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CT’s Pac 10 Hoops Bubble Watch

PAC 10: NCAA Tournament Previews and Predictions

Right now the PAC 10 has a solid 5 teams in the big dance and no bubble teams. Any other team that wants to make the big dance from the PAC 10 will have to win the PAC 10 tournament. The bottom teams in this conference have been competitive but not good enough to get on the bubble.Lets take a preview of the PAC 10 teams and predict what will happen once March Madness begins.


Arizona State: Coach Sendek has his team playing great lately locking teams down with there match up zone and offensively being very efficient. Craig’s top team from the Pac 10 in his Power Rankings are very tough team to prepare for with the match up zone. Holding teams to only 58 points per game will keep ASU in every game. Player of the year candidate James Hardin can do it all and when he is playing well could carry this team deep in the tournament. Most likely will get a #4 seed and will scare any #1 seed left in the sweet 16. For sure a sweet 16 team but will lose a close one in the sweet 16 game.

Washington: Another 20 win season for an underrated Washington program. No one has talked about them all year but don’t look now they are leading the PAC 10 and has the talent to make some noise in the big dance. Very balanced team with 4 players averaging double digits led by guard Isiagh Thomas at 15 points per game. Jon Brockman is a tough inside presence that is a little unorthodox but very effective. Looks like this team is headed to #3 or #4 seed but they need to finish strong as there strength of schedule is not good. Don’t see this team getting to past the second round will be ripe for upset in second round of the NCAA tournament.

UCLA: Just a couple weeks ago Craig had UCLA #10 in his power Rankings and heading for a #2 seed in the west. How things have changes since then the Bruins have lost three of four and have been giving up nearly 78 points a game in that stretch. Ben Howland is known for his lock down defense and lately it has been no where to be seen. UCLA has the best individual talent in the PAC 10 but putting it together has been a problem. Collison and Shipp have a ton of tournament experience so don’t rule them out. UCLA is most likely a #5 seed but could improve greatly if they win the PAC 10 tournament. Most top teams are hoping that UCLA is not there 2nd round match up because they are very dangerous. Howland will put it together and once again will see UCLA in sweet 16.

California: Looks like 22 wins should get this team in the big dance but a costly seeding hit with a loss to Oregon State. Even scoring has been the key for a big improvement at Cal this year, led by guard Jerome Randle averaging over 17 points and 4 assists a game. Coach Montgomery has brought his success that he had at Stanford over to the Bears and has them playing much better than any expert predicted. A year ahead of time this team will make the big dance as most likely a #7 seed. Look for this team to get upset in the first round due to the lack of experience but remember bear fans this team will be great next year.

Arizona: Key wins over Gonzaga and UCLA will definitely put this team in the big dance. A bubble team 2 weeks ago that has put themselves solidly in the tournament winning 7 out of last 8 games. That included two upsets over Washington and UCLA. Budinger and Hill are great front court players that both can score and rebound very well. Arizona will be thrilled to be back in the tournament and welcome a #10 seed. Most likely a 1 game stay in the tournament but with the early departure of Lute Olson this season this still is a success for the program.

Currently only three PAC 10 teams are in the top 25 in the polls but don’t be surprised if they have a little better showing than there rankings would indicate come NCAA tournament time. Two teams in the sweet 16 should be considered an over achievement.


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CTs NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch


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