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Pac-12 Real Time NCAA Tournament Eliminator

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Making sense of the Pac-12 Conference heading into the final week of league play.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday was a gutsy, hard fought win from the Colorado Buffaloes. ASU wasn't going to get embarrassed twice, and just as I predicted, they really brought it after their poor showing in Utah. CU brought it too. The 10-point final victory margin was deceiving; this was not a game we would have won last year. The Keg was packed. Hell of a way to send off our seniors.

That game should have gotten us a bid in the NCAA tournament. We're 21-9 with victories over Oregon, Cal, Arizona, and a sweep of the suddenly relevant Stanford Cardinal. After USC's loss, it's not mathematically possible for the Golden Buffaloes to drop lower than 6th place in Pac-12 standings (USC holds the tie breaker over CU, L. Good luck closing out your season against Oregon State and Oregon.) Don't fret. Even the most conservative estimates have 6 teams from the Conference of Champions dancing.

With a victory over Utah Saturday, and a couple wins in the Pac-12 tournament, we could be seeded as low as 5 in the big dance. That would be huge for us in terms of an NCAA Tournament run. I think we've got a few wins left in us. If you've seen even one presser, you know that Tad Boyle has been salivating over the chance to avenge the gut wrenching Utah loss all season.

In other news, Cal is dancing. This isn't exactly a breaking story, but they could end their season on a three game slide and enter the tournament as an 8 seed. Da Bears have put their early season woes behind them. They play at Arizona, and at Arizona State this week. A split or two victories would do wonders for their post season seeding, but doesn't really have any larger implications inside the conference for any team except Arizona.

USC is still the Titanic. Except now they're the Titanic after it split in half. I'm imagining fans rushing to lifeboats. Coaches trying to hide how dire the situation is from the players, but the bow is vertical. The stern has already sunk.

USC is 8-8 in conference play. They have two games left, Oregon and Oregon State at home. They need to win both those games to separate themselves from the Beavers. They're not going to, and this is where we might finally be getting some clarity in the Conference of Champions. DON'T SLEEP ON STANFORD.

Baring something truly crazy happening in the Pac-12 tournament, the Walton scenario, or the situation that will lead to the maximum number of Pac-12 teams in the NCAA Tournament got a lot less complicated Saturday. The Trojans can probably side door the big dance with a split against the Oregon teams.

Oregon State's tournament hopes are alive and well after their 30 point victory over Washington State. One of two in their trip to Southern California along with a conference tourney win or two will seal the deal. The Walton scenario actually seems pretty likely now. USC is a force to be reckoned with at home, UCLA is a train wreck. But we're not sending 9 teams. Sorry Bill.

Speaking of train wrecks, it's time to lay the NCAA Tournament dreams of Washington to rest. After they score a useless win over Washington State Friday they'll finish the season at 16-14, 9-9 in conference play, with one quality win over Colorado. Mark these words; by the end of the season, USC will not be a quality win.
Rest in Peace Huskies
It's a tough way for Andrew Andrews to end his college career, but I guess the old adage holds true. NEVER TRUST A MAN WITH TWO FIRST NAMES. Keep that in mind on your recruiting trips Tad.

With one week left in conference play, here's where we stand:

Oregon: Dancing.

Utah: Dancing.

Cal: Dancing.

Arizona: Dancing.

Colorado: Dancing.

USC: A girl who's a way too drunk at a bachelorette party. The Trojans keep leaning over to their friends and shouting. F*%$ quality wins guys. I just want to dance. I WANNA DANCE!

Oregon State: Apollo Creed in round 12 of a fight against Rocky Balboa. It's been a hard, terrifying battle, but they're going to come out on top.

Stanford: Rocky Balboa in round 12 of a fight against Apollo Creed. The Cardinal's taking it to the bell, and I'm really, really rooting for them, but...

Washington: HOMELAND SPOILER ALERT Peter Quinn. Oregon was Carrie Matheson Sunday. We didn't actually see them die, but they're off life support, and for all intents and purposes, dead.

UCLA: Tupac Shakur, or for my older readers, Elvis. Die hard fans love to claim that they're still alive, but it's time to face facts, they gone. Long gone.

ASU: Doornail.

Washington State: P.F. Chang's the night after thanksgiving.

On Wednesday USC can euthanize Stanford with a win over Oregon State. Conversely, with a win on Wednesday, Oregon State will throw USC into a win or go home situation against Dana Altman and the world's scariest ducks. There are still two NCAA Tournaments bids up for grabs for the Conference of Champions. Readers of this blog are the only ones who know that the real fight is between USC and Stanford.

ARE YOU NOT ENTERAINED?????

Stay tuned...