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College Basketball Rankings: Pac-10 Struggling To Hang With Big Boys

Saturday was a good day for the local college basketball teams, as the UCLA Bruins beat the No. 16 BYU Cougars and the USC Trojans nearly beat the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks in Kansas. However, when a 1-1 day against ranked teams can be considered a good day for the conference, it is simply a down year for the Pac-10. When the college basketball rankings are released on Monday, the Pac-10 is likely to be without a top 25 team for the second week in a row.

The Washington Huskies have been the only ranked team in the Associated Press top 25 at any time this season, but they dropped out of last week's poll after a loss to Texas A&M. The Huskies were 28th in last week's poll, so they could sneak back into the top 25 (Washington won its only game this week, 80-52 over Nevada on Saturday), but the fact remains that the Pac-10 simply has no top teams this season. The conference's record against top teams this season has been less than stellar.

The Pac-10 teams this season have a 63-36 cumulative record, but the vast majority of those wins have been compiled against lesser teams. Pac-10 teams are just 3-12 against AP top 25 teams this season, and those three wins have been against teams ranked 16, 19, and 21. USC and UCLA each have one of those wins, as USC beat No. 19 Texas last Sunday, and UCLA beat No. 16 BYU in the Wooden Classic on Saturday.

Three of the 12 conference losses against top teams have come at Allen Fieldhouse in Kansas. Both USC and UCLA lost excruciatingly close contests in the final seconds, while Arizona lost 87-79 during Thanksgiving weekend. In the latest Sagarin ratings, the Pac-10 is ranked as the seventh-best conference, behind the Mountain West. San Diego State is simply the best team on the west coast this season, in what has been a down year for the Pac-10.

For more Los Angeles college basketball news, be sure to read the SB Nation blogs for UCLA (Bruins Nation) and USC (Conquest Chronicles).