You may have heard -- and are likely to hear several times again -- that since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, no Pac-10 team has gone 9-9 in league play and been invited to the Big Dance.
However, Doug Tammaro, the media relations director at
Arizona State University, dug a little deeper and found a mitigating circumstance: There has never really been a 9-9 Pac-10 team worthy of going.
That could change this season, should Washington or Stanford end league play at .500, taking into account their out-of-conference wins, quality wins, etc.
Here is the information as compiled by Tammaro:
UNINVITED TEAMS THAT WENT 9-9 IN THE PAC-10:
2003-2004: Oregon, 15-12; California, 13-15
1999-2000: USC, 16-14
1995-96: Washington, 16-11; Oregon 16-13
1993-94: USC, 16-11 (tied for seventh)
1992-93: USC, 16-11; Washington State, 15-12; Oregon State, 13-14
1991-92: Washington State, 21-10 (including at least two non-Division I wins); Arizona State 18-13
1989-90: Stanford, 18-11
1986-87: Stanford, 15-13
1985-86: UCLA, 16-12
Washington is currently 16-8 overall and 6-7 in the Pac-10. With five league games remaining, that means the Huskies would need at least three more wins to get to 9-9. That would put them no worse than 19-11 in the regular season and with the Pac-10 tournament ahead.