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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

March 3, 2012 at 9:44 AM

What’s at stake this weekend in the Pac-12

Final, climactic weekend of Pac-12 hoops before the conference tournament, and we’ll break down what’s on the line.

Washington can win the regular-season title outright if it beats UCLA at mid-day in Los Angeles. Keep in mind that the regular-season winner doesn’t get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, but I think this is a potential clinching game for the Huskies vis a vis the NCAA. Win and you’re in. Lose, and you still won’t feel good on Selection Sunday unless you win that Pac-12 tournament opener.

Oregon, hosting Utah, can wrap up the No. 3 seed in the Pac-12 tournament.

Arizona and Colorado have some things to settle with regard to the No. 4 seed, which is the last one to draw a bye in the league tournament (and not have to face the prospect of playing four games in four days). Arizona can win the No. 4 seed with a victory at Arizona State Sunday.

But if Arizona loses and Colorado wins at Oregon State, Colorado wins any tiebreaker with both teams at 12-6 records, and claims the No. 4 seed (by virtue of better records than Arizona against both Washington singly, and Washington and Cal combined, if the UW loses to UCLA and ties in the standings with Cal).

Cal could move into a tie for the regular-season title if Washington loses and the Bears win Sunday at Stanford. That would also bump the Bears into the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 tournament because of their head-to-head victory against the Huskies.

Washington State appears headed for an 8-9 game in the Pac-12 tournament. The opponent figures to be Oregon State, which the Cougars have beaten twice, But Arizona State could creep into that picture with a victory over Arizona and an OSU loss to Colorado.

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