The Pac-10 is a lot better than most people want to give it credit for, but it still isn't the premier conference nationwide.
The truth is that there may not be a premier conference in Men's College Basketball. Just a handful of great ones.
As far as the Pac-10 goes, they have proved their mettle thus far. Oregon and Arizona were both lower seeds and U$C, or, excuse me, the University of Southern California, ran into a tough match-up in Michael Beasley and Kansas State. I expect Stanford and Washington State will both have trouble advancing to the Elite 8 ... but is that really an indictment on the Pac-10? Stanford will go to Houston, Texas to play an extremely tough Longhorns squad and Washington State will have their hands full with seemingly unbeatable North Carolina ... yes, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
It's fun getting to see which conference will get bragging rights at the end of all this, but this tournament isn't about that. It's about the players, the individual match-ups, and intense competition. And fun! And your brackets. And the last two minutes, buzzer beaters, and Billy Packer's shiny head. It would be nice if the top-tier media would keep its focus towards the games played and cease making the dance into a cross-regional pissing contest.
But as long as it is, it looks as though the Pac-10's fortunes will once again hang on the success of UCLA in their third consecutive Final Four.