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March 4, 2012 at 4:45 PM

UW claims Pac-12 regular-season title

Washington is the outright winner of the Pac-12 regular-season championship.
It’s just the second outright conference title for the Huskies since 1953.
California had a chance to share the title with UW, but the Golden Bears were upset 75-70 at Stanford.
The Huskies watched the game at various venues and celebrated through cyberspace.

It remains to be seen if winning the outright title will impress the NCAA tournament selection committee. The regular-season champion from a BCS conference has never been excluded from the NCAA tournament since 1985 when it expanded to 64 teams. Last year, it expanded to 68 teams and added another round of play-in games.
However, no major conference has been as bad as the Pac-12. It posted an 0-11 record against top 25 ranked teams and was 1-31 in the non-conference season against the top 50 RPI teams.
After Washington’s 75-69 defeat at UCLA on Saturday, projected the Huskies would have a No. 56 RPI.
Things will get very interesting if the Huskies lose their first game in next week’s Pac-12 Tournament. Many national pundits believe whoever wins the tournament and gets the automatic NCAA tournament berth will be the only team in the league to make the Big Dance.
There’s a belief Cal has earned an at-large berth, however the Bears have lost their last two games. If they were to drop their conference tournament opener, they might be on the wrong side of the bubble.
Aside from UW and Cal, Oregon is the only other team that can make a justifiable case for an at-large berth.
Suffice to say, no one is safe. The only sure-fire way of making the NCAA tournament is to win next Saturday’s Pac-12 championship game.
Washington is the No. 1 seed and you can argue the Huskies might have had an easier path if they were the No. 2 seed.
Here’s a look at the Pac-12 Tournament bracket.
Game 1: No. 8 Washington State (15-15, 7-11) vs. No. 9 Oregon State (17-13, 7-11), noon
Game 2: No. 5 UCLA (18-13, 11-7) vs. No. 12 USC (6-25, 1-17), 2:30 p.m.
Game 3: No. 7 Stanford (19-10, 9-8) vs. No. 10 Arizona State (9-20, 5-12), 6 p.m.
Game 4: No. 6 Colorado (19-11, 11-7) vs. No. 11 Utah (6-24, 3-15), 8:30 p.m.
Game 5: No. 8/9 vs. No. 1 Washington (21-9, 14-4), noon
Game 6: No. 5/12 vs. No. 4 Arizona (22-9, 13-5), 2:30 p.m.
Game 7: No. 7/10 vs. No. 2 California (23-8, 13-5), 6 p.m.
Game 8: No. 6/11 vs. No. 3 Oregon (22-8, 13-5), 8:30 p.m.
Game 9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 8:30 p.m.
Game 11: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 3:15 p.m.
CBS will televise the final and every other game will be shown on FSN.

Comments | Topics: Scott Suggs, top 25, UCLA


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