The caveat is USC, which is on a five-game win streak overall, defeated UCLA on the road Dec. 30 — four days before the Pac-12′s big opening weekend with all 12 teams. The start in conference play is the best for USC (10-5, 3-0) since 1993-94 when the Trojans posted a 10-0 record in the first stretch of Pac-10 play.
For WSU (9-6, 3-0), the quirk is it played three games in five days as part of the conference’s new scheduling to accommodate the addition of No. 17 Colorado and Utah two years ago. The Pac-12 also installed an intentional back-to-back rivalry play the same week to allow it to move up its conference tournament for more television exposure heading into NCAA tournament selections.
WSU started 3-0 during the 2011-12 season, finishing conference play at 5-13 overall.
That start was the true focus of the Cougs on Monday when it beat Washington (8-6, 1-2) for the first time since February 1995. The rematch is Saturday at 3pm at Alaska Airlines Arena. The game will air on Pac-12 Networks.More