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March 12, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Checking in on the Pac-10 tournament

ReadingImage.jpgPac-10 tournament fun already started with the men’s play-in games on Wednesday. The women tip-off today with No. 10 Washington and No. 8 Washington State playing games this evening.
The Cougars were able to make it out of snowy Pullman to play No. 9 Arizona. But as the Los Angeles Times points out, only three teams are a lock to advance to the NCAA tournament regardless of play at the Galen Center. Everyone not bearing Stanford, California, or Arizona State across their chest is going to have to win or hope for next season.
As for top-seeded Stanford, which is ranked No. 2 in the country, coach Tara VanDerveer could get her 600th victory as a Cardinal on Saturday. The San Francisco Chronicle article also offers some interesting tidbits about the Sun Devils and an interesting column about Courtney Paris offering to repay her scholarship if Oklahoma doesn’t win the NCAA championship. (It’s a $64,000 bet and even as the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft, she won’t crack $50,000. Of course there’s still Russia.)
The Arizona Republic honored Spokane’s Briann January for winning a second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award while the Oregonian writes about Oregon State being on the NCAA bubble. Yet, without a Pac-10 tournament championship, it’s doubtful the Beavers advance due to their non-conference schedule and lack of big wins.
We featured the four black coaches who are in the fight to change the culture of the conference. Maybe in the future, the Pac-10 will have six teams regularly advance to the NCAA tournament, instead of the same three.

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