What we uncovered on the penultimate weekend of the typical period …
1. Las Vegas could deliver drama, just after all.
Arizona, USC and UCLA have dominated the convention race given that round-robin engage in ramped up in early January — to the level that the outcome of the Pac-12 match appeared completely predictable:
The Wildcats would get paid the No. 1 seed and roll into the championship video game with the L.A. colleges, seeded 2nd and third, conference in the semifinals.
But the benefits of the earlier 4 days propose there is a fleck of a prayer of a probability that the heavyweights could possibly not advance as very easily as anticipated at T-Cell Arena (March 9-12).
— Arizona was defeated soundly at Colorado, searching a lot more susceptible than it has all time.
— UCLA misplaced at Oregon for its fourth defeat away from property in league perform.
— USC desired double-time beyond regulation to escape Corvallis and a very last-next defensive stand to endure in Eugene.
Potentially the quarterfinals and semifinals will be more intriguing than we first believed.
2. The seeding scenario continues to be murky.
With 1 week left but a varying range of online games remaining — some teams will enjoy after others, three instances — none of the seeds for the convention event have been resolved.
(Nope, not even Oregon State’s posture as the No. 12.)
We could have clarity at the top shortly: Arizona would clinch the frequent-year title and No. 1 seed with a victory Tuesday at USC. But the problem in the middle of the standings is absolutely sure to remain muddled as a result of the week.
If you’re attempting to sketch out the brackets for Las Vegas, keep in mind that seeds are determined by successful share in conference engage in.
The first tiebreaker, of program, is head-to-head outcomes.
If that doesn’t settle issues, the next tiebreaker is successful proportion towards “the frequent opponent occupying the maximum posture in the last frequent period standings, and then continuing down by frequent opponents in the standings until eventually just one staff gains an advantage” (for every the meeting place of work).
3. Arizona stays on the NCAA’s No. 1 line.
The Wildcats have been slotted atop the South region (San Antonio) previous 7 days in the early expose of the leading-16 seeds by the assortment committee.
The reduction at Colorado won’t alter that status, primarily following the top rated-six teams in the VFAB poll all shed on Saturday (for the very first time in history).
To continue being on keep track of for a No. 1 seed, Arizona possibly can not afford to pay for to get rid of at USC on Tuesday and undergo an additional decline in the Pac-12 match.
Slipping to the No. 2 seed line could end result in the Wildcats getting put in the West region, the place they would be scheduled to confront No. 1 Gonzaga — coach Tommy Lloyd’s former group — in the Elite 8.
4. Oregon stays on the NCAA bubble.
A few groups are locks for March Madness (Arizona, USC and UCLA) although 8 seemingly have been removed from the at-big pool and need to get the Pac-12 event to claim the automatic berth.
The lone bubble workforce is Oregon, which assisted its trigger with a victory around UCLA but skipped a probability to additional its circumstance with the 1-place decline to USC.
We think the Ducks have a excellent probability to sneak in, but they have to defeat the Washington educational institutions this 7 days, get their quarterfinal sport in the Pac-12 event (at least) and acquire help in other places.
Upsets in meeting tournaments across the place would shrink the NCAA bubble and slim Oregon’s route.
5. Mike Hopkins’ occupation is safe.
The Washington coach entered the period in precarious place immediately after two ghastly seasons in Seattle. In our see, Hopkins did not have to have to get to the NCAA Tournament to help you save his career, but his plan wanted to demonstrate substantive development.
The victory Saturday about Washington Condition was a major phase in that direction, bettering UW’s meeting file to 9-8, with a few online games left: UCLA, Oregon and Oregon State — all at household.
In other words: As extensive as UW handles the lowly Beavers, it will secure a .500 period in Pac-12 enjoy. That need to be a lot more than sufficient for Hopkins to return for 12 months Six.
6. Jerod Haase’s job is not risk-free.
At precisely the erroneous time, Stanford has generated a single of the worst stretches of Haase’s six seasons in charge: Immediately after acquiring swept at residence by the Mountain universities, the Cardinal managed just 39 points Saturday — 39! — in a double-digit decline at Cal.
(The 1950s named. They’re unimpressed.)
With five losses in his previous 6 video games, a vacation to Arizona awaiting and no prospect of an NCAA at-significant berth, Haase has tiny to exhibit for a tenure described by mediocrity — and zero NCAA Match appearances.
7. Draw Arizona Condition at your peril.
No workforce possesses far more momentum than the Sun Devils, who have won five of their past 6 immediately after a street sweep of the Mountain schools.
Two days just before Arizona missing at Colorado, ASU ran the Buffaloes off the ground.
We see two major factors for the uptick in Tempe, and they’re connected: Far more efficient offense and a normal rhythm of competitiveness.
Due to the fact of COVID, the Sun Devils performed a person game in a 24-working day stretch about the finish of December and the to start with half of January. For a workforce that is closely reliant on transfers, the shutdown seriously impacted chemistry, self-confidence and rhythm.
ASU hosts the Bay Space universities this 7 days, producing the unique probability that it will conclusion the period with a .500 report in league engage in (10-10) — a exceptional turnaround for a workforce that was 3-9 at a person position.
8. USC’s confirmed grit.
The Trojans built an impressive document (25-4/14-4) on a tender non-convention program, a slew of slender wins in league perform and modest success exterior the Galen Middle.
It had been a few months considering that their a person and only street/neutral court victory over a group currently in position to arrive at the NCAA Match.
They conquer San Diego State in Anaheim at the conclude of November, and that was it till Saturday evening, when USC built a sequence of big plays on both of those ends of the courtroom to repel the Ducks.
9. The not-so-magic formula to WSU’s success.
Two online games in four days versus Washington — the duels showcased the exact rating (78-70) but various winners — illuminated the Cougars’ main obstacle.
In the victory Wednesday in Pullman, forwards Mouhamed Gueye and Efe Abogidi combined for 46 factors while guard Michael Bouquets, the best scorer for the year, managed just 12.
In the reduction in Seattle on Saturday, Flowers finished with 30 points but no just one else scored much more than 10.
To endure their opening-spherical sport in the meeting match — a great deal considerably less arrive at the semifinals or finals — the Cougars need stability to their assault.
10. Not-so-rocky road.
USC and Arizona State recorded road sweeps this weekend, bringing to 12 the range of times a team has swept its two-recreation meeting road swing.
That’s a history in the conference’s 12-college era, which began in 2011-12.
Interestingly, 4 groups have swept the Mountain trip (Oregon, ASU, USC and UCLA), which is normally a person of the most challenging mainly because of the altitude adjustment.
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