that may have been a tournament decider.

The win over ASU was the seventh in a row for the Trojans in the series.

Boogie Ellis averaged 31.5 points per game last week and has gone for 25.8 in his last six.

Postseason outlook: Will need to make sure they win their Pac-12 opener to guarantee a bid, sitting around the 10 line at the moment.

7. Utah State Aggies 23-7 (7)
The Aggies finished the season winning five in a row and eight of their last ten.

The season-ending win was a big one as they knocked off Boise State and earned the 3-seed in the Mountain West Tournament.

The Aggies enter postseason play with a lot of momentum.

They will more than likely get an opening matchup with New Mexico and a chance at a good win to build the tournament resume.

Postseason outlook: Firmly on the bubble, currently projected anywhere from a 10-seed to missing out. Need to win at least one game if not a couple in Las Vegas.

8. Boise State Broncos 23-8 (8)
The Broncos finished the season 14-1 at ExtraMile Arena winning their last 14 at home. The final one was a big one as they came back to knock off San Diego State to extend the streak.

Boise State continued to struggle on the road this week dropping a game at Utah State. The Broncos are just 5-6 in true road games this season.

They are the 2-seed for the Mountain West Tournament and own a 4-1 mark in neutral site games this season.

They have picked up neutral site wins already over Colorado and Texas A&M, the win over A&M in Fort Worth looking better as the season has progressed.

Postseason outlook: I think the Broncos are in, but they can’t afford to lay an egg in Vegas. Looking at about a 10-seed, aside from winning the tournament, there will not be a lot of movement off that line.

9. Nevada Wolf Pack 22-9 (9)
Nevada enters the postseason on a slide having lost its last two and three of its last five.

The two-game losing streak is the first time the Wolf Pack have lost consecutive games all season.

The most recent loss to UNLV also ended a 14-game winning streak at home.

Postseason outlook: On the bubble and can not afford an opening loss. A second win would more than likely come against San Diego State and could punch their ticket. A lock for the NIT should the bubble burst.

10. San Jose State Spartans 19-12 (14)
The Spartans keep on collecting wins.

They are up to 19 for the season, the most for a San Jose State team since the 1980-81 season.

That year, SJSU won 21 games and it is the only time in the history of the program dating back to 1937 that a Spartan squad won more games in a single season.

SJSU ended up 10-8 in conference play, the first time they were over .500 in league play since 1993-94.

Postseason Outlook: Playing great at the moment, the late run may not be enough to get an NIT shot at the moment, so work to be done for that. Winning the conference tournament is the only path to the Big Dance.

11. Washington State Cougars 16-15 (15)
Washington State has won six straight games after their rivalry win over the Huskies.

The Cougars have played their way to the 5-seed in the Pac-12 tournament.

The six straight conference wins is the longest win streak in Pac-12 play since Kyle Smith took over as head coach.

Mouhamed Gueye led the Pac-12 with 15 double-doubles on the season.

Postseason outlook: The Cougars have gotten themselves eligible for the postseason, that was step one. The only path to the NCAA Tournament is a conference tourney title.

The NIT would probably require at least a couple wins in Las Vegas—and perhaps would require that WSU is playing on Saturday.

12. Oregon Ducks 18-13 (16)
Oregon picked up a sweep of the Bay Area schools to close out the regular season.

Oregon Ducks Logo Pac-12The 12-8 mark in Pac-12 play has garnered the 4-seed in the Pac-12 tournament.

The opener in Vegas will likely be a very hot Washington State squad.

Kel’El Ware is currently 16th in the nation with 1.2 blocked shots per foul.

Postseason outlook: Currently on the outside looking in at the NCAA teams, but a high NIT seed is a sure thing. A run in Vegas is required to enter the conversation of an 11-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

13. Santa Clara Broncos 23-9 (10)
Santa Clara was riding a seven-game win streak entering the WCC tournament prior to falling by six points to San Francisco to end their run a little early.

The 23 regular season wins are the fourth most in program history and the most since the team won 25 in the 1968-69 season.

Postseason outlook: Herb Sendek’s team is deserving of a spot in the NIT, and they are probably still looking like they should be a 4 or 5-seed in it.

The danger for the Broncos lies with regular season champs of one-bid leagues not winning the conference tournament and stealing an NIT bid.

Too many of those and they could be left out. Prime example, Eastern Washington.

14. Arizona State Sun Devils 20-11 (11)
Arizona State dropped the last two of the regular season, to fall to 5-4 in their last nine games.

The Sun Devils had a chance to make some noise at UCLA and USC, the latter being a pivotal game for the NCAA hopes of both teams.

ASU finished the season with seven road wins and a 10-6 mark in games played outside of Tempe.

Arizona State ended up with the 6-seed for the Pac-12 Tournament and has an opportunity for a solid win over USC and potentially Arizona.

Postseason outlook: The Sun Devils find themselves on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament. The NIT is the likely destination, but a few big wins could make things interesting.

15. New Mexico Lobos 21-10 (12)
The slide continued for the Lobos, a 1-1 week with a regular season-ending loss at Colorado State means New Mexico has dropped eight of their last 11 games.

The Lobos will face a few must-wins in Las Vegas if they want to make the NCAA tournament. A trip to the semifinals seems like the minimum.

In the last four games, UNM has allowed 81.8 points per game as they have gone 1-4.

Postseason outlook: As mentioned a pair of wins seems to be needed at least and it may realistically be a trip to the finals to get an invite to the NCAA tournament. The NIT is the likely landing spot for the Lobos, and probably a 2 or 3-seed in that tournament.

16. Loyola Marymount 19-12 (13)
The Lions hang on to the 16th spot despite the loss in the WCC Tournament to BYU.

Cam Shelton reached double figures in each of his last 23 games. Shelton has scored at least 30 points in three of the last five games, averaging 30.0 down the stretch.

A solid season overall with wins over both Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s in the same season for the first time since 1995-96

Postseason outlook: Not playing in the NCAA or NIT.

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