Pac-12 may be locked into two bids
March, 10, 2012
By Joe Lunardi | ESPN.com
With both the Washington Huskies and California Golden Bears out of the Pac-12 tournament, you might think that the Pac-12 will steal a third bid when the Arizona Wildcats and Colorado Buffaloes play for the championship at 6 p.m. on Saturday. I don't think the Pac-12 will get a third team into the bracket however.
After digesting all of Friday's action, I now have the Huskies as the first team out. That, my friends, would be a historical scenario since a power conference regular-season champion has never missed out on an invitation to the Dance.
But the case for the Huskies' at-large bid just isn't a good one. An RPI of 69? Zero top-50 wins? An SOS of 90? What part of that résumé screams "at-large selection?" I've moved Arizona into the bracket for now, but solely as the projected Pac-12 champion as it's the highest remaining seed in the Pac-12 tournament. If the Wildcats lose to the Buffs tonight, Arizona can kiss its bid hopes goodbye as well. All in all, I think the Pac-12 is locked in for a pair of bids and no more.
Where we could see some Saturday bid theft is in Conference USA. If the Marshall Thundering Herd can trip up the Memphis Tigers, C-USA will steal a third bid and bounce someone off the bubble.
Here's how the rest of the S Curve shapes up:
The S Curve
ALL CAPS: Regular-season champion (NIT auto-bid if needed) or highest remaining seed
Bold: NCAA automatic qualifier
GREEN: Teams with tourney odds of 90 percent or better through games of March 9.
YELLOW: "Last four in" (will play March 13-14 in Dayton, Ohio)
GOLD: Lowest four auto-bids (will play March 13-14 in Dayton, Ohio)
RED: "First four out" (teams 69-72 on the S curve)
PURPLE: "Next four out" (teams 73-76 on the S curve)