Perhaps as important as picking up marquee wins is avoiding bad losses.
Three Pac-12 teams are in action Wednesday night, all of which can ill afford to drop a game. Here's a quick preview:
DePaul (6-3) at Arizona State (8-1), 7pm MST
Arizona State is off to its best start since the 2008-09 season. The Sun Devils are 29th in the nation in scoring (79.0 PPG), led by four players averaging in double figures.
DePaul is a winner of four straight. The majority of the Blue Demons' scoring comes from two players—forward Cleveland Melvin (18.6 PPG) and guard Brandon Young (16.8 PPG).
Because DePaul is projected to finish well outside the RPI top 100, it's pivotal that ASU protects its home court and avoids a bad loss.
Colorado (7-2) at Fresno State (5-4), 8pm MST
Fresh off a shellacking at the hands of the No. 9 Jayhawks in Lawrence, Tad Boyle's team looks to rebound and cure its road woes at Fresno State.
The Bulldogs, who rank near the bottom in scoring, field goal percentage and assists, may be just what the doctor ordered.
Colorado already has quality non-conference wins against Baylor, Murray State and Colorado State. Avoiding a loss to a team with a projected RPI above 100 is crucial looking ahead.
Oregon State (5-2) at Portland State (1-4), 7:35pm PST
Oregon State guard Ahmad Starks is often overlooked in the discussion of best guards in the Pac-12. If he continues at his torrid pace that will soon change.
Starks is averaging 16.4 points per contest, including shooting 44 percent from downtown. He and the rest of the Beavers take to the road to face a bad Portland State team out of the Big Sky.
As is the theme of the night for Pac-12 teams, Oregon State must avoid tripping up. Portland State is 1-4, but their lone win came in their only home game.