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Husky Men's Basketball

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March 10, 2012 at 5:51 AM

Washington’s NCAA tourney hopes fading

Did Colorado’s 70-59 win over California in Friday’s Pac-12 semifinals knock Washington out of the NCAA tournament and punch the Huskies’ ticket to the NIT?
Probably.
Given its well-documented non-conference struggles, it’s difficult to imagine three Pac-12 teams receiving an invitation to the Big Dance. Obviously either Colorado or Arizona – Saturday’s Pac-12 Tournament finalists – will claim the automatic berth. If the league receives an at-large berth – and that’s a big assumption – it will most likely be awarded to Cal (24-9), which has the highest RPI (34) in the conference.
So the Huskies are left to wonder will the selection committee smile kindly on them or has their three-year NCAA tournament run come to an end?
As of 2 a.m. this morning, ESPN bracket guru Joe Lunardi still had UW in the 68-team field and placed the Huskies (21-10) in the last four in category. He also had bubble teams Arizona (23-10) and Colorado (22-11) on the last four out lists and it stands to reason that whoever wins today’s 3 p.m. game will replace Washington.
Jeff Borzello at CBSsports.com believes Cal will no longer make the tournament in lieu of its latest defeat. USA Today also has the Bears among its first four out.
Meanwhile, Andy Glockner at SI.com thinks Cal will still receive an at-large berth.
Few bracket experts are debating in favor of Washington’s NCAA tournament credentials anymore.
You can argue, the tournament expanded to 68 teams last year for a team like Washington, which won the regular-season championship but struggled big time against quality non-conference opponents. As fate would have it, Washington’s RPI is 68.
However, using CBSsports.com’s tool for comparing team’s RPI, the Huskies come up short when measured against bubble teams such as Drexel, BYU and Seton Hall.
Here’s a look at the cheat sheets the selection committee uses.
There’s a very good chance the Pac-12 will be a one-bid league as the critics predicted.
There’s also a strong possibility that a half dozen teams will play in the National Invitation Tournament. It’s a little old, but here’s a projected NIT bracket that includes five Pac-12 teams.
Washington could garner a top-seed and may host a home game if it played in the NIT. Other Pac-12 teams in contention for a NIT berth include: Arizona, Colorado, Cal, Oregon (22-9), Stanford (21-11), UCLA (19-14) and Oregon State (19-14).

Comments | Topics: UCLA

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