One of the best times on the sports calendar is March because of all the post-season tournaments that are happening all at the same time.
The same thing happens in May, but Pac-12 fans don’t have a clue because this conference doesn’t have a conference tournament in either baseball or softball.
Exposure has always been troublesome for the Pac-12, but in particular, these sports. Oregon baseball coach Mark Wasikowski and softball coach Melyssa Lombardi both hope that not having a Pac-12 tournament will be something of the past in the near future.
“The league is tough,” Lombardi told The Oregonian earlier this month. “I think for us as coaches and with our teams figuring out what’s the best way to go, is it having your conference games and then having a tournament right after or not. I think that’s something that’s come up and so far up to this point there hasn’t been a conference tournament.”
Having a conference tourney on national television, such as ESPN or Fox Sports 1, would be the exposure they need to bring in better athletes as well as possible seeding in the NCAA tournament. Softball felt that earlier when it was assumed the Ducks would host a regional, but instead was made to go to Austin, Texas.
The tournament committee wasn’t in a room watching how good Oregon was in a post-season semifinal or final. They were looking at the Ducks on paper instead.
Oregon baseball is hoping they don’t suffer the same fate as softball. The Ducks are one of the best teams in the nation, a top 10 team for most of the season. Instead of making active preparations for PK Park to hold the Eugene Regional, the social media people for the Ducks are tweeting out fancy graphics to explain why they are worthy to host three other teams at PK Park.
Wasikowski expressed this concern in that same article in The Oregonian.
“They’re (the NCAA tournament committee) not watching Oregon play at Cal Berkeley this year because that’s where our last series is. That’s not going to be on their screen. They’re going to have all the conference tournaments on watching all those winners to where they can fill out basically their brackets and put the teams into the postseason slots.”
The Pac-12 was scheduled to have a baseball tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz. this year before the pandemic hit. The conference is seemingly going in a very different direction with its new commissioner George Kliavkoff at the helm and hopefully, in 2022, everyone will get to enjoy the conference tournaments on diamonds.