Posted on December 20, 2022
Just four teams remain unbeaten in the nation and one of them can be found in the Mountain West.
Nine teams nationally have active win streaks of at least nine games, and three of those teams show up among our Top 16 for the week (New Mexico-11, Arizona State & Boise State-9).
A fifth team on our list (UCLA) has won seven straight games, good enough for the 15th longest in the nation.
When you look at home court dominance, Gonzaga (71), Arizona (25), UCLA (15), and San Diego State (13) all rank in the Top 20 nationally for the longest active home win streaks.
1. Arizona Wildcats 10-1 (1)Arizona got another marquee win with a 75-70 win over Tennessee to extend their win streak inside McKale Center to 25 straight games, the third-longest in the nation.
Against the Vols, Arizona got zero bench points, but it did not matter as four of the five starters finished in double figures. The Wildcats outscored Tennessee 15-2 on second chance points in the battle of Top 10 teams.
Azuolas Tubelis is currently eighth in the nation in time on the court, averaging 28.2 points per 40 minutes played.
2. Gonzaga Bulldogs 9-3 (2)Gonzaga traveled to Birmingham to meet Alabama on a “neutral” floor and put up a hundred on the fourth-ranked team in the nation.
This was a big win for the Zags as they proved they can go on the road and secure a big victory. It was their second win of the season against a top-four opponent for Gonzaga.
Against Alabama, Gonzaga shot 74.1% from the floor in the second half. For the season they are ninth in the nation at 49.9% from the floor.
3. UCLA Bruins 10-2 (3)The Bruins made a statement with a pair of double-digit wins over ranked opponents on their East Coast trip. They opened things with a 27-point win at Maryland and knocked off Kentucky by ten in New York.
UCLA continues to create scoring opportunities as they are third in the nation with 9.5 more scoring chances per game than their opponents.
The Bruins rank sixth in the nation with a turnover on just 13.2% of possessions and are 11th-best at forcing them at a rate of 24.6%.
Jaylen Clark averaged 17.0 points last week while Jaime Jaquez Jr. averaged 16.5 in the two games.
4. Arizona State Sun Devils 11-1 (5)This is an Arizona State team that is now 19-3 in their last 22 games dating back to last season. The Sun Devils’ current nine-game win streak is the sixth-longest active win-streak in the nation entering the week.
In the win over San Diego, Devan Cambridge and Frankie Collins each recorded double-doubles, the first time ASU had a pair of those in the same game since last December.
Arizona State’s 91 points against San Diego was its highest output of the season, but it is still the defense doing the job for the Sun Devils.
They are allowing opponents to shoot just 35.1% from the floor, the fifth-best mark in the country.
5. New Mexico Lobos 11-0 (7)The Lobos are 11-0 on the season for the first time since opening 12-0 in 2012-13, and the 11-game win streak is tied for the second longest in the nation.
Their win over Iona also gives the Lobos a 10-game win streak at The Pit.
Jamal Mashburn has reached double-figure scoring in each of his last 32 games played, the longest active streak in the Mountain West.
The Lobos continue to take care of the basketball with a turnover rate of just 15.2% on the season, ranking them 18th nationally.
6. UNLV Rebels 10-1 (4)UNLV opened the season 10-0 for their best start in 32 years, but that is as far as the season-opening win streak would go.
The Rebels had an 11-point second-half lead against San Francisco but let it slip away for their first loss of the season.
UNLV ranks second in the nation with a turnover forced on 28.5% of possessions.
Against the Dons, UNLV was outscored on points off turnovers and second-chance points, both areas of strength during the 10-game win streak.
7. Boise State Broncos 10-2 (11)The Broncos have the nation’s ninth-best scoring defense allowing just 57.1 points per game while limiting opponents to 36.7% from the field, also ninth in the nation.
Boise State has won nine straight games with a victory margin of 19.9 points per game during the streak. Four of the wins during the streak have come away from ExtraMile Arena.
The Broncos have limited opponents to an assist rate of just 40.7% this season, the 19th-best mark in the nation.
