Blog Entry

Pac-12 a one-bid league? It's possible

Posted on: March 4, 2012 8:49 pm
With Cal, Arizona and Washington all losing this weekend, the Pac-12 is in at-large trouble. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

The mediocrity of the Pac-12 has been a running joke in the college basketball world this season, but this weekend took it to a new level.

Washington lost to UCLA, but still won the outright regular-season championship after California lost to Stanford on Sunday evening. Arizona, which had seen its at-large hopes get better and better recently, lost to Arizona State. The only team that helped its Selection Sunday chances was Oregon, which put a whooping on Utah.

The chances that the Pac-12 was only going to get one bid to the NCAA tournament seemed pretty low prior to the weekend, but now it’s not a far-fetched idea. To be honest, no one should feel remotely comfortable about its at-large chances heading into the conference tournament.

Let’s look at the resumes, in the correct pecking order.

California: The Golden Bears clearly have the best at-large resume of the quartet, and also went 3-0 against Oregon and Washington. The computer profile is pretty solid, and they are 6-5 against the top 100. On the other side, they have three sub-100 losses and didn’t finish with a share of the league title. The non-conference profile is also mediocre, as the best win outside of the Pac-12 was over Weber State. They probably felt safe for much of the season, but there’s still work to be done.

Washington: The Huskies don’t have a great profile, but they nonetheless won the outright regular-season championship, which will be a great bargaining chip on Selection Sunday. They are only 1-6 against the top 50 and 3-8 against the top 100. The only bad loss was Saturday’s defeat at the hands of UCLA. Overall, the Huskies did not beat a single NCAA tournament team, as the best non-league wins are over UC-Santa Barbara and Georgia State. Those are their only two non-conference wins over teams ranked in the top 200 of the RPI.

Oregon: The Ducks have slowly but surely played themselves into at-large contention over the past month, winning 11 of their last 14 games. Moreover, they thumped Washington by 25 points in early February. The RPI has moved into the top 50, as well. Now, for the bad. 19 of their 22 wins are over teams ranked outside the top 100, and they are 0-5 vs. the top 50. There’s one sub-100 loss, a home defeat to Oregon State. The non-conference profile is barren, with the best wins coming over Nebraska and UTEP. The thing that complicates their profile is Devoe Joseph, who missed the first six games of the season.

Arizona: The Wildcats are essentially finished when it comes to an at-large bid, after their terrible loss at Arizona State. It dropped them to fourth in the Pac-12, and is a sub-250 loss. The computer profile is mediocre, and 17 of their 21 wins came from outside the top 100. There is a road win at California on the ledger, but that won’t carry them to a bid. Arizona now needs to win the Pac-12 tournament if it wants a bid.

Can the Pac-12 really only get one bid? If California wins the tournament, it’s possible.


Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 3:14 pm

Pac-12 a one-bid league? It's possible

Well the pac-12 went 1-31 vs the top 50 RPI out of conference......What do you expect?

The only reason they're getting consideration for more than one bid is because.... they're the pac-12 and a major conference with historic programs like Arizona and Washington.  Even before the horrible losses to Arizona St and UCLA, these 2 teams (Arizona and Washington) were considered locks for the tourny even know their resume's are god awful.

I fully expect the media and the commitee to bail these pac-12 teams out.   Which is just sad at this point.




Since: Jul 25, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 2:56 pm

Pac-12 a one-bid league? It's possible

Do quality losses count?  Washington lost clsoe games to both Marquette and Duke in MSG.  These were essentially road games for Washington.  Don't know if the committee takes this into account?

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 2:49 pm

Pac-12 a one-bid league? It's possible

Hey MikeSyr18, Why don't you look stuff up before spouting your ignorance. The Pac 10/12 consistently gets fewer bids and lesser seedings then other "major" conferences but has as good or better winning percentages. Last year for example Pac10 .555 win percentage, 3-0 as favorite, 2-3 as underdog. Big 10 .500 win percentage, Big 12 .500 win percentage and the lofty Big East .565 win percentage with 16 games as favorites.  Theses numbers are not unique, the Pac-12 more than holds its own come tourny time.<var id="yiv1637312233yui-ie-cursor"></var>

Since: Feb 19, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 2:37 pm

Pac-12 a one-bid league? It's possible

Being a U'DUB fan makes it tough for me to express my opinion as it will look bias, but here goes anyway. I think(depending) on the PAC-12 tourney results there should be a chance to get 3 PAC teams in the big dance. Oregon is playing the best right now and have found out alot about themselves, plus Washington is playing some good ball in spurts and have had a much better second half then first half but that is who they are. Struggle in the beginning then go on a run to make the tourney late(but always seem to give teams trouble in NCAA tourney). CAL has been the most consistant through the season untile the past couple weeks to let WASH win the pac-12 title. But I look at these teams and they definitely are matchup nightmares against some teams in the tournament. If these 3 teams were in the tournament as 9-12 seeds I think you would see 3 first round upsets as they would all move past the first round. I really think with alot of these teams it didnt go there way with some of the circumstances they were dealt with. You had Oregon going through 2-3 players leaving the team, and Washington playing with 6-7 freshman this year after losing 3 starters and there 6th man.  If these were games that were played toward the end of the season instead of before conference play you might see some of these horrible losses change into some big wins. I guess we have to see how the conference tourney plays out and see what the experts pick.

