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Pac-12 basketball: Conference has key early week

Pac-12 basketball: Conference has key early week
Stanford Coach Johnny Dawkins directs his team against the Michigan Wolverines last month. (Adam Hunger / Getty Images)

Is this a watershed moment in Pac-12 play?

The records say yes. Stanford Coach Johnny Dawkins says no.

“We still have 13 games left,” Dawkins said. “A lot of things can happen between now and then.”

Still, when UCLA and Stanford play Thursday, they will be among seven Pac-12 teams that enter the week with either two or three losses. The group that will continue to chase conference front-runners Arizona and California could get thinned out.

Arizona, ranked No. 1 nationally, and California are both 5-0 in Pac-12 play entering the week. Colorado (4-2), UCLA (3-2), Stanford (3-2), Utah (3-3), Washington (3-3), Arizona State (3-3) and Oregon State (2-3) follow.

“The conference is very good,” Dawkins said. “There is a lot of parity.”

But, he said, he won’t spend a lot of time worrying about keeping pace with Arizona and California.

“It’s not something we talk about,” Dawkins said. “We emphasize playing the game we have in front of us and not trying to keep up with other people’s records.”

Still, everyone is already at least two games behind the Wildcats and Bears. Both Arizona and California have won three conference road games.

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