The regular season is complete, the Pac-12 tournament pairings are set, and two questions loom over the conference as Selection Sunday approaches:
Will UCLA earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs?
Will the Pac-12 send more than three teams into March Madness?
Everything hinges on the results in Las Vegas, with the tournament at T-Mobile Arena beginning Wednesday afternoon.
Here’s a look at each team’s seed and matchup, plus relevant nuggets.
Seed: No. 1
Matchup: vs. Colorado-Washington winner on Thursday
Nitty gritty: The Bruins beat Arizona soundly in the finale to become the first team since Stanford in 2003-04 to win the regular-season title by at least four games. They are the top seed in Las Vegas and could be a top seed in the NCAAs. The selection committee will monitor Jaylen Clark’s ankle injury and attempt to account for his status when it crafts the 68-team field.
Seed: No. 2
Matchup: vs. Utah-Stanford winner on Thursday
Nitty gritty: The Wildcats lost two of their final three games and do not look like a Final Four threat at the moment. That could change, of course, but the perimeter play simply hasn’t been good enough for a deep run in March. Worth noting: They lost to Utah and Stanford on the road, so the quarterfinal matchup could be more challenging than it initially appears.
Seed: No. 3
Matchup: vs. Arizona State-Oregon State winner on Thursday
Nitty gritty: The Trojans edged ASU in the finale Saturday and likely will see the Sun Devils again five days later. Their fate depends on guards Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis, who account for more than 50 percent of USC’s scoring (including their assists). If the duo shoots well, USC could be the last team standing — the Trojans split the season series with UCLA, after all — but it’s easy to envision them stumbling in the quarterfinals, too.
Seed: No. 4
Matchup: vs. Washington State-Cal winner on Thursday
Nitty gritty: No team is more difficult to forecast than the Ducks, who own both ghastly losses and impressive wins. We don’t read too much into their current three-game winning streak given the second-tier competition. Far more relevant is the three-point loss at WSU a few weeks ago. Assuming the teams meet again Thursday, it could be one of the most entertaining games of the quarterfinals.
Seed: No. 5
Matchup: vs. Cal on Wednesday
Nitty gritty: What a stretch run for the Cougars, who finished with six consecutive wins, rose to the No. 5 …read more
Source:: The Mercury News