Tag Archives: Bracketology

Seven Pac-12 Teams in the NCAA Tournament: Their situations

Your favorite Pac-12 school is seeded right about where it should be. The Conference of Champions got what it deserved which was thorough representation in the NCAA tournament, decent regionalization, and Sir Charles for his annual homerism. Consider that seven bids is historic for this conference and there really isn’t much to be bugged about here. That’s an accomplishment. Consider further that the torchbearer is neither Arizona nor (definitively) UCLA and it’s a considerable accomplishment. Helluva 2016, Pac. But it’s not over yet (I unfortunately don’t think we’re very far from the end, however) and we’ve got a bracket to digest. Let’s walk through the Pac’s seeding and tourney prospects:

*this post originally posted on Rush The Court

#1 Oregon, West Region:

Continue reading

Podcast of Champions. Is this Pac-12 Overrated?

Sure it’s a loaded question and yes it will ultimately be judged by the number of bids and then the subsequent tournament success of those bids. That’s well and good. Tried and true. But right now – in mid-February – what direction does the Pac-12 seem to be heading? One metric says this, another that, and Spencer and I were curious if the Pac’s overrated (as some writers have suggested).

Give it a listen (and a subscription):

Week 12 Pac-12 Hoops Preview: Almost All of the Seeding Scenarios

I had considered deviating from our traditional weekly preview format in favor of an IF/THEN layout of Pac-12 tournament seedings. (Are you going? I’m going.) Here’s how far I got in that excerise: Continue reading

Week 8 Pac-12 Hoops Preview: The Jet in Tucson. Harden in Tempe.

Finally everyone’s favorite socks will have their jersey hang in the rafters of the McKale Center. It’s been a long time coming for Jason Terry’s #31 but it’s well deserved. And because we adore a game that celebrates its moments, I thought it fitting to share one of my favorite Jason Terry moments (Stanford game-winner was hard not to link aside from its lack of a web presence).

First, let’s note that The Jet won a national title and was named the national Player of the Year. He was the Pac-10’s 1999 Player of the Year, made the bench cool, wore the socks and played basketball with the enthusiasm of 1000 Sean Miller practice plans.

Pure Terry: Continue reading

THREE FOR BART: Zach, Travis, Mullings

  1. USC v UCLA – A Smack Talk Suggestion – Zach calls himself “hell with a pen” and he doesn’t let us down here. Unless of course you’re a UCLA fan in which you’re not only let down but you’re pissed off. Which is probably exactly what he wants. And now he’s telling you he’s not going to respond which, in turn, will only further upset you. Hell with a pen, indeed.
  2. Sorry, Travis, but I’m boycotting UberInteresting Op/Ed here on boycotting the insanely convenient car service. This whole case (shockingly being called #ubergate – which is interesting in its own right as we can evolve to using hashtags for everything but can’t move past a 70s political scandal for naming even the most nominal of upsets) raises some very interesting topics. How much will we tolerate for convenience? Or in other instances fandom? In the case of Uber, there’s reported misogynism and now the threat of manipulating the press as well as their competition. The author is choosing to let Uber know of his discontent by hitting them in the pocket book. The same could perhaps be done to the NFL where their morale compass has seemingly been sitting on a magnet. There’s a reason things like Uber and the NFL are wildly popular. In some regard they hold power over us. But at the same time, the masses provided that power. If you disapprove, you can do something about it.
  3. NCAA mulling copying college football mid-season seed TV show idea – I’m with Norlander here and I’m not a big fan of starting a weekly show in January in which the committee  reveals some version of the brackets. But I also don’t fully get the swift outrage to the idea. Yesterday we talked about exhausting narratives, derived discussions of what we think should be. In some regard, firing up a weekly bracket would allow us to talk about some pretty tangible stuff. These are the 64 best right now. But ultimately it would just be a glorified Bracketology. My biggest gripe with the football rankings is that it’s an attention suck in the middle of the week and forces networks to promote some really tardy rankings on the teasers for the coming Saturday for three days (Sun-Tues). I don’t like the idea, but I wouldn’t be outraged if it happened.

Week 10 Pac-12 Hoops Preview

Larry and the Pac-12 powers thought they could sneak one past us with a Tuesday night tip between ASU and Oregon. But we’re too clever for that. Of course we’d rather watch this than any of the six, top-25 match ups tonight; catch up on GIRLS, True Detective, or House of Cards; or go on a Tinder date. March is for college basketball so give us college basketball. But here’s a little soapbox on hypocrisy while I get a little hypocritical. This game we love is buried deep in corporate greed and capitalism. That’s why ASU will play in Eugene on Tuesday despite the NCAA’s proclaimed protection and empowerment of the “student-athlete.” The Sun Devils will be in Oregon from Tuesday to Saturday – at the shortest – missing essentially the entire week of classes leading up to…spring break…which naturally will be spent in Las Vegas. The Devil’s are going to miss an entire week of classes for our entertainment and while I’m appreciative of that and excited for all this March hoop, I also recognize the hypocrisy of the system. But it is the final week of the season so…

