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January 22, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Morning links: Warren Buffet’s billion-dollar challenge

There’s a billion reasons why you should start paying attention to college basketball.

Warren Buffett and Dan Gilbert, two of the richest men in America, will give $1 billion this year to anyone who picks a perfect NCAA tournament bracket. Now granted, the odds are extremely long. Like 1 in 9.2 quintillion long. Still, it’s worth a shot.

The tycoons promise to award the riches to the winner of the flawless forecast in installments of $25 million over 40 years. Or the person could opt for a one-time lump sum of $500 million.

WEDNESDAY MORNING LINKS:

— Four Pac-12 players are included on the John R. Wooden award midseason list that recognizes the top 25 players in the country. The players in the Pac-12 include: UCLA’s Kyle Anderson, Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, Arizona’s Nick Johnson and Oregon’s Joseph Young. Players not on the list, however, are still eligible for the award.

— Gordon and Johnson are stars at Arizona, but T.J. McConnell is perhaps one of the team’s most important players.

— Colorado played an amazing non-conference schedule, but the Buffaloes still have a lot to prove if it’s going to get one of the coveted NCAA tournament at-large berths.

— Not sure how this going to go over in Corvallis, Ore., but Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said he’d consider taking the Princeton athletic director position. His contract expires in 2017, but he’s been rumored to being on the hot seat after failing to deliver a NCAA tournament appearance in his previous five seasons.

— Washington State’s leading scorer DaVonte Lacy (ribs) will miss another 2-4 weeks. Meanwhile, the Cougars are looking to put together a complete 40-minute game tonight against Oregon State.

— It’s a been a season of stops and starts and a whole lot of inconsistency for the Beavers, who are looking for its first Pac-12 road win.

— Tahoma High product Christian Behrens is starting to produce at California as a reserve forward.

— Cal plays at USC tonight then the Bears will return home immediately after the game so players can attend classes Thursday and Friday. They also have Thursday off. Cal then returns to Los Angeles on Saturday for Sunday’s game at UCLA.

— USC new coach Andy Enfield is still looking for his first win in the Pac-12.

— Plenty of information in Doug Haller’s weekly look at the Pac-12, including a power ranking.

 TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:

Oregon State (10-7, 2-3) at Washington State (8-10, 1-5), 7 p.m. PT ….. Pac-12 Networks
California (14-4, 5-0) at USC (9-9, 0-5), 8 p.m. ……………………………….. ESPNU

Picks: OSU and Cal
Pac-12 tally: 21-11
Season tally: 118-33

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