Huskies Insider Blog

Noon hoops: Start times for USC-UCLA, bracket watching, looking at the Pac-12

Of note: The game times for the USC-UCLA road trip have been announced. The Huskies will play USC at 7:30 p.m. on March 1 at the Galen Center. This game is not going to be televised. Strange considering that Washington is one of the top teams in the conference. Then again, USC wouldn't even be the top team in the Big Sky Conference. Just be thankful that Larry Scott has taken over and this won't happen next year.

On Saturday, the Huskies will play  UCLA at 11 a.m. in the regular-season finale at the L.A. Sports Arena. The game has been picked up by CBS and will be nationally televised. This would be a big game to bolster the Huskies' NCAA tourney resume. Yes, UCLA is craptastic. But they still have the reputation. And a decisive win over the Bruins on national TV with the selection committee likely watching can 't hurt.

Here's the RPI rankings for the Pac-12 .... and CBS Sports Matt Norlander talks about the RPI still has a major affect on the tournament selection process even though it probably shouldn't.

Another week, another look at the NCAA tournament bracket "experts" and see how they are projecting the Pac-12 to do.

ESPN's Joe Lunardi has three Pac-12 teams - Cal, Arizona and Washington - all in the tournament. Lunardi has Washington as No.11 seed playing New Mexico in Columbus, Ohio.

SI's Andy Glockner has two teams - Cal and Washington into the tourney. Glockner has UW as a 12 seed and playing Vanderbilt in Albuquerque, N.M. ( NOOOOOOOO!!!!)

Lots of people wrote about the Pac-12 as a conference and what a down year it's been.

Bud Withers of the Times has a solid story about it.

Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic wrote about it as well.

Drew Cannon of Basketball Prospectus wrote this piece for ESPN Insider (subscription needed) breaking down some of the teams in the conference.

From the story ...

• Washington entered league play at a disappointing 6-5, but it's a 6-5 that looks exponentially more understandable in retrospect. Close neutral-court losses to Duke and Marquette were understandable (if not downright impressive) at the time. But Saint Louis has gone from intriguing mid-major, capable of finishing third in the Atlantic 10, to automatic NCAA tournament team ranked No. 11 by Ken Pomeroy and No. 22 in ESPN's BPI ( explained here ). A road loss to the Billikens is no embarrassment. A home loss by 20 to South Dakota State is still pretty ugly, but the Jackrabbits are 22-7 and serious contenders in a Summit League that's better than usual. And a road loss to Nevada sounded a lot worse when the Wolf Pack were sitting at 5-3 than it does now that they're 22-5.

Washington is now 12-3 in the conference, having taken care of all the truly bad league teams. It also played Cal to the wire and has beaten Arizona twice. If the Huskies want to feel comfortable on Selection Sunday, they should win their final three regular-season games, but if they win two of three and take a game in the Pac-12 tournament, the Huskies should sneak in. And don't tell anyone, but they'd be taking three former top-30 recruits into that first-round NCAA matchup against a single-digit seed.Here's ESPN's Doug Gottlieb talking about Colorado and Arizona's NCAA tourney hopes.

Pat Forde of Yahoo, says the Pac-12 should only get one bid in his Forde Minutes ...

The Pac-12 (14). This is not breaking news, but the league has done nothing to change the belief that it is a disaster area. The latest evidence came Saturday, when UCLA (sixth place in the conference) lost to St. John’s (14th in the Big East). Even in a 68-team tournament, it’s hard to muster up reasons why the Pac-12 should be a multi-bid league, especially if California wins the league tournament. Arizona has the second-best body of work but is tied for fourth in the standings and has been swept by Washington , which was abysmal in non-conference play. There are no quality wins here, unless they came against each other – and that makes the quality of those wins suspect. One bid.