GotW: Any game that might have tournament or Vegas seeding implications. Which is to say any game that involves a team that, as of publish, has 7 or 8 losses. Which is to say that eight of the twelve games this weekend have NCAA tournament implications. It is March after all. Furthermore, a top-4 finish is a coveted spot with Vegas right around the corner. That earns you a first round bye, one fewer game to potentially lose to the likes of USC (Cal) or Washington State (Washington and Utah). Cal is hosting for their tournament lives this weekend and Stanford could be, too. Oregon has rattled off an impressive five game win streak and has themselves primed for an invitation after being left for dead just 3 weeks ago. Colorado? With that question asked, the feeling that I must pick one GAME of the Week, and a March flair for the dramatic, we could see Saturdays’ penultimate Pac-12 regular season game (UCLA @ WSU closes this thing out) featuring Colorado in Berkeley as the GotW. Pending the mid-week results, this could be a battle royal for a spot in the dance.

Game to Avoid: If we’ve technically got eight games of the week then is it really that tall of an order to suggest we ignore the only other four games? Of course it is! This is March basketball. Almost nothing is worth ignoring except for Thursday’s game between USC and Washington State. What do you want me to say here? These are the last two teams in the conference and have combined for three conference wins. Watching this game could be more difficult than getting a deal done with the Chinese (#TeamUnderwood).

Something to Prove: Two games, with arguably a jaunt in Las Vegas, for the Oregon Ducks to prove to the committee that they deserve an invite. Which is a really interesting position considering all of the work they’ve done to prove otherwise. Alas, they swept Los Angeles and are riding the aforementioned momentum of 5 straight wins. According to Bracket Matrix, they’re back in the mix. Of the 68 brackets aggregated, 66 include the Ducks. And of course with great power comes great responsibility. The power in this equation is the guests. Arizona and ASU pose the toughest travel tandem, the perfect opportunity to solidify a resume. The responsibility, however, lies in the ownership of their own destiny. They earned that right by running through their non-conference slate  and rattling off their last five. They are responsible for their own tournament invitation. A challenge to force the committee to keep them out. Also, Mike Moser is en fuego. He’s averaging 17.6 ppg and 10.2 rpg during this five game win streak.

Something to Lose: After discussing Oregon’s place amongst things, let’s now take a look at Cal. According to the aforementioned Bracket Matrix they are in 63 of the 68 brackets which is still good but far from a guarantee. But it suggests they’re dancing, right? Which further suggests they’ve got something lose. And lose they have. Let’s look at Cal’s win percentage over the conference season vs. the Ducks:

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Someone’s trending up and someone’s trending down. The Ski schools will be in the Bay (I’m going to try and make it over to Boulder on Saturday) and pose a significant threat to whatever chance the Bears have in maintaining their spot at the ball. Because how ‘hot’ a team is plays into the judgement of the committee and Cal certainly ain’t hot.

The YouTouber: “You blew a wide open layup.” Gold.

Week 9 Pac-12 Hoops Preview

This week I’ll be taking in zero live Pac-12 action. As in not attending any games. I’m not all too happy about it but I’ll get mine. Attending games – particularly as March is so close we’ll experience it this weekend – is as exciting as it gets. And March is perfect. Therefore, if you’re in Salt Lake, Westwood, Tucson, or Tempe, I implore you to get to the nearest Pac-12 arena, yell for your team, and buy an enemy a drink. You’ll be a better person for it and someone on the east coast will be jealous as you exit to sunshine and Spring. And while that reads pretty happy-go-lucky, the reason you need to get to these arenas is because the play will be anything but. These guys are fighting and clawing for the sport’s most coveted invitation. YOU GUYS IT WILL TURN MARCH THIS WEEKEND. THIS IS WHY WE WATCH AND THIS IS WHY WE CHEER AND THIS IS WHY WE BLOG. MORE IMPORTANTLY IT’S WHY THEY PLAY SO LET US SIT BACK, IGNORE THE NICE WEATHER, AND ENJOY.


GotW: Without hesitation, and with all eyes on Thursday and Westwood, it’s Oregon‘s visit to UCLA. We breifly discussed the Ducks and their stance amongst it all in the review but now it’s time to preview. A season ago the Ducks won both matchups between the two (in LA and in LV). Of course last year the Ducks were one of the best defenses in the country and, as it were, defense travels. Flash forward to this season and we saw a Wear family member shovel in the game winner just ahead of the buzzer in Eugene. With all of that said and under the pretense that I was previewing, let’s move to Thursday. The Ducks are winners of three straight and just might be sneaking back onto the bubble (if they’re not already there). The showed some propensity to defend against WSU but honestly that doesn’t count. This spade is indeed a spade and tomorrow night the Ducks are going to need to rely on their offense to knock off the Bruins. These are the conference’s top two offenses so if you like points – and you’re a Pac-12 fan so of course you do – this is your kinda game.

