The field of 68 is set for the NCAA Tournament/KIT (Kentucky Invitational Tournament), and the Pac-12, which saw Stanford play themselves out of the field, got 4 teams in. 2 of them will be just up the road, in Portland, on Thursday.
bit of a major snub, Duke (who did NOT win the ACC regular season title OR reach the conference title game) got a #1 seed in the south, leaving Wisconsin, who won both the Big 10 regular season and tournament, and Arizona, who won both the Pac-12 regular season and tournament to vie for a single #1 seed (Kentucky and Villanova were rightly locks), and it was the Badgers who received it, in the west, which leaves Arizona the top #2 seed in the tournament.
That could play ok for the 'Cats, and for Pac-12 fans, though, as Arizona will be in the Portland sub-regional, and will take on Texas Southern, champion of the SWAC (the fact that a SWAC team is NOT a 16 seed is an apparent bone thrown to Arizona).
The 'Cats next opponent will be the winner between 10th seed Ohio St. and 7th seed VCU.
The second team from the Pac-12 actually finished 3rd, and lost in the conference tournament semi-finals, but Utah still got a 5 seed, and a good one. The Utes will also be in Portland, and take on 12 seed Stephen F. Austin of the Southland conference.
This is technically part of the South region, so Duke could come up in this conversation eventually as well.
Utah will have to get past the winner of 4th seed Georgetown and 13th seed Eastern Washington though. It is good to see the Big Sky being recognized for what it is, and something higher than the 16 seed they were so long saddled with.
The one Pac-12 team to play on Friday will be conference regular season and tournament runner up Oregon. The Ducks are the 8th seed, but will play in Omaha, NE, against an opponent Oregon St. faced this season, and also an OSU; the Oklahoma St. Cowboys from the Big XII. Oregon eliminated Oklahoma St. from the tournament 2 years ago.
If Oregon can get past Okie St., it probably sets up a rematch from last year, against Wisconsin, who eliminated the Ducks at that time. The Badgers might have to win the Pac-12 as well as their own conference to get to the final 4. The Ducks as the Pac-12 runner-up x2 as an 8 seed is clearly a snub, and the rematch with the Cowboys, with a potential rematch with the Badgers to follow, clearly looks like a made for tv ratings move.
The 4th Pac-12 team to get in is UCLA, who got an 11 seed in the South, and will play 6 seed SMU (last year's biggest snub) Thursday in Louisville. This came to the dismay of many analysts who did not think the Bruins would make the tournament at all, and would be in the first 4 in if they were. The Mustangs, of course, are coached by Larry Brown, the only UCLA coach besides John Wooden to coach the Bruins to a national championship.
Instead, its Boise St. and BYU who come from the west that will have to go through Dayton. It will be particularly tough for the Broncos, as Dayton will be the home team, literally, on their own floor in a tournament game.
The Mt. West really got minimal respect, with Colorado St. one of the first 4 relegated to the NIT, despite a 10-seed resume. Wyoming winning their way into the tournament, and to Seattle, which meant San Diego St. had to go as an at-large, and Boise St. had to go down to the 11 line, AND one of the playins, had a lot to do with that. The Rams did get the NIT's #1 seed.
Gonzaga got the 2 seed in the South (there's Duke on the horizon AGAIN), but get to stay in state, playing in the Seattle sub-regional (who had ANY idea Seattle is in the south?), against North Dakota St. in the first round.
Here's the official SB Nation bracket, so you can start seeing if you can out-pick Connor, who though he now hangs out mostly at the House of Sparky (since he's located in Tempe these days), is still sure to have his picks in place, and set an interesting bar for brackets.
SB Nation will also have a podcast breaking down the brackets starting a 5 PM PDT.
Tomorrow, we will learn the NCAA Women's brackets, and who will be joining Oregon St. at Corvallis for one of the 16 sub-regionals.
In addition to the KIT, the NIT, and then the CIT & CBI tournament fields will be announced soon, and there will be some Pac-12 teams there as well, though its doubtful Oregon St. will wind up being one of them that makes the NIT.
The NIT selection show will be at 5:30 PM PDT.
Only 2 PAC-12 teams were selected to the 32 team field of the NIT, as Arizona St. and Stanford received invites, and a chance to play their way to Madison Square Garden.
In addition to Colorado St., Temple, Old Dominion, and Richmond were the #1 seeds.
Stanford, as the 2 seed in the Colorado St. region, will host neighboring UC-Davis on Tuesday, while Arizona St. drew a trip on Wednesday to Connecticut, with Richmond a potential 2nd game opponent.
Montana and St. Mary's are the other teams from the west in the NIT.
The College Insider Tournament (CIT)'s 32 team field does not include any Pac-12 team, though its notable that Portland, who finished 17-15, and was one of 2 teams Oregon St. who finished 17-14 beat on the road, is in the field, and will host Sacramento St. in the first round on Wednesday.
The 16 team CBI tournament, which both Oregon St. and Oregon have won, round out the postseason. Oregon St. was invited to participate in the CBI, but declined the invite, so the Beavers' season is over.
California also declined a CBI invite,but Colorado accepted one, and will host Gardner-Webb on Wednesday, although Askia Booker has apparently decided to not participate, according to Buffs coach Tad Boyle.
Other western teams in the CBI include Seattle, who will host Pepperdine, and UC-Santa Barbara. Radford, who eliminated Oregon St. last season, is back in this year's field as well.