Can Pac-12 tourney overcome Wildcats' bad loss?

2012-03-07T12:06:00Z 2012-03-07T13:24:38Z Can Pac-12 tourney overcome Wildcats' bad loss?Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star

ESPN "bracketologist" Joe Lunardi tried to warn the Wildcats late in their loss at ASU but apparently the tweet did not get through.

Now the question is whether Arizona can still make the NCAA tournament without winning the Pac-12 Tournament this week. I asked Lunardi on a conference call today if beating UCLA and Washington would be enough.

"I think they would have a chance in that scenario, maybe 1 in 3, if I was a betting man," Lunardi said. "That was just a killer loss (at ASU), obviously. I understand it's a road game, and I understand it’s a rival. But when you're tenuous to begin with, that’s a problem.

"And they need to root for New Mexico State in a big way, too. That would give them a real win over a tournament team if the Aggies make it."

Although he currently has only California and Washington from the Pac-12 in his projection, Lunardi said Oregon also has a chance for an at-large bid even if it does not win the Pac-12 tournament.

"I think Oregon could make it," he said. "They have better numbers than Arizona and also have the Devoe Joseph factor, because he was a midseason addition. It could be argued that whoever is monitoring the Pac-12 for the committee will make the argument for Oregon’s improved play and resume with him in the lineup."


One possible shred of good news for UA, which has a 76 RPI but a No. 50 ranking in the Sagarin power rankings: Committee chair Jeff Hathaway said on another conference call today that he didn't think the RPI carried any more weight than power rankings or any other numbers the committee considers.

"There’s a lot of criteria," he said. "It really is a litany of criteria that could involve head-to-head common opponents, overall strength of schedule, nonconference strength of schedule... We all know what the bottom line premise is: It's who did you play, where did you play them and how did you do?"


NIT-ology has UA and Oregon both receiving No. 1 NIT seeds, FWIW...


More talk of the Pac-12 Tournament moving to Las Vegas.


Washington State has reason to feel confident against OSU's 1-3-1 defense today.


Jared Cunningham says he would have voted for Terrence Ross to win the conference's player of the year.


Pac-12 newbies -- and partners of sorts -- Utah and Colorado will have to face each other.


A deep Stanford team is hoping to make a run in the tournament.


As is Arizona, Colorado is looking to find its once-solid defense.


The L.A. Times says both USC and UCLA are in need of an off-season.


The Cougars and Beavers will open tournament play at 1:20 p.m. MT.

Other games today:

UCLA against USC, at about 3:40 p.m.

Stanford vs. ASU, at 7:10 p.m.

Colorado vs. Utah, at about 9:40 p.m.

All games are on Fox Sports Arizona and other FSN affiliates.


Russ Pennell will take Grand Canyon to face Western Washington in the Division II tournament.

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