8. USC Trojans 9-3 (12)USC came away with a win over Auburn at the Galen Center on Sunday.
Boogie Ellis led the Trojans with a career-high 28 points including seven in the final three minutes of the game to help secure the win over a ranked opponent.
The Trojans only blocked one Auburn shot in the win but continue to rank high with a blocked shot rate of 9.7% on the season, the 13th-highest rate in America.
USC has outscored their last four opponents 136-102 in paint points.
9. San Francisco Dons 10-3 (13)San Francisco got a big road win at UNLV giving the Rebels their first loss of the season.
Against UNLV Zane Meeks, Khalil Shabazz, and Tyrell Roberts all finished with 17 points and the Dons shot 48.4% as they made their second half comeback.
This week will be a busy one for the Dons with three games in the span of four days, including a tough one against Arizona State.
San Francisco has now won 16 straight non-conference home games. The Dons enter the week with a total rebound rate of 54.3%.
The Dons three losses this season have come against opponents that are a combined 28-4 on the season.
10. Utah State Aggies 9-1 (8)The Aggies opened the season 9-0 for the first time since 1938-39 before dropping their game Monday night to Weber State.
The Aggies bench entered Monday night fourth in the nation with 37.7 points per game from their subs. Against Weber State, they only got 22 off the bench and the Wildcats outscored them by 10 in that category.
Entering the game with Weber State USU led the nation in three-point shooting at 45.7%, having scored at least 75 points in every game this season prior to the loss.
11. Utah Utes 9-3 (7)The Utes split a pair of games last week with a win over UTSA and dropped their rivalry game at BYU.
Utah is fourth in the nation in field goal defense at 35.0%, in the loss to the Cougars they allowed them to shoot at a clip of 41.3%. It was just the second time this season a Utah opponent shot over 40% from the floor.
The Utes turned the ball over 14 times in the loss and were outscored 21-12 in points off turnovers in the 10-point loss.
12. San Diego State Aztecs 8-3 (10)The Aztecs took a break for final exam week and will end up having an eight-day gap between the Kennesaw State win and their Tuesday night game with UC San Diego.
San Diego State is 19th in the nation in adjusted defense rating and allowed Kennesaw State to shoot just 39.1% on non-blocked two-point FGs in the win last week.
13. Saint Mary’s Gaels 9-4 (9)The Gaels pride themselves on defense and making opponents work for shots. In their loss Sunday night to Colorado State the Rams shot 55.8% for the game and 60% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.
SMC is seventh in the nation in opponents’ non-blocked two-point shooting at 46.9% this season, in the loss to CSU they allowed the Rams to shoot 67.9% in that category.
The Gaels are still 12th in the nation allowing just 57.7 points per game.
14. Washington Huskies 9-3 (14)Washington has a blocked shot rate of 10.4% on the season to rank sixth in the nation in that category. The Huskies are also forcing a turnover on 19.5% of possessions on the season.
That figure has dipped a bit in their last three games but is something they will need to get going again with a tough midweek visit from Auburn.
The last time out, Washington got a 35-point win over Idaho State as five Huskies reached double figures in scoring. In that win, Washington had an assist rate of 70.6% as they moved the ball well.
That is a stark improvement for UW as their season rate is 44.6% ranking 316th in the nation.
15. Oregon Ducks 7-5 (16)The Ducks have won three in row for their longest win streak of the season and have won five of their last six as they finally start to get a rhythm going.
The Ducks turned the ball over 18 times against Portland in their most recent win and are currently 265th in the nation with a turnover rate of 20.0% on the season.
A pre-holiday tune up awaits them this week as they host Utah Valley Tuesday prior to an 11-day break and the resumption of the Pac-12 schedule.
Will Richardson ranks second in the Pac-12 and 10th nationally with 6.2 assists per game.
16. Santa Clara Broncos 11-3 (NR)The Broncos get the final spot this week. They are riding a three-game win streak and are 8-1 in their last nine games.
A big game this week brings Boise State to town.
There certainly are other teams that could be in this spot; BYU and Colorado State both had big wins last week, but both have also dropped some games they should not have.
The Broncos’ 11 wins on the season are tied for the second most in the nation.
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