Saturday, March 10, 2007

Pac-10 Tourney

We're a little late to the party on covering this, though we have been watching the tournament. Still can't believe UCLA lost to Cal(!) on Thursday, but evidently they needed a wakeup call. Ayinde Ubaka led the charge at the end of the fourth quarter and in overtime with 29 points for the Bears. UCLA could have avoided the loss if they had made their free throws. They had 29 attempts, but only made 15, which is a terrible performance for anyone, let alone a national championship contender. The loss also means they probably lost their shot at a 1 seed, since Ohio State, Kansas, Wisconsin, Memphis and Florida are all still alive in their conference tournaments. Being a 2 seed is a nice consolation prize though.

As for some of the other games, Arizona probably shouldn't have lost by 19 to the Ducks, but they allowed Oregon to make 11 threes and couldn't make their own shots. I will be shocked if the Wildcats are higher than a 10 seed and wouldn't be surprised to see them bow out in the first round.

Oregon though, has been a pleasant surprise lately. After losing five of their first six games in February, they rebounded to beat the Cougars roll off another four straight wins. They manhandled Arizona and Cal, and have a chance to win the Pac-10 for the first time since riding the Lukes to the 2003 championship.

Speaking of 2003, the 2007 championship will be a rematch of the 2003 final, as Oregon will again play USC. The Trojans, who upset the Cougars last night, appear to have regained their early season form, at least for the time being. After going to OT against Stanford to start the tournament, USC had a much more impressive game against WSU. Gabe Pruitt was unstoppable for the Trojans, as he scored 26 points and made six of his seven three-point attempts. The defense was also there, as they held WSU to 36% from the floor.

This afternoon's game will be exciting. Oregon and USC both need wins to move up their seeding in the tournament. USC will either become the first team to lose the Pac-10 Tournament three times, or the sixth team in as many years to win it. A win could also move USC up to a 5 seed, which means they would probably lose to some lowly 12 in the first round. So for their sake, let's hope they only get a 6 and watch someone else flame out in the tournament's traditional upset spot. Oregon could also get a bump in seed if they win decisively.

So my seeding predictions if Oregon wins:

2 - UCLA
3 - Oregon
4 - WSU
8 - USC
11 - Arizona

And when USC actually does win:

2 - UCLA
4 - WSU
4 - Oregon
6 - USC
11 - Arizona

Enjoy the finale!

1 comment:

Matthew said...

I agree with the 11 seed for Arizona. Also, feel free to link to my blog for ASU/UofA at http://azsportshub.com. Thanks

- Matt (mblake at azsportshub dot com)