The NCAA tournament’s round of 64 begins today in earnest with a full slate of games on the dial.
Here’s a reminder that we’re hosting a March Madness live chat beginning at 9 o’clock this morning.
And we’re also tracking the six Pac-12 teams in the Big Dance. Which team is the last one standing in your bracket?
Here’s a quick look at each team and their paths to the Final Four.
No. 1 Arizona (30-4) vs. No. 16 Weber State (19-11), West region in San Diego on Friday.
Note: Good seed, good pairings and good location for the Wildcats who could advance to the Final Four without facing a team ranked in the top 10 AP poll.
No. 4 UCLA (26-8) vs. No. 13 Tulsa (21-12), South region in San Diego on Friday.
Note: It’s a short drive down I-5 to Viejas Arena for the Bruins, who are favored this week to win two games and advance to the Sweet 16. If UCLA makes it to a second weekend, it’ll likely face No. 1 Florida.
No. 7 Oregon (23-9) vs. No. 10 BYU (23-11), West region in Milwaukee on Thursday.
Note: Tough rematch for the Ducks who needed overtime to get past BYU 100-96 at home in December. This would appear to be a coin-flip game on a neutral court, but the Cougars are without second-leading scorer Kyle Collinsworth, who tore his ACL in the West Coast Conference championship game.
No. 8 Colorado (23-11) vs. No. 9 Pittsburgh (25-9), South region in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday.
Note: Let’s say the Buffaloes topple the Panthers in their NCAA tournament opener – and that’s a huge assumption – Colorado would likely have to face No. 1 overall seed Florida and what will surely be a partisan Gator crowd. Good luck with that.
No. 10 Arizona State (21-11) vs. No. 7 Texas (23-10), Midwest region in Milwaukee on Thursday.
Note: The Selection Committee didn’t do the Sun Devils any favors plopping them in the middle of the toughest region that includes No. 1 seed and unbeaten Wichita State, defending champion Louisville (No. 4 seed), perennial Final Four contender Duke (No. 3 seed) and No. 2 seed Michigan.
No. 10 Stanford (21-12) vs. No. 7 New Mexico (27-6), South region in St. Louis on Friday.
Note: The Cardinal have a puncher’s chance to make a run the next couple of weeks. Although it won’t be easy. If Stanford wins Friday, it’ll likely face No. 2 seed Kansas in what would feel like a home game for the Jayhawks.
THURSDAY MORNING LINKS:
— Former Kentridge High standout Shaquielle McKissic hopes to return to Arizona State next season after applying for a sixth-year eligibility waiver from the NCAA.
— Playing without center Richard Solomon forced California to go to a smaller lineup during its 77-64 NIT opening win over Utah Valley at Haas Pavilion. David Kravish had 14 points, 10 rebounds and matched his career high with five blocks, while Jordan Matthews added 13 points off the bench for Cal.
— Many believe former Oregon coach Ernie Kent is the favorite to land the job at Washington State.
— Oregon picked up a verbal commitment from top 25 guard JaQuan Lyle.
— More bad news for former Washington star Tony Wroten Jr.
TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:
No. 8 Colorado (23-11) vs. No. 9 Pittsburgh (25-9), 10:40 a.m. PT … TBS (Brian Anderson and Dan Bonner)
No. 7 Oregon (23-9) vs. No. 10 BYU (23-11), 1:10 p.m. PT ………… truTV (Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel)
No. 10 Arizona State (21-11) vs. No. 7 Texas (23-10), 6:40 p.m. …… CBS (Eagle and Spanarkel)