(Winners of each matchup listed in BOLD.)
Game 1: Washington State (8) vs. Oregon State (9), 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 7
Player of the Year candidate Brock Motum leads all scorers with eight points as the Cougars knock off the Beavs 17-12 in first-round play. Announced attendance for the tournament’s first game is 22. A quick head count of everyone in the arena reveals that only 19 people are actually present, however.
Game 2: UCLA (5) vs. USC (12), 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 7
The Bruins continue their stick-up-their-ass, inspired-by-scandal run to the NIT by throttling the Trojans and their bevy of backcourt munchkins. Reeves Nelson buys a ticket and sits courtside, but is later removed from the premises after rushing the court and setting a hard pick on one of his former teammates.
Game 3: Stanford (7) vs. Arizona State (10), 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 7
Coming off a huge win over Arizona, the Sun Devils look to capitalize on the momentum and make noise against the Cardinal. Unfortunately, they are still the Sun Devils. And Herb Sendek is no better than Maurice Sendak (he wrote Where The Wild Things Are, you know) at coaching basketball. The Tree moves on.
Game 4: Colorado (6) vs. Utah (11), 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 7
There are 344 NCAA Division I basketball teams. Of those 344 teams, 140 will make a postseason tournament (NCAA, NIT, CBI, or CIT tournaments) in 2012. That still leaves precisely 204 teams that will not make a postseason tournament. I like to call those 204 outsiders “the 59-Percent.” Utah is part of the 59-percent.
Colorado wins 137-22. Don’t quote me on that final score.
Game 5: Washington (1) vs. Washington State (8), 12:00 p.m., Thursday, March 8
I want to believe in the Huskies. I really do. But we all know how hard it is to beat a team three times in one season. And this isn’t just any team. This is the rival. This is Washington State. These jerks are going to want to beat us more than any other team in the tournament.
The Cougars have only one player that needs to be controlled: Brock Motum. Motum has totaled 34 points against the Dawgs in two previous meetings this year. The Huskies, on the other hand, have had significant contributions from a variety of players, including Terrence Ross (30 points, 14 rebounds at home in Seattle), Tony Wroten (21 points on the road in Pullman; 13 points at home), C.J. Wilcox (16 points in Pullman), Aziz N’Diaye (12 points, 8 rebounds at home), and yes, even Darnell Gant (13 points, 8 rebounds at home).
If the Dawgs bring the will to win (and for the love of God, let’s hope they do), their excessive firepower should be enough to give them a narrow victory over the arch-nemesis.
Game 6: Arizona (4) vs. UCLA (5), 2:30 p.m., Thursday, March 8
With the home crowd behind them and that stick still firmly entrenched in their collective behind, the Bruins will upset the Wildcats and send Arizona into the NIT on a sour note. Whatever this is, it’s like the opposite of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx.
Game 7: California (2) vs. Stanford (7), 6:00 p.m., Thursday, March 8
After taking down the Golden Bears just four days prior, will the Cardinal have the ability to channel the magic for a second time in one week? No. The answer is a resounding negative. Cal is playing for their NCAA Tournament hopes. And Stanford? They’re playing to avoid the CBI, I suppose. Either way, fifteenth-year senior Harper Kamp will put the Bears on his back and carry them to his proverbial bear cave.
That was an incorrect use of the word “proverbial,” by the way. There’s no proverbs about bear caves, as far as I know.
Game 8: Oregon (3) vs. Colorado (6), 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 8
In the world of zoology, a buffalo would easily trample a duck.
In my dreams, the Buffaloes would easily trample the Ducks.
In reality, the Ducks will, in all likelihood, very easily trample the Buffaloes. It defies the laws of nature, no doubt.
I hate Oregon.
Game 9: Washington (1) vs. UCLA (5), 6:00 p.m., Friday, March 9
Ben Howland can keep that stick in his ass. I’m fine with that. But his team will lose this game. Twice in one week over Washington? Three victories on three consecutive days? No. Not going to happen. Goodbye, UCLA.
Game 10: California (2) vs. Oregon (3), 8:30 p.m., Friday, March 9
Jorge Gutierrez will one day win the NBDL’s Sixth Man of the Year award. He’s that good.
I hate Oregon so much I want the Huskies to play them for the Pac-12 title. So…down goes Cal!
Devoe Joseph will score 30. I hate that guy.
Game 11: Washington (1) vs. Oregon (3), 3:00 p.m., Saturday, March 10
Ask any expert who they think presents Washington the biggest challenge in the Pac-12 Tournament and they’ll tell you it’s Oregon. Oregon, they say, could beat the Huskies.
If Oregon wins this game, the Pac-12 likely sends three teams to the NCAA Tournament. Oregon, as league tournament champions, would receive the conference’s automatic berth. Washington would undoubtedly get an at-large bid by this point, as could Cal. For the Pac-12, which has endured speculation that only one team would be sent to the Big Dance all season long, this would be fantastic news.
But come on. You really think I give a damn about the conference when Oregon’s in the mix? Hell no! I hate Oregon! Has that not been iterated enough? Shall we reiterate? I. Hate. Oregon.
I’m not picking those Duck bastards, are you kidding me?
Washington, for the win! Pac-12 regular season champions! Pac-12 Tournament champions! We’re going dancing! A and K all the way! Hooray!
Go Dawgs. We got this.