The Pac-12 basketball season has unfolded in ways no one anticipated. Remember: USC and UCLA were both picked to finish in the top three of the standings and be solid, comfortable NCAA Tournament teams. The Trojans and Bruins will finish nowhere near those standards. It has been an upside-down year in most of the conference. Arizona is the leader, but even then, the Wildcats aren’t nearly as good as most people expected them to be. If you want to find the most pleasant surprise in the Pac-12 this season, you have two choices: Washington State and Utah.
Both teams won on Saturday to improve their March prospects. Utah is solidifying its place in the NCAA Tournament. You have known that for some time. The newer — and more surprising, and more potent — story in Pac-12 men’s hoops is that Washington State could realistically make the NCAA Tournament.
The Cougars are far from a lock. They’re very much on the middle of the bubble. However, it’s all going in the right direction at the moment for Wazzu and head coach Kyle Smith. Already owning wins over Arizona, Utah, and Colorado, the Cougars — who are in perilous bubble position because of their dreary nonconference resume — took another step closer to March Madness by winning in Seattle against the Washington Huskies. Beating Washington might not be a high-end win, but it’s a conference road win. The selection committee loves to see those at any point in time and at any place on a ledger sheet. Washington State is almost certainly the top “pure” bubble team in the Pac-12. In other words, of the Pac-12 teams whose March fates are uncertain, Wazzu has the best chance of getting in, one month before Selection Sunday.
Wazzu should be higher on the bubble than Colorado, which lost a crucial game at Utah on Saturday. Wazzu is definitely higher than Oregon,…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/pac-12-men-basketball-report-233725480.html
Author : Trojans Wire
Publish date : 2024-02-05 23:37:25
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