The 2009 Pac-10 tournament officially gets underway Wednesday night when Oregon State plays Stanford in the first round of the tourney. The Pac-10 tournament schedule didn’t even have its brackets set up completely until the last day of season play, and it saw a number of teams get shuffled before the big week in Los Angeles, California. When the dust had settled, the University of Washington had won the regular season title, with UCLA nipping at their heels.
Going into the tournament, the University of Washington is one of the hottest teams, and has taken a 24-7 record to the #1 seed. This will get them an NCAA bid no matter how they do in the Pac-10 tourney, but every team wants to go home with that trophy. UCLA also finished the season at 24-7 overall, but lost out on the in-conference tie-breaker to the Huskies. #3 will be California with an overall record of 22-9, and the 4th seed will be Arizona State sitting at 22-8.
In the Pac-10 tournament, the top 6 teams get a bye in the first round, while the 7 through 10 teams have to play a game Wednesday night to advance. In the first game of the night, Oregon State takes on Stanford at 6pm Pacific, and they are followed by Washington State against Oregon at 8:30pm Pacific time. The winner of the OSU/Stanford game plays UW on Thursday, while the winner of the WSU/Oregon game gets UCLA in the Thursday nightcap.
It’s going to be a very interesting Pac-10 tournament, and there are 8 teams that could realistically stand a chance at running the table. The winner of the Pac-10 tournament gets an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, and with it, a lot of bragging rights until next season. With surprising teams like Arizona, and the young and talented Washington State Cougars lurking lower in the bracket, this could be a tournament filled with upsets on paper. The Washington Huskies are the early favorite to win with Isaiah Thomas at guard and a very strong set of big-men, but this could be a tournament of surprises if several of the other teams intend to make some noise.
Source: Pac-10 Tournament Web-Site
PAC-10 Tournament Schedule:
At Staples Center
Wednesday, March 11
Game 1: No. 8 Oregon State vs. No. 9 Stanford, 9 p.m.
Game 2: No. 7 Washington State vs. No. 10 Oregon, 11:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 12
Game 3: No. 4 Arizona State vs. No. 5 Arizona, 3 p.m.
Game 4: No. 1 Washington vs. Game 1 winner, 5:30 p.m.
Game 5: No. 3 California vs. No. 6 USC, 9 p.m.
Game 6: No. 2 UCLA vs. Game 2 winner, 11:30 p.m.
Friday, March 13
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 9 p.m.
Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 14
Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 6 p.m.