Blog Entry

Pac-12 quarterfinals preview

Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:25 pm
After a dismal day to start the Pac-12 tournament (it was sparsely attended and featured bad, bad basketball), can we see a better Day Two now that most of the top seeds advanced? The Staples Center is officially played out as a realistic destination for this league's tournament. It's unfortunate, but a proper reflection of the league's basketball this year that the conference tournament has reached the point where it could be played at any of these teams' tinier home gyms and still not necessarily fill to capacity.

Let's look at the matchups for Thursday.

Washington (1) vs. Oregon State (9)
. You never fully trust Washington, but I want to trust Washington to win this game Thursday afternoon. The Huskies have a lot more talent that Oregon State and swept the Beavers this season. Jared Cunningham is OSU's counter to UW's athleticism, as he's the best athlete on the floor, but the Huskies have a lot more size and collective offense than the Beavers. Expect the game to be close throughout, until about five minutes remain, when I think Washington pulls away.

Arizona (4) vs. UCLA (5). Arizona's got some drama now, since Josiah Turner was suspended for the rset of the season Wednesday.'s Jeff Goodman tweeted that Turner is not only out for the year, U of A fans shouldn't be surprised if the talented but troubled freshman point guard opts to transfer once the season is done. If that happens, it will be the second straight season Sean Miller has had a point guard leave; MoMo Jones transferred to Iona in 2011.

As for the game, it's the best one the Pac-12 has to offer. Both teams can beat Washington and get to the league championship game. UCLA is playing well ever since the Sports Illustrated article came out and undressed the program. It's the reverse jinx! The thing to watch here: UCLA likes going to the 3, but Arizona's one of the best 3-point defensive teams in the country.

California (2) vs. Stanford (7). Calling the upset now. Stanford's not a great team but it just beat Cal last week. The Cardinal match up well to the Golden Bears, who will officially be quaking if they cannot win one Pac-12 tournament game. The sense of urgency is just as high for Cal as it is Stanford, because the top seven seeds in this bracket feel like they're realistically capable of winning the whole thing.

Oregon (3) vs. Colorado (6). It's been a great year for Colorado, and Tad Boyle's gotten a lot of love for the job he's done with a thin roster. But what about Dana Altman? Getting Oregon to a three seed after the season started with talented recruit Jabari Brown promptly transferring about 15 minutes in is an accomplishment that I haven't seen receive enough love. Oregon's 22-8 and has a reliable offense. It should beat Colorado Thursday (the teams split the series, but Colorado's win came by one), but then again, this is the Pac-12. Kyle Singler, the former Duke star, his younger brother E.J. plays for the Ducks and is getting better by the hour.

-- Matt Norlander
Category: NCAAB

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: March 9, 2012 6:29 am

Pac-12 quarterfinals preview

Regardless of what happens tonight in the matchup with Cal and Colorado, you have to admire the Buffs and their coach for getting this far this year.
  Now if they can eke out a win tonight, they have a great chance to make the Big Dance.  Wouldn't that be fantastic, Buff fans?  If not, I hope they go far in the NIT. 

Since: Jan 23, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 2:03 am

Pac-12 quarterfinals preview

I guess you don't know that the conferences are also given RPI rankings, based largely on the won-loss percentages of comference teams against non-conference teams;

The 1st place Big Ten won over 80% of their games against non-conference foes, the 10th place Pac-10 won less than 60%, putting them right behind Conference USA and just ahead of the West Coast conference.

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2012 1:50 am

Pac-12 quarterfinals preview

Nice job on your picks Matt.

Since: Jan 27, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:19 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:41 pm

Pac-12 quarterfinals preview

Who gives a crap about this conference?

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:51 pm

Pac-12 quarterfinals preview

Someone will come along with lots of numbers about how bad the Pac 10 is this year, but who cares.  I bleive that 6 and maybe 7 of these teams are as good as anyone that will be an at large selection.     [Have your fun telling me how ridiculous that is]!!!     I would throw out to qhomever that is, that every single at large berth should at a minimum have won over, thats OVER, 50% of their IN CONFERENCE games to even be eleigible for an At Large Berth. 

But this second round or wahtever we are calling it, has really compelling matchups.  If I had the time, I'd be down at Staples watching.  I think very exciting.    Add to it that several fo those 6-7 teams will be absolutely seized with the possibility of winning the conf tourney to make the NCAA.  It should be a good day.  

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