With two weeks to go, three teams remain deadlocked atop the Pac-12 women’s basketball standings.
Two of them square off this coming weekend.
No. 7 UCLA and No. 9 Oregon meet in what likely will be an elimination game for the conference title.
That game, however, won’t be played until Monday.
The Bruins (21-4, 12-2) swept the Arizona schools at home while Oregon (23-4, 12-2) swept through the state of Washington.
But before the Bruins, who have won 10 straight since a loss at home to Oregon on Jan. 7, meet the Ducks, they must head to Corvallis to take on No. 15 Oregon State in a game that the Beavers have probably been waiting for after an 84-49 loss at UCLA back on Jan. 5.
Stanford (18-8, 12-2) is also tied for the top spot and holds the tiebreaker over both UCLA and Oregon for the No. 1 seed to the Pac-12 tournament.
The Cardinal, who have won six games in a row, face off with rival California (17-8, 8-6) this week. Stanford hosts the Golden Bears on Thursday and then plays at Cal on Saturday.
After being blown out twice at the Oregon schools, Cal rebounded with wins at home over Colorado and Utah.
And with Arizona State (17-10, 8-6) losing twice at the Los Angeles schools, the Golden Bears and Sun Devils are now tied for fifth, two games behind fourth-place Oregon State.
The Beavers have the tiebreaker with both teams, but do play at Arizona State in the season finale on Feb. 24.
The No. 4 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, set for March 1-4 at KeyArena in Seattle, receives a first-round bye.
Final home games
The Beavers will wrap up the regular season home slate with games against two teams that handed them road defeats in early January.
First up is the Bruins at 8 p.m. Friday, then comes Senior Day for Marie Gulich when the Beavers host USC at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“We’re looking forward to next week,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said in his postgame radio interview Sunday. “Those are obviously two teams that are senior laden and very talented teams full of great athletes. We’re going to have to be at our best, no question.”
The Beavers never got going in the blowout loss at UCLA.
“I think that was a big growing game,” sophomore Kat Tudor said on the radio Sunday. “I think we’re going to be a different team. We kind of know what they run at us, how they guard us. I think we’re going to be prepared for them.”
Then comes what could possibly be the final game in Gill — the Beavers are not projected to be a top 4 seed in the NCAA tournament and would have to travel — against a Trojans team that stormed back from a 17-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Beavers 65-61 on Jan. 7.
1,000 point club
It was a special weekend for three players in the conference as they eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for their careers.
Oregon State senior Marie Gulich accomplished the feat in an overtime win at Washington State on Friday, while Oregon sophomores Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard joined the club Sunday against the Cougars.
Gulich was also named as one of 30 candidates for the Naismith Trophy, given out to the nation’s top player.
Ten semifinalists will be announced Feb. 26 with four finalists to be revealed on March 14.
Players of the week
Oregon’s Hebard was named the conference’s player of the week after averaging 29.5 points and 11.5 rebounds a game in a sweep of the Washington schools.
UCLA’s Michaela Onyenwere was named the freshman of the week. She averaged 11 points and seven rebounds a game for the Bruins.
Oregon State moved up a spot to No. 15 in the AP poll this week, just behind No. 14 Stanford. UCLA is up to No. 7 and Oregon stayed at No. 9.
Arizona State, California and USC all received at least one vote.
ESPN bracketolgy expert Charlie Crème still has the Beavers as the No. 6 seed in the Lexington Regional, only headed to No. 3 seed Tennessee in his latest projections.
Crème has seven Pac-12 teams in the field of 64 with USC moving in as a No. 11 seed in the Kansas City Regional.
Oregon and UCLA are No. 2 seeds with the Ducks in the Spokane Regional and UCLA in the Albany Regional. The Bruins had been a No. 3 seed.
Stanford is up to a No. 4 seed in the Kansas City Regional while Arizona State is an eight seed in Lexington and Cal a nine seed in Spokane.