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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 14, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Friday morning thoughts

Back from the Pac-10 Tournament, which so far hasn’t done anything to help anybody other than improve seeding for the four conference teams already solidily in the NCAA Tournament.
Helping the conference get more NCAA bids was one of the stated goals when the Pac-10 revived the tournament in 2002. But so far, I don’t think any team has ever gotten an NCAA bid due to anything it has done in the tournament — there has been no low seed winning it all to get in, for instance.
Given the balance of the conference this year, it was thought that this might be the tournament where that changed. Maybe Arizona would surge from its No. 7 slot to win the whole thing and assure that it gets invited.
Instead, the six games so far have been won by the six favorites (though a lower seed, Cal was favored against UW by two and beat the spread by a precious point).
That leaves the Pac-10’s three bubble teams — Oregon. Arizona and Arizona State — sweating it out as Selection Sunday comes.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, however, has all three getting bids in his latest Bracketology projection this morning though he lists ASU and Oregon as two of his last three in, meaning they shouldn’t make plane reservations just yet.
If any get sidelined, they will have some legitimate reasons for arguing. Arizona has the highest RPI of the bunch at 39, but both Oregon and ASU swept the Wildcats, and the Ducks went 3-1 against the other two.
But each also had a chance to make a real statement at the Pac-10 Tournament and none did (acknowledging that ASU got fairly hosed by that call on Jeff Pendergraph at the end of the game).
Since tournament money is shared by all 10 schools in the conference, it helps everyone to have as many teams invited as possible. So much as some of you may not want to see, say, Oregon get in, the bean counters on Montlake won’t mind (it’s a complicated formula that makes it impossible to say exactly how much each school will get, but it’s significant).
— As for the Huskies, they are back home waiting for a bid from one of the other tournaments, most likely the CBI. As I wrote today, the CBI is demanding a $60,000 guarantee from schools that host games. UW officials say they are willing to meet that requirement, which probably means they are going to get in and host a game. The NIT-ology web site today has the Huskies as the No. 1 seed in the West Region of the CBI, a change from yesterday when it didn’t list UW at all (maybe just an oversight). The projection has UW hosting Cal State-Fullerton which would be a somewhat intriguing game. The Titans are a run-and-gun team led by former WSU Cougar Josh Akognon, who in his last appearance in Hec Ed hit a game-winning shot that started WSU on its seven-game win streak over the Huskies. The Titans, however, are still alive in the Big West Tournament and hoping for greater things.
— I talked to Scott Woodward down here and he said again that he is “leaning toward” applying to become UW’s full-time AD. Things are starting to move on that as President Mark Emmert has formed a search committee to compile a short list of candidates. Target date for a new hire is May-June.
I’ll make some picks a little later.



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