Selection Sunday revealed pretty much what everyone expected – five Pac-12 teams will be dancing in the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, so click on the link to get Bryan Fischer’s thoughts on each of the team’s
first second-round tourney matchups.
Perhaps the biggest surprise as far as seeding is concerned is Oregon. After the Ducks beat UCLA 77-69 to claim the Pac-12 Tournament championship, they ended up receiving a No. 12 seed. Many thought they would be seeded around eighth or so, but the Ducks say they are unfazed by the perceived slight and are excited to face Oklahoma State in the round of 64 in San Jose.
The Pac-12 regular season champs and conference tournament runners-up UCLA earned a No. 6 seed and got paired up with Minnesota for a Friday waltz. This game will take place in Austin, so UCLA must go the distance in the NCAA tournament - the Bruins have to travel the farthest out of any Pac-12 team for its first game.
Arizona also received a No. 6 seed, and Sean Miller is thrilled with Arizona’s seeding as his team gets ready to play a Belmont team that beat Stanford in November. Miller also has been fined for his postgame conduct after the loss to UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.
Colorado will be joining UCLA in Austin – the 10th-seeded Buffs will face Illinois. Check the link for reactions from players and coach Tad Boyle, as well as video of the Buffs finding out they received an at-large bid.
Last but not least, Cal got into the field of 68 with a No. 12 seed. Rematches aren’t supposed to happen this early in the tournament, but the Golden Bears face UNLV in the 5-12 matchup after losing by one point at home to the Runnin’ Rebels in Berkeley in December. Like Oregon, the Bears are headed to San Jose, so they are hoping it has the feeling of a home game.
In addition to five teams making the NCAA tournament, the Pac-12 sent three teams to the NIT. Defending NIT champion Stanford is back in the field of 32, and the fourth-seeded Cardinal will host Stephen F. Austin in the NIT opening round Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Beware of the Lumberjacks – the Southland school went 27-4 and won at Oklahoma and Long Beach State.
The Cardinal’s NCAA chances were squashed by Arizona State in perhaps the best game of the Pac-12 Tournament last week. In turn, the Forks had their dancing dreams crushed by UCLA in another nailbiter, but Arizona State will host Detroit in its first round NIT matchup. The Sun Devils are seeded third.
Washington also made the NIT, earning a No. 6 seed and a first-round date with third-seeded BYU. Check out what the Husky players are saying about the NIT and BYU, courtesy of Percy Allen.
The surprise of the Pac-12 Tournament was Utah, winning two games in Las Vegas. No further postseason for the Runnin’ Utes after a sub-.500 campaign, but Utah gained confidence for next year after its Pac-12 Tournament semifinal run.
Washington State also saw its season come to a close after a Pac-12 Tournament loss to Washington in the first round, and the Cougars have plenty of unanswered questions heading into next year with Brock Motum and Mike Ladd departing from the Palouse.
‘Twas a disappointing hoops season for Oregon State, but things are looking really promising on the diamond, especially after Jake Rodriguez drove in five runs on Sunday to sweep Arizona in Tucson to open Pac-12 play.