We entered the past week in Pac-12 men’s basketball knowing that if Oregon and Colorado were going to make any move in the pursuit of an NCAA Tournament berth, they needed to get on a roll and stay hot for several weeks.
That very clearly did not happen this past week.
Oregon lost to Pac-12 bottom-feeder Stanford on Saturday night. The Ducks’ pattern of going from elite to awful and back again continues. The team which crushed Arizona by 19 one week ago turned into a pumpkin against Stanford, a team which entered Saturday’s game 1-7 in the Pac-12. This has been Oregon’s modus operandi the past two seasons, not just this one.
“On Saturday night, Oregon closed out their Bay Area road trip with a disastrous loss to the Stanford Cardinal, falling 71-64 to the last-place team in the Pac-12. It feature abysmal shooting, poor effort until it was too late, and another head-scratcher for Altman in a season that’s been full of them,” Ducks Wire editor Zachary Neel wrote.
“The Ducks’ chance at an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament is all but dashed, and it’s seeming likely that it will be another trip to the NIT for Oregon.”
Meanwhile, a few days before Oregon face-planted, Colorado lost at home to Washington. The Buffaloes got swept by the mediocre Huskies this season, having lost in Seattle in early December. Colorado has lost to Cal and is 3-6 in the Pac-12. CU’s NCAA hopes — barring a Pac-12 Tournament championship run — have been put to bed.
So, the bubble picture in the Pac-12 is fairly clear. UCLA and Arizona are NCAA Tournament locks, leaving Arizona State, USC and Utah as three teams vying for at-large berths. ASU is currently in the best position, but not by much, after getting blasted by USC. The Trojans’ big win moves them closer to ASU, and Utah’s sweep of the Washington schools improves their bubble position.
Notably, USC is 2-0 against ASU and Utah, and will have one more game against each school in the coming weeks.