March 9, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Colorado Buffaloes guard Carlon Brown (30) controls the ball against the California Golden Bears during the semi final round of the 2012 Pac 12 Tournament in the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Pac-12 NCAA Tournament Preview

Well it is official. The Oregon Ducks did not make the NCAA Tournament this season, but they were not the only Pac-12 team to get snubbed. The Washington Huskies also did not get a bid into the NCAA Tournament and Washington won the Pac-12 regular season crown. The only two Pac-12 teams to get bids into the NCAA Tournament were the California Golden Bears and the Colorado Buffaloes (winners of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament). Personally, I think Oregon or Washington should be in the NCAA Tournament playing in the “First Four.” The one team I think should have been replaced with either Oregon or Washington is BYU. To me, BYU just does not seem like a tournament team. They finished 3rd in the West Coast Conference and in my opinion did not play that tough of a non-conference schedule. I believe that the Washington Huskies played a much tougher non-conference schedule than BYU. Even though they were upset by the Oregon St. Beavers, I think the Washington Huskies should be playing Iona in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament. I just feel that finishing 1st place in the Pac-12 shows a little more importance than 3rd place in the West Coast Conference. Oregon, on the other hand, was correctly placed. I do not think Oregon was a tournament team this year. They lacked a sense of urgency. They did not have that spark that most tournament teams have. The Oregon/Colorado game was proof in itself.

I could sit here and talk who should have been in and who should not have been in until I’m blue in the face, but I will not do that. The point is that there are two Pac-12 teams in the NCAA Tournament this year and they are the California Golden Bears and the Colorado Buffaloes. Let’s start off with the Pac-12 Conference Tournament Champions, the Colorado Buffaloes have an interesting road to the Final Four. Some of the teams in the same region as Colorado include: VCU, Indiana, Baylor, Notre Dame, Duke, and the #1 overall seed Kentucky. The first team that Colorado will play in the NCAA Tournament is the #6 seed in the South region, UNLV. UNLV will be a tough opponent for the Colorado Buffaloes, but in my opinion Colorado can upset UNLV. They will most definitely upset UNLV if they get a big game out of Carlon Brown. Brown needs to play how he did against the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament if Colorado is going to upset UNLV. After the second round of the tournament, the road gets tougher for Colorado. Personally, I do not have Colorado going to far into the NCAA Tournament. I have them being a “1-and-done” team. I believe Colorado will upset #6 seed UNLV in the second round then lose to #3 seed Baylor in the third round. Even if Colorado gets past the third round, they will not make the Final Four because they are in the South region with Kentucky.

The second Pac-12 team in the NCAA Tournament is going to be playing in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio. That team is the California Golden Bears and they will be playing the South Florida Bulls. To me, this is a tough match-up for California to draw for a first game in the NCAA Tournament. California in my opinion could be a “1-and-done” team, but will most likely lose in Dayton. The South Florida Bulls are a scary team and they play in the Big East Conference. The one thing that hurts California the most in this match-up is their strength of schedule. California just has not had to play the teams that South Florida had to play. South Florida had to play teams like: Notre Dame, Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, and Pittsburgh. No team in the Pac-12 Conference can even compare to the competition of the Big East Conference. Do not get me wrong, the game in Dayton between South Florida and California will be an amazing First Four game. However, I am picking South Florida over California by a score of 85 to 79.

Overall, I believe that both Pac-12 teams with not make it to the sweet 16. Colorado will make a splash in the second round, but will not be able to get past a powerful team like Baylor in the third round. California also has the potential to win one game in the tournament, but they will most likely be bounced out of the tournament during the First Four in Dayton, Ohio.

Final Four: Michigan St. > Kentucky and Ohio St. > North Carolina
National Championship: Michigan St. > Ohio St.

For more college basketball stories, check out my podcast The Onside Kick at theonsidekick.squarespace.com. The Onside Kick covers all the biggest stories in the NBA, NCAA Basketball, NFL, NCAA Football, and MLB. Blogs are updated three times a week and is updated to iTunes every Friday.

Follow the Autzen Zoo on Twitter @Autzen_Zoo and like us on Facebook at Autzen_Zoo.

Tags: Big East Conference BYU California California Golden Bears Carlon Brown Colorado Colorado Buffaloes Ducks General Iona Louisville NCAA Tournament Oregon Oregon St. Oregon St. Beavers Pac-12 Conference Pittsburgh South Florida South Florida Bulls Syracuse UNLV Washington Washington Huskies West Coast Conference

comments powered by Disqus