The Pac-12 Tournament gets started today and if there is a more unpredictable or controversial conference out there, please advise.
Many believe this conference is a one-bid league, some say they deserve two NCAA Tournament bids and some even will go so far as to argue that the league deserves a whopping three bids.
We shall see. I follow the somewhat popular train of thought that the Pac-12 deserves only one bid, but will somehow sneak another one past the selection committee either by crowning someone other than Cal as the conference tournament champion, or via pure committee sympathy.
The Pac-12 Tournament will go a long way towards answering such pressing questions, so let’s take a quick look:
Wednesday, March 7, Staples Center.
(8) Washington State vs. (9) Oregon State – 3 PM ET, FSN
(5) UCLA vs. (12) USC – 5:30 PM ET, FSN
(7) Stanford vs. (10) Arizona State – 9 PM ET, FSN
(6) Colorado vs. (11) Utah – 11:30 PM ET, FSN
Thursday, March 8, Staples Center.
No. 8/9 vs. (1) Washington – 3 PM ET, FSN
No. 5/12 vs. (4) Arizona – 5:30 PM ET, FSN
No. 7/10 vs. (2) California – 9 PM ET, FSN
No. 6/11 vs. (3) Oregon – 11:30 PM ET, FSN
Friday, March 9, Staples Center.
Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner – 9 PM ET, FSN
Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner – 11:30 PM ET, FSN
Saturday, March 10, Staples Center.
Pac-12 Championship – 6 PM ET, CBS
Whoa. I knew it’d be hard to pick a winner for this conference tournament, but this question seems to be causing a severe case of writer’s block. But, I’m going to do all any rational human being can do in this instance and take a wild guess. My guess here will be Washington. They are the most talented team in the field. Lorenzo Romar and co. have a history of turning it on this time of year and, at the very least, a Huskies’ championship will spare their fans from the inevitable heartbreak that would result from an early exit in this tournament and the resulting exclusion from the big dance.
Everyone’s a sleeper in this league, so this question is another doozy. But, I’m going with the embattled Ben Howland and UCLA. It would be a nice story for some and the Bruins have actually been playing decent basketball lately, including a victory over my projected winner last weekend. And again, anyone can win this thing.
FULL BRACKET PREDICTIONS
3/7/12 – Oregon State over Washington State; UCLA over USC; Stanford over Arizona State; Colorado over Utah
3/8/12 – Washington over Oregon State; UCLA over Arizona; California over Stanford; Oregon over Colorado
3/9/12 – Washington over UCLA; California over Oregon
3/10/12 – Washington over California
What are your thoughts on the Pac-12 Tournament?