This hasn't been the case lately, with only two teams advancing to the NCAA Tournament each of the past three seasons. Even though a team from the Pac-12 has advanced to the Final Four each of the past five seasons, the conference has not won a national title in women's basketball since Stanford cut down the nets in 1992.
The Cardinal also lost in the championship game in 2010 and 2008.
Stanford is one of three teams from the Pac-12 among the Top 25. California moved up to No. 11, and UCLA entered the poll at No. 19 after upsetting then-No. 11 Oklahoma.
And though the season is still in its first weeks, six Pac-12 teams Stanford, UCLA, Cal, Utah, Colorado and Arizona are undefeated.
"Obviously we were very excited about our performance and how we played against Michigan," Utah coach Anthony Levrets said prior to Tuesday's win against Northern Colorado. "Hopefully it will provide us with some momentum as we move forward in the preseason, but we have to understand that it's just one win, and we're not anywhere near done getting better. The good news is that we played really well, and that we can continue to get better."
The Utah women, who trounced Michigan 59-40, are 3-0 for the first time since 2001, a season that saw the Utes jump out to an 11-0 start and eventually head to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
USU volleyball honored
Despite losing key pieces from last season's NCAA Tournament team, Utah State won 20 matches and the Western Athletic Conference regular-season women's volleyball championship. In recognition, Aggie coach Grayson DuBose was named conference coach of the year for the second time.
Paige Neves, Rachel Orr, Shay Sorensen and Josselyn White earned first-team all-WAC honors. Redshirt freshman Elle Brainard was selected as the WAC's top freshman.
"It's a humbling experience to be recognized by your peers because it means you've done something well," DuBose said. "At the end of the day, if you don't win, you don't get those kind of awards. So thanks to the team and to my coaching staff, who makes me a better coach than I am."