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The 2017-18 men’s collegiate basketball season is approaching its midway point as Division I teams start playing their conference schedules soon, if they haven’t already. In the Pac-12 Conference, it’s all about the Arizona Wildcats and the Arizona State Sun Devils right now, as both teams are ranked in the Top 20 currently.
The Sun Devils have been the big surprise, starting out the season with 12 straight victories, while the Wildcats—the conference’s preseason favorite—have struggled a bit, losing three games in a row at one point in late November. It may be a down year for the league as a whole, but the two southern-most schools are doing quite well.
The winner of the Pac-12 Tournament gets the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and tickets already are on sale for both the Men’s Pac-12 Tournament (March 7-10) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and the NCAA Men’s Tournament West Regional (March 22-24) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Next Saturday, the Wildcats host the Sun Devils in a big showdown that kicks off the Pac-12 schedule for both schools, and you can follow Pac-12 men’s basketball all season long with AXS’s Sunday Scoop Shots.
Weekly Pac-12 Rankings
Every week of the season from here on out, we’ll rank the 12 teams in the conference and give a little bit of information on each of them. Here is the first set of rankings.
1. Arizona Wildcats (10-3): Since losing three straight in the Bahamas, the Wildcats have rattled off seven consecutive wins—including victories over Alabama, Connecticut and Texas A&M. Arizona is fine.
2. Arizona State Sun Devils (12-0): Take the No. 3 ranking gingerly. They can beat any team on any given day, but the porous defense also means they can lose, too.
3. Southern California Trojans (8-4): How the Trojans gave up 103 points to Princeton is a mystery, but USC still has so much talent.
4. Oregon Ducks (10-3): Early losses to Connecticut and Oklahoma are in the rearview mirror now, with a current five-game winning streak.
5. UCLA Bruins (9-3): That was a big win over Kentucky on Saturday, as the Bruins were in danger of becoming irrelevant.
6. Utah Utes (8-3): Victories over Mississippi and Missouri highlight an otherwise-bland out-of-conference slate for the Utes.
7. Stanford Cardinal (6-7): Losses to North Carolina, Ohio State, Kansas and Florida are acceptable, but losing to Portland State was not.
8. Colorado Buffaloes (8-4): Losing to the University of San Diego at home by double digits wasn’t pretty. The strength of schedule so far is very weak.
9. Washington Huskies (10-3): No bad losses for the Huskies, but they open the Pac-12 season with three straight road games. That’s harsh.
10. Oregon State Beavers (8-4): After a 2-3 start, the Beavers have recovered solidly. We expect them to be a sleeper in conference play.
11. Washington State Cougars (8-4): Losing to UC Davis at home and Idaho on the road by a combined 41 points shows there is work to be done still in Pullman.
12. California Golden Bears (6-7): Ugly losses to UC Riverside, Chaminade, Central Arkansas and Portland State are not a good sign for Head Coach Wyking Jones in his first season at Cal.
What to Watch For Next
The start of the conference schedule this upcoming week is very exciting. In addition to the Grand Canyon State showdown in Tucson, a few other matchups should be entertaining. There’s a “Big Game” in the Bay Area as Cal travels to play Stanford on Saturday night. Those are the only two “rivalry” games this week in the conference.
By the way, USC plays on Christmas Day in Hawai’i against New Mexico State. That’s a not a bad way to spend the holidays, is it?
Fearless Prediction(s) of the Week
Arizona is at home, and with the Wildcats’ ability to score, the Sun Devils’ defense won’t hold up on the road in a hostile environment. Look for Arizona to pull off an 86-79 “upset” on December 30.
One of the reasons Native Hemp Solutions CBD products are frequently out of stock is because the manufacturer is often waiting on me to complete my laboratory quantitation analysis of its cannabinoid components.
Using advanced laboratory instrumentation known as LC-MS-TOF, I measure the concentration of CBD, CBDA and other cannabinoids in their hemp extracts. On top of that, I authenticate the cannabinoid molecules to ensure they’re 100% real (and not counterfeit). In fact, I’m one of the co-developers of a published scientific method for quantitating cannabinoids in hemp extract. Read the original study at this link in the LC/GC journal via ChromatographyOnline.com (and note my name as one of the co-authors).
Along with my colleagues, we developed a reliable method for measuring the concentrations of 11 cannabinoids all at once, including THC, THCA, CBC, CBD and other cannabinoids. The two that really matter the most in terms of therapeutic applications are CBD and CBDA, by the way. (CBDA is a more complex form of CBD with the addition of a carboxylic acid group. It essentially “degrades” into CBD over time, in the presence of heat. The term “de-carbed” means heating the extract to convert the carboxylic acid forms into simpler cannabinoids.)
