Pac-12 M5: 03.18.13 EditionPosted by Connor Pelton on March 18th, 2013
- Yesterday, of course, was Selection Sunday, and it was revealed that five teams from the Pac-12 will play in the NCAA Tournament. There were a couple of surprises, most notably Oregon receiving a #12 seed. The Ducks’ résumé was on par with most of the #7 seeds, so it comes as a head-scratcher that the Pac-12 Tournament champions, not to mention a team that was one game behind the regular season conference champion, would have been on the bubble. One now wonders what would have happened if Oregon had lost to UCLA on Saturday night instead of pulling out the victory; possibly a trip to Dayton for the First Four? The spokesperson for the NCAA selection committee said after the bracket was revealed that the Ducks were actually on the #11 seed line and were dropped down for bracketing purposes, but even that is still much lower than anyone expected. As to what typically occurs when a team gets underseeded in the NCAAs, it will be their opponent that gets the worst of it. That lucky team is Oklahoma State, who perhaps thought it’d be facing a team like Temple or La Salle coming into the day; not the Pac-12 Tournament champs.
- Almost as looked forward to as the actual unveiling of the field of 68 is the announcement of game times, networks, and commentators for the Second Round match-ups. Those were released late last night, and here they are. The Ducks are the first Pac-12 team to hit the floor, and they will do so on Thursday at 1:40 PM PT on TNT. Calling the game will be a solid trio consisting of Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner, and Marty Snider. The two other Pac-12 teams to play Thursday are Arizona (vs. Belmont; TNT), and California (in a rematch against UNLV; TruTV), in two games that will virtually be playing at the same time that afternoon. The Wildcats tip at 4:20 PM with the superb team of Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb, and Jamie Maggio calling the action, while Cal will begin seven minutes later with the same bunch that Oregon had. On Friday, Colorado will tip off against Illinois at 1:40 PM on TNT, with Tim Brando, Mike Gminski, and Otis Livingston calling the action, and UCLA plays Minnesota at 6:57 PM on TruTV with the same crew.
- Not only was the NCAA field released on Sunday, but the NIT revealed its 32-team bracket as well. Arizona State, Stanford, and Washington will compete in the consolation tournament, with the Sun Devils and Cardinal hosting Detroit and Stephen F. Austin, respectively, and the Huskies traveling to Provo to face BYU.
- Despite its #12 seed, Oregon has the talent to make a run through this year’s tournament and become a nationally relevant program for the first time since the days of Kevin Love, James Harden, and Aaron Brooks. Beat Oklahoma State and you take the step from a nice little comeback story to a team to watch. Beat Saint Louis — one of the hottest teams in the nation and a trendy Elite Eight pick? You won’t just be recognized as a west coast football school that had a good year in basketball anymore.
- As you have probably heard, Northwestern fired head coach Bill Carmody on Saturday after 13 years in Evanston. What you probably didn’t hear, or expect to hear, was that Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson‘s name is showing up on many short lists of possible candidates for the vacant job. Scott Powers’ list goes in a lot of different directions, everywhere from VCU’s Shaka Smart to Duke assistant Chris Collins. But in the middle is Robinson, a former Wildcats’ assistant who grew up in Chicago and has recruited the area. It is very possible that Robinson would get an interview for the gig, but it’s tough seeing a program desperate for success offering the job to a man that failed to lead his team to any type of postseason tournament in 2012-13, much less even out of the basement in his own league.