What a difference a night can make. First, the Arizona State Sun Devils managed to get upset by Stanford in the Pac-10 tourney. Next, the University of Washington Huskies narrowly escaped the jaws of the Oregon State Beavers with a hard-fought win at Staples Center, thus advancing to the conference tourney semifinals against the Cardinal, another team it beat twice during the regular season, tonight. Hence, the Pups and Devils switched places in the eyes of tourney forecasters, with UW ending up within the cozy bubble.
Romar'll likely be dancin' come next week, thanks to ASU shitting the bed against Stanford.
If things go as planned, UW will face Cal in the conference finale. And if that's what happens, ASU should still get asked to the dance, as allotting the Pac-10 any less than three teams in even its most sub-par year would be to take anti-Best Coast fever to unprecedented levels.When the Pac-10 has a crappy year--and look no further than Oregon State's 51-point loss at home against Seattle U or the drubbing the entire conference took at the hands of the Big 12 in their annual challenge for proof--everyone piles on, saying the conference sucks and merits no more than its champion making the NCAA tourney (I'm lookin' at you, John Clayton). But when the ACC has a crappy year--and, boy oh boy, are they having one--consensus has it that the teams in that conference are "beating up on one another," and they get six or seven teams in, undeservedly.
And don't get me started about the Big 10. Michigan State is consistently great, but the Big 10 is the Pac-10 of the Midwest, and I'll be damned if they don't get at least four teams in each year. Illinois is currently within ESPN's 65 team field with a record of 18-13. We knew Obama was powerful and all, but we never knew he bled orange. Then there's the Mountain West, which is supposed to sneak four teams into the tourney to the Pac-10's two. Yeah, fuck that--this is the Mountain West we're talking about. Let's invite San Diego State into the Pac for a year and see how they do. Not well, would be my guess.
Down year or not, the Pac-10 deserves the same consideration as the ACC, Big 12, Big 10, SEC, or Big East. It's a great conference, even in its worst year, and to grant it the same number of tourney entries as the vastly inferior WCC (that's right, Weasel: inferior--god I hope you get Ernie Kent's job) would be a tragedy of epic proportions.