Game to Avoid: I’m quick to say that you should avoid Oregon State at USC because it airs at the exact same time as our GotW. But if you’re watching UO-UCLA then you might as well simulcast the Pac-12 hoops. It’s ESPN2 and FS1, respectively, so it won’t be too tall an order for the barkeep. Glancing through the schedule you’ll notice that there are some spicy contests on every single night of the Pac-12 slate (Wednesday: Stan-ASU, Thursday: GotW, Saturday: CU-Utah, Sunday: Stan-AZ). You’ll notice, however, that I missed Friday’s Apple Cup battle in Seattle. You have better things to do on Friday than watch KenPom’s 95th and 199th best teams duke it out for pride.

Something to Prove: My reaction is to call out the Oregon Ducks here. They’ve been trying to prove themselves since quacking all over themselves the first half of conference play but winning in Pauley is not an expectation. It’d be a really nice thing for them but the realist in me says a 1-1 weekend for the Ducks is a success. The burden of proof, this weekend, falls on the Bay Schools. They seem to be flip flopping as to who the hotter team is and while I recognize the magnitude of their road task this weekend (in the hateful State), the team that can fly home with a 1-1 mark is a big winner. Right, Mikey? Conversely, the Arizona State Sun Devils have got a little something to prove. They got swept on their Ski Trip on the heels of their big win over Arizona. The friendly confines can be a season saving spot but Stanford and Cal are no joke and a pair of hiccups is not out of the realm of possibilities. Spencer and I discussed all four games in Arizona this weekend on WANE (posting soon) because it’s the center of the Pac-12 universe.

Something to Lose: This late in the season it’s hard to say that anyone really has anything to lose. Everyone is vying to look pretty for the selection committee and wants to prove themselves worthy of an invite or a better seed. Thus, the teams with the most to lose would be the teams that have already proven something. Arizona‘s sweep of the Ski Schools last weekend was only the second such occurrence of a Ski Sweep in three seasons of ski schools in the Pac. It subsequently also earned them Lunardi’s number one overall seed in the latest bracketology. I mean, such a distinction suggests that the Wildcats literally have nothing further to prove, only things to lose. They’re hosting the Bay Schools (Cal tonight, Stanford on Sunday) with revenge on the mind. It was Cal, after all, that handed Arizona their first loss and Stanford that gave them all they could handle.

The YouTuber: Episode one has aired – it’s a Sunday night show so it’s up against GIRLS and LOOKING and True Detective –  but rumor has it that yours truly makes an appearance in that first episode. And so believe you me, I will have that clip on here. For now, the teaser is strong:

The Pac-12 is (Generously) a Three Bid League

Last week Joe Lunardi released his first edition of Bracketology.

As much heat as we like to pile on to guys like Lunardi who make NCAA projections and put themselves in the less than favorable position of getting nothing but hate from fan bases, Lunardi is pretty good at his job. He picks the field accurately and bases it on all the same NCAA selection committee criteria.

Examining his initial bracket, you’ll notice three Pac-12 teams: sixth seeded Stanford, eighth seeded Cal, and eleventh seeded Arizona. Only Cal was projected to actually play in the West region, Stanford was listed as “new to the bracket,” and Arizona’s stock was dropping.

With the important games of the OOC schedule over, this version of Bracketology is indicative of the Pac-12’s cap. The reality is that the Pac is a three team conference and is just a Stan/Cal/AZ home or bad road loss from being a two bid league.

None of the projected NCAA teams have done themselves any particular help since the season started: Cal was blown out on ESPN, Stanford hasn’t beaten anyone of particular relevance, and Arizona has had suspensions and dismissals galore. The rest of the conference hasn’t helped the overall RPI and eye test either: Utah is historically bad, ASU is brawling with mid-majors, UCLA is imploding, USC doesn’t score.

Oregon State is making an appeal to contend with Jared Cunningham flying high, a win over 9-2 Texas, and playing consistently good basketball. Alas, it’s still Oregon State who hasn’t had a winning season since 2005, lost to Idaho at home by 14, and I couldn’t even find stats going far enough back to discover their last winning conference season.

Needless to say, beyond a few teams, there hasn’t been a rich history or recent success out here.

[Deep inhale, deliberate exhale] It isn’t getting any better the rest of this year.

Back to the three projected dancers, Lunardi’s poor seeds for Pac-12 teams is about right and likely not going to change. Take last year’s Arizona team for example. They were 14-4 in a less-than-stellar Pac-10 with no marquee wins and a blowout loss to BYU (granted it was a pretty good BYU team but a spanking nonetheless). Those ‘Cats entered Selection Sunday with a 27-7 record and garnered just a five seed.

My point? The 2011-12 Pac-12 fate has been sealed.

Three teams is a gift and if you’re looking for silver lining the best you’ll find is that those three teams control their destiny into the tournament. Their remaining schedule is favorable for any team looking to make it into the dance and they each earn a little extra on their leash by playing in a major/BCS conference.

Beyond that it’s indeed a very short leash for the (generous) five teams vying for (generous) three tickets to dance.