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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 23, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Pac-10 survives, prospers

Outside of Trent Johnson, the biggest sigh of relief heard yesterday likely came from Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen.
Thanks to Johnson’s Stanford players bailing him out after he was kicked out of the game early on — as well as a becoming-routine comeback by UCLA — Hansen avoided seeing the top two teams in the conference go down in flames before the first weekend was through.
Now, with the survival of Stanford and UCLA, combined with the dominant performance of Washington State, the Pac-10 will have three teams in the Sweet 16.
That’s an effort solid enough to help the conference live up to its regular-season hype while continuing a run of post-season success unmatched in its history.
It’s the second straight year the Pac-10 has had three teams reach the Sweet 16 (Oregon, UCLA and USC did it last year) and the sixth time since 1997 — the only six times it has happened in the conference’s history.
The Pac-10 had four teams reach the Sweet 16 in 1997, 1998 and 2001, and three in 2002, 2007 and now this year.
Prior to 1997, the Pac-10 had as many as two teams reach the Sweet 16 just once, 1995, when UCLA won it all and Arizona State got to the Sweet 16.
The tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, meaning that in the first 10 years of the expanded tourney the Pac-10 never got more than one team as far as the Sweet 16, and in the first 12 never got more than two.
Now, in the last 12 years, the Pac-10 has six times had three or more make it that far and two on another occasion (2005, Arizona and Washington).
Further speaking to the depth of the conference, every Pac-10 team except Oregon State has now made the Sweet 16 at least once 1995, and six different teams — UCLA, USC, Oregon, Stanford, Washington and Washington State — have made it in just the last three years and seven (adding Arizona) in the last four.

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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