So we know now that the USC Trojans will be standing on pins and needles wondering whether they'll be participating in March Madness. But there are three other Pac-10 conference teams that definitely know they're going. Where they're going could be a blessing or a cruse for their national championship chances. Here's a look at each team after their conference tournament performances.
The Washington Huskies must think they're so cute, the way they game the system. Washington shows barely a pulse for the entire month of February, and now they might leap all the way back up to a favorable spot after knocking off Arizona in the Pac-10 Tournament Championship. Winning a tournament championship, particularly against a regular season conference champion, can be a huge boost to a team's ratings this close to the Dance. Washington did this last year and earned an 11th seed, and proceeded to find its way to the Sweet 16.
Joe Lunardi has leapfrogged UDub all the way back to a 7th seed and a matchup with Villanova in the first round in Tucson, with San Diego State likely drawing them in the second round. Trust me, I will be very angry if UDub ends up with a favorable bracket for the second year in a row after a pretty pedestrian regular season (especially since a team like Cal had an excellent regular season and ended up drawing Duke in the Round of 32 last year, while Washington got the easiest possible road to the second weekend).
No real change for the Arizona Wildcats--they might've made a jump up a seed or two by winning their tournament, but they seem pretty locked into a fifth seed with a comfortable matchup against one of the First Four winners forthcoming (by Lunardi's infinite wisdom of course). The real loser seems to be the UCLA Bruins, whose lackluster Pac-10 tournament performance may cost them today. Lunardi dropped them all the way to the 8th seed, which means even if they win their first game, they draw a number one seed in the second round (in this case, the de facto #1 in Ohio State). Not a good sign for supporters of Westwood.