Since: Mar 23, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:38 pm

Pac-12 a one-bid league? It's possible

For those who claim that the PAC 12 "deserves" more than one bid:  on what basis?  Borzello notes the lack of quality wins and the abundance of unimpressve wins that the top PAC 12 teams have.  You might want more PAC 12 teams in the tournament and fewer Big East or Big Ten teams in the tournament, but that doesn't equate to the PAC 12 deserving anything. 

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:21 pm

Pac-12 a one-bid league? It's possible

I would doubt only one no matter what. Sagarin has 6 Pac 12 teams in teh top 65 of his ratings. The weakness is that they didn't play high speed opponents this year and they didn't beat any ranked opponents, which makes their sheets look pretty weak.  But strength of schedule numbers are good for the Pac 12 teams.  And at least three of the teams are playing really good ball as we clowse in on teh Conference Tourney (Az, Oregon and UCLA).  They will likely have 6 teams with 20 win seasons on the books.   That should change the dynamics a bit as well.    The fundemental logic of the article is that a team that is 7 - 11 in the Big 10 /  BE / ACC rates a bid over any of the top 5 in the Pac 12?   I don't think this logic hunts at all.  Lets put it this way, if you get to teh point of putting the 5th team in from any of those other ocnferences that have about teh same record, you're better off with 3 Pac 12 teams in than 6 from any of those conferences.  Lets not forget the suppsoed Big East failures of putting 8 and 9 teams in and only 1 makes it to the next weekend.  But, the Pac 12 has not done itself any favors with weak non conference opponents and then not even performing against them.    Anyone that saw the UCAL Wash game on Sat saw a fast paced well played game that would have been good against any opponent by either team. 

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:19 pm

Pac-12 a one-bid league? It's possible

Spidey Boy:  Colorado is exactly where they left off in the Big 12:  Average. Last year Colorado barely missed March Madness, and went all the way to the NIT semifinals against Alabama.  They were 8-8 in the Big 12, and they are 11-7 IC this year.  I'd hardly say they are a ton better.  Sure they lost a lot of talent, but they have been incredibly inconsistant this year.  Their RPI is much worse this year than it was last year.  So ask Colorado if they are happy they moved over in b-ball.  Or Utah.

What is annoying to me, is when UCLA and Arizona are down (and they aren't down that much) in basketball it's like nobody is good anymore.  Newsflash, the Pac-12 has gone through Washington for the last few years, and they're there again.  Every year the pundits say the Pac is down, and then they win entirely more games in the tourny than anyone thought they would, even with horrible seedings.  UCLA had a nice run as a one seed for a few years (as any team that gets a #1 should)...but I'd argue that Arizona last year, and Washington two years ago were both better teams with worse seeds. (Not more talented, but better all around teams).  

The Pac still hasn't recovered from the gutting of NBA talent during the one and done era.  UCLA, USC, Washington, Arizona, all have been victims of that change...and the Pac isn't willing to recruit these type players anymore, as it goes against the conference agenda.  So even though schools like Duke are willing to trade ideals for wins, the Pac isn't.  Has it watered us down some? Sure.  But eventually experience can beat out talent, and the Pac is changing.

That being said, clearly Oregon is playing the best ball of any of the Pac schools right now; and I personally think UW, Oregon, and Cal all deserve bids over schools like Northwestern, Xavier, and a bunch of others.  

Since: Feb 8, 2012
Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:14 pm

Pac-12 a one-bid league? It's possible

Is it a coincidence that Utah joins the league and the Pac-12 goes from mediocrity to the joke of college basketball? I don't think so...

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:59 am

Pac-12 a one-bid league? It's possible

Nukeembaby writes:
Who would thought that the Mountain West Conference will probably have more bids than the Pac-12?

To be honest, almost everybody did after the first few weeks of basketball this year. Head to head the Mountain West conferences dominated the PAC 12.  The PAC 12, is about football money.  Sure some awesome championships have come out of Arizona and UCLA, but in general the PAC-12 is a football conference. The addictions of Utah and Colorado was not going to help the RPI. On the other hand the Mountain West Conference basketball programs are all well coached and are getting better players. They played better non conference schedules and are not terrified to play away games like most of the PAC-12 which hates to schedule home and home games with non BCS schools.

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:35 am

Pac-12 a one-bid league? It's possible

I don't know... to me Oregon is hot at the right time, and Washington's resume looks really weak.  I wouldn't give Washington a second thought if it weren't for the fact that they won the regular season conference title.  But in a weak conference, I'm not sure that's enough to sway the selection group.  Whether any of these guys get in as at-large bids may depend more on how many other conference tournament upsets there are (i.e. how many unexpected teams take up tourney slots) than anything the actual Pac-12 teams do from here on out.

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