As teams in the conference fight for first place the competition is about to heat up over the next few weeks. The USC Trojans are 15-9 and have been one of the best teams in the Pac Ten over the last couple weeks. USC will not participate in the Pac Ten Conference Tournament this year, because of self-imposed sanctions. With the Trojans already eliminated, first place in the conference will go to California, Arizona State, Washington or Arizona. There is still not a Pac Ten team that is ranked in the Top 25. Is it possible for a team to win finish in first place in the regular season and not win the Pac Ten Conference Tournament, but still receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament?
There is a theory that most teams that finish in first place in their conference do not take the conference tournament that serious. This will not be a luxury for whatever team in the Pac Ten finishes #1 during the regular season. The conference has been perceived nationally as being down this season. The team that wins the regular season might have to at least make the conference championship game to receive and at large bid to NCAA Tournament. It is safe to assume that three Pac Ten Teams will not make the tournament. What will the NCAA selection committee use as the determining factor to give teams an at large bid? It is very possible that the top three teams in the Pac Ten will finish the regular season more than four games above .500 in conference play. It is possible that some teams could make the tournament on past reputation North Carolina and Uconn are both 14-11 and under .500 in conference play and although they may not deserve a bid to the tournament, their conferences are looked at as being two of the best in the country. It will be interesting to see how the NCAA selection committee handles the Pac Ten on Selection Sunday.