Some CBD oil products are wildly inaccurate in their label claims of CBD content
When I first started testing CBD products, I found that some were wildly inaccurate in their label claims. I also found that different labs produced shockingly different results, sometimes disagreeing as much as 50% on their final numbers. Over time, I also learned that accurately quantitating cannabinoids is extremely complex, mostly due to what’s called the “matrix” of other chemical constituents that are often present in hemp extracts.
This same laboratory analysis obstacle is also faced in labs that attempt to test tobacco products, for example, or complex herbal formulas. The more complex the phytochemicals, the harder the laboratory analysis becomes. As a result, we’ve had to develop some extremely clever techniques for achieving accurate quantitation of CBDs in hemp extract products.
And yet, to this day, we find that there are certain other herbs which cause such extreme “ionization suppression” that accurate quantitation is impossible in certain herbal formulas. Some herbs, fascinatingly, seem to cause CBD to vanish, while other herbs appear to form cannabinoids when in the presence of other cannabinoids, which appear to serve as catalysts for chemical reactions that we don’t yet understand. (Your own body, interestingly, generates very small amounts of CBD from your consumption of omega-3 oils.)
Our research continues in this realm, so we’ll hopefully have a more advanced understanding on all this over time. Cannabis is a truly miraculous, complex plant that exhibits properties we have never seen in any other plant matrix. It’s almost like there’s a “molecular code” that has to be untangled… more on that in a future article.
If you’re curious exactly how I quantitate cannabinoids using time-of-flight mass spec instrumentation, here’s a simplified video that gives you a guided tour of how I carry out this science at CWC Labs. Note that this is a vastly simplified public tour video, and what I actually do in the lab is considerably more complex:
Native Hemp Solutions holds all products until I approve the CBD content using laboratory science
In any case, the reason I endorsed Native Hemp Solutions is because they agreed they would never ship a product without my laboratory approval. As a result, they are the only brand (so far) that I know firsthand — with 100% certainty — contains at least the claimed cannabinoid content that’s printed on the label. (In 2018, I’m rolling out an industry-wide cannabinoid verification and authentication service to bring more certification to the CBD oil industry, by the way.)
NHS products vary in strength from 250 mg of cannabinoids per bottle to 1000 mg of cannabinoids per bottle. In truth, they all contain slightly more than the label claim to account for any minor variance in bottling.
Right now, through midnight Sunday night, Native Hemp Solutions products are offered at a rare discount by the Colorado company that manufacturers and distributes them. Click here for the product page to see what’s available.
The “Hemp Clarity” cognitive enhancement formula is out of stock because we have held it up at the lab due to the frustrating fact that one of the herbal ingredients in that formula is interfering with the CBD quantitation. While we’re working on that issue, the product is not available because, as I said earlier, nothing ships until we give it the thumbs up.
The Hemp Salve is an amazing new product that’s so good, I actually took home the lab samples to rub on my own joints. I’ve been doing a lot of survival training lately, and I’ve overworked my arms on some repetitive rural survival skills and drills. The Hemp Salve has been a lifesaver.
We’re been hearing rave reviews about the Native Hemp “Sleep Essentials” product which combines cannabinoids with chamomile, oats and some other plant-based ingredients. I never knew so many people had sleep problems until I saw what people were experiencing with this product.
In terms of just getting the maximum cannabinoids per bottle, I recommend (and take this myself) the Coconut Vanilla Hemp Extract, which is available in 250mg, 500mg and 1000mg per bottle concentrations. If you do the math, the 1000mg / bottle is the best deal, and you only need a few drops at a time. It also tastes quite nice, especially considering the highly complex terpenes, minerals, phytonutrients and other molecules found in this product. The color alone tells you how potent this is (it’s rich, dark, and carried a very potent taste).
In any case, these are all offered at a discount through midnight, Sunday. If you want to stock up on extremely high quality, laboratory verified CBD oil products from a trusted source, Native Hemp Solutions is the ideal choice. Find them at NativeHempSolutions.com.
* These statements have not been evaluated by The Food and Drug Administration. Native Hemp Solutions products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Under no circumstances does Native Hemp Solutions imply that any and all products and formulas are meant to diagnose , treat, cure or prevent any diseases. Due to these restrictions and limitations we are not making any medical claims whatsoever.