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Selection Sunday preview: Pac-12 bid and seed projections, site assignments, bubble trouble, the No. 1s and more



Selection Sunday is unlikely to pack much drama for the Pac-12, which has three NCAA Tournament locks and no apparent bubble-sitters.

The process should be clean, simple and somewhat disheartening for a conference that had hoped to build on its unprecedented success in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

In other conferences that span the Mountain and Pacific time zones, there is reason for optimism.

What should we expect Sunday when the CBS Selection Show begins at 3 p.m. (Pacific)?

Here’s a preview:

*** Pac-12 bids and seeds

Arizona should fall somewhere on the No. 1 line, and the specific location matters.

The placement of teams in the four regionals is based on seeding, with the top overall seed sent to the region closest to campus. Priority moves to the No. 2 overall seed, then the No. 3 seed.

Gonzaga is expected to be No. 1 and placed in the San Francisco regional, leaving San Antonio, Chicago and Philadelphia for the Wildcats. The higher their seed on the No. 1 line, the better chance of landing in San Antonio.

UCLA could be slotted as high as a No. 3 seed and as low as a No. 5, with most projections placing the Bruins on the No. 4 line.

(Note: UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond is a member of the selection committee, although he does not participate when the group votes on the Bruins.)

USC is expected to be the lowest-seeded member of the Pac-12 trio because of a weak non-conference schedule and a dearth of victories over tournament-caliber teams.

Expect a No. 6 or 7 seed for the Trojans, who were 1-4 against Arizona and UCLA.

***Pac-12 bubble trouble

Three teams have moved on and off the bubble at various points in the past two months: Colorado, Oregon and Washington State.

Now, only Colorado has a fleck of a prayer of a chance, and it’s infinitesimal.

The Buffaloes are No. 70 in the NET rankings — about 20 spots too low for comfort —  and have just one Quadrant I victory.

Yes, they’re playing well right now. But the selection committee focuses on a team’s overall body of work, not the final weeks. CU’s mediocre showing against a soft schedule in November and December was its undoing.

*** Rest of the West

Not only does the Pac-12’s projected bid total (three) compare poorly to its historical standard, it looks bad compared to neighboring leagues.

The West Coast Conference, with its tiny budgets and lack of football, is a lock for three bids (Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and USF) and could claim a fourth if Brigham Young sneaks in.

Meanwhile, the Mountain West is assured of more bids than the Pac-12 with Boise State, San Diego State, Colorado State and Wyoming expected to be placed into the field.

All four have better NET rankings than any of the Pac-12’s middle-tier teams.

It’s a fraught situation, indeed, for the Pac-12.

*** No. 1 seeds

Three of the No. 1 seeds are secure: Gonzaga, Arizona and Kansas — likely, but not definitely, in that order. (We don’t expect Arizona to receive the No. 1 overall seed, but it’s certainly possible.)

The final No. 1 seed will go to Baylor or Kentucky.

As long as Arizona is slotted ahead of Baylor, the Wildcats should end up in San Antonio.

*** Arenas Near You

Three cities in the greater Pac-12 footprint will serve as March Madness hosts.

Portland and San Diego are sites for the first and second rounds, while the West regionals will be staged at the Chase Center in San Francisco.





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