In the big picture, Washington’s 91-82 loss to UCLA on Thursday had little impact on their postseason. The Huskies (16-14, 8-9) know they have no chance to claim an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament and their only avenue to the Big Dance is to win four games next week in the Pac-12 Tournament.
The past few weeks Washington has been to improve its seeding in the conference tourney. Conventional wisdom says the better your seed, the better chance you have to advance in the tournament. Right now, the Huskies are ninth in the standings and if the season ended today they would have the No. 9 seed.
Here’s a look at the Pac-12 standings.
FRIDAY MORNING LINKS:
— In a battle to avoid the Pac-12 cellar, USC received 31 points from Byron Wesley to defeat Washington State 79-68 at Beasley Coliseum. The win snapped a 10-gmae losing streak for the Trojans (11-19, 2-15).
— It feels as if Washington State has hit rock bottom and coach Ken Bone’s tenure is nearing an end. The Cougars (9-20, 2-15) would need a win Saturday and a USC loss at Washington to avoid a last-place finish.
— Last week Oregon was ninth in the Pac-12 standings. But the Ducks are one of four teams tied for fifth and they have a chance to claim the No. 4 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament and a first-round bye if they beat Arizona on Saturday at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon would need several factors to fall into place, but the point is the Ducks have put themselves in a favorable position due to their six-game winning streak.
— Mike Montgomery diagnosed California’s problems. The Golden Bears aren’t having any fun. Of course, it’s difficult to have fun when you’ve lost 4-8 in the past 12 games. Still, Montgomery told the Mercury News: We’ve got to find a way to have fun, make this where everything that happens doesn’t weigh so heavily on everybody.”
— Had a chance to talk to Hall of Famer Bill Walton and he gave me his picks for Pac-12 postseason awards.
— Starting to wonder if Utah’s Larry Krystkowiak deserves consideration for the Pac-12 coach of the year award after guiding the Utes to their first 20-win season since 2009.
— Nick Johnson winning the Pac-12 MVP award feels like a fait du accompli with one game remaining in the regular season.
— The Pac-12’s 2012 MVP Jorge Gutierrez signed a 10-day deal with the Brooklyn Nets.