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The Beavers Path to the NCAA Tournament

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Can Oregon State rattle off 4 straight wins?

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Beavers have officially entered extremely charted territory. They have to win the Pac-12 tournament to get into the NCAA tournament. Oregon State’s 17-13 record is less than stellar and their non-conference schedule did them no favors. An argument could be made that if they lose in the championship game they might be on the bubble, but I don’t believe it. In my eyes, Oregon State’s only hope of earning an NCAA tournament bid is to win four games in four days to earn the conferences auto-bid. While this seems unlikely it’s certainly not impossible, in fact Vegas gives the Beavers a 50-to-1 shot to win the Pac-12 tournament.

The Pac-12 tournament seeds are officially set and the bracket has been revealed. The Beavers earned an 8-seed (the top four teams have first round byes). While it’s true that Oregon State hasn’t won more than two Pac-12 games in a row; here’s what a potential four game Pac-12 tournament run would look like for Oregon State.

Let’s size up the fake match-ups:

Game 1 - UTAH

Oregon State and Utah split the regular-season series. Both teams winning at home by double-digits. ESPN’s BPI gives the Beavers a 60.2% chance to win this game on Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Game 2 - OREGON

Another regular-season series split. Both teams also won at home by double-digits. Oregon has been playing really well lately though and always cranks it up a notch in the postseason. I would guess that ESPN’s BPI would only give the Beavers a 10-15% chance of winning this game against the top-seeded Ducks who will be well-rested. (Edit: BPI gives the Beavs a 17.9% of winning). In all reality this is probably where the Beavers season ends if they don’t sneak into the NIT tournament, but for the sake of argument let’s say they pull off the upset and keep the momentum rolling.

Game 3 - ARIZONA

Washington is chomping at the bit to pull off a patented 5/12 upset in the first round; but I think Arizona might be the most talented Pac-12 team. USC just beat a red hot UCLA team and they shouldn’t be discounted, but I think the Arizona Wildcats will be the team left standing in the semi-finals on Friday. And the Beavers also split the regular-season series against Arizona. And you guessed it, both teams won by double-digits at home. And finally if Oregon State pulls off another big upset...

Game 4 - ARIZONA STATE

If the Beavers advance all the way to the finals a number of schools could be waiting for them. Oregon State has beaten every team in the Pac-12 except for: ASU, USC, Washington & WSU. Looking at the Pac-12 it’s true that no team is head-and-shoulders above the rest; but a lot of teams have been more consistent than Oregon State. It’ll take a herculean effort from the Beavers to earn that auto-bid, but 50-1 odds are tempting... Anything is possible... Go Beavs!