On Sunday night, the NCAA Tournament selection committee revealed the 68 teams to be included in this year’s NCAA Tournament and while Oregon State may not have been one of them (for those of you still holding out hope), four other teams from the Pac-12 were included in the final field. Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and USC will all represent the “Conference of Champions” in the big dance, hopeful to end the Pac-12’s “Final Four drought”, which hasn’t seen a team advance to the first weekend in April since UCLA back in 2008.
Arizona (30-4) is the highest-seeded team from the Pac-12 in the NCAA Tournament, whose victory in the Pac-12 Championship game helped secure the league’s automatic bid, as well as their position in the field as a #2 seed in the West Region. The Wildcats will face off in the “First Round” with #15 seed North Dakota, winners of the Big Sky Conference’s automatic bid. If Arizona advances past North Dakota, they’ll meet up with the winner of #7 seed Saint Mary’s (WCC) and #10 VCU (A-10) in the “Second Round” of action.
Oregon (29-5) were the runners-up to Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament, who enter the NCAA Tournament with some negative momentum pertaining to the recent ACL injury of center Chris Boucher, who will now miss the rest of the team’s season. The Ducks resume earned them a #3 seed in the Midwest Region, where they’ll square off with the #14 seed Iona, winners of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s automatic bid. If Oregon finds their way past the Gaels, they’ll meet up with the winner of #6 Creighton (Big East) and #11 Rhode Island (A-10) in the “Second Round” of action.
UCLA (29-4) is the third team from the Pac-12 to make the field, also garnering themselves a #3 seed, with an impressive 29-4 regular season. The Bruins will compete out of the tournament’s South Region, where they’ll match-up with #14 seed Kent State, winners of the Mid-American Conference’s automatic bid. If the Bruins knock off the Golden Flashes, they’ll meet up with the winner of #6 Cincinnati (AAC) and a duo of #11 seeds in Kansas State (Big 12) and Wake Forest (ACC), who will play in one of the “First Four” games.
- Arizona: The Wildcats will face off with #15 seed North Dakota in the First Round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
- Oregon: The Ducks will face off with #14 seed Iona in the First Round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
- UCLA: The Bruins will face off with #14 seed Kent State in the First Round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
- USC: The Trojans will play in the “First Four” in the East Region, against fellow #11 seed, Providence. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
- California: The Golden Bears lack of a signature win kept them out of the NCAA Tournament. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
USC (24-9) was one of the last teams to make the field of 68, drawing an #11 seed in the East Region and a spot in the “First Four” set of games, where they’ll match up with fellow #11 seed, Providence. If the Trojans get by the Friars, they’ll play in the “First Round” against #6 seed SMU (AAC). The winner of the SMU-USC match-up will go on to play the winner of #3 seed Baylor (Big 12) and #14 seed New Mexico State (WAC).
California (21-12) was another Pac-12 team who were left to sweat it out on Selection Sunday but the Golden Bears were probably more expecting not to hear their name called, considering they’ve been holding a position on the outside-looking-in for a while now. The Golden Bears were unable to stamp that signature win on their resume, despite a myriad of chances both within conference play and in a tough, non-conference portion of their schedule. California will now move on to play in the NIT, as well, along with two other Pac-12 teams in Colorado and Utah.
The complete NCAA Tournament bracket can be found here.
The NCAA Tournament will begin on Tuesday, March 14th through Wednesday, March 15th, with the playing of the “First Four” games in Dayton, Ohio. These games will be televised on TruTv. The “First Round” of the NCAA Tournament will then commence on Thursday, March 16th (in the respective host cities) and will be broadcast on either CBS, TBS, TNT or TruTV.
The “Final Four” is scheduled for Saturday, April 1st in Phoenix, Arizona, with the National Championship set to follow just two days later (Monday, April 3rd). The Final Four and National Championship Game will be televised on CBS. As usual, all 67 of this year’s NCAA Tournament games will be televised nationally on either CBS, TBS, TNT or TruTV.
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