If you're looking to kill a couple of hours leading up to the noon PST tipoff of the quarterfinals of the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament brought to you by Pacific Life (only those who watched WSU/Oregon last night will get that joke), why not take a spin around SB Nation's Pac-10 sites for the best conference tournament previews, news and notes?
California Golden Blogs offers up its own nice comprehensive preview of the tournament, identifying long shots, dark horses, contenders and the favorite. Not surprisingly, they think it's Cal:
As much as I don’t like proclaiming Cal the favorite in anything, the fact is that Cal has shown themselves to be the class of this conference. Three of Cal’s five losses were close, back and forth games that could have gone either way, and the two teams that managed to soundly beat the Bears are on the opposite side of the bracket. Cal is the best team and they got the best draw, and they should not be lacking motivation.
Bruins Nation really just can't wait for UCLA's season to be over:
Since we launched BN almost five years ago this time of the year has always been something special. This is the time of the year watching college basketball from around the country became even more fun than usual. As the pool of 64 teams slowly came into shape during those years, we were busy sizing up the marquee teams and going over possible matchups with Ben Ball warriors in our heads. In comparison, when basketball comes up on tWWL or other channels this season, right now I just feel a total sense of dread as it serves up as reminder of the debacle we experienced this season.
Building the Dam breaks down what the Beavers have to do to get their first win against the Huskies in their matchup tonight:
If the Beavers want to advance in the Pac-10 Tournament with a win tonight, they'll need to be able to do the things they weren't able to do previously against the Huskies: stop the transition game, play with an extreme level of toughness, and finish the game down the stretch.
Lastly, we'll leave you with links to our SB Nation.com Bubble Watch and Bracketology streams, which should be of particular interest to both Arizona State and Washington fans. Chris Dobbertean has moved the Sun Devils into his bracket as one of the last four in after yesterday's results, while Washington is still part of his first four out. Here's what he had to say about each.
The Sun Devils swept past the L.A. schools to lock up the second seed in this week's Pac-10 Tournament. Thanks to what else has gone on around the country, they may only need to make the final to get in, which speaks volumes about the quality of this season's bubble. Currently, the only win the Sun Devils can hang their hat on is a home victory over San Diego State on December 19, their lone top 50 win in six tries. ASU begins Pac-10 Tournament play against seventh-seeded Stanford on Thursday.
Much like the Sun Devils, the Huskies have some life, as they own home wins over Texas A&M and Cal. However, December losses at Texas Tech and against Georgetown in Anaheim are missed opportunities in a weak bubble year. Washington swept the Oregon schools to finish the regular season strong and lock up the third seed in the Pac-10 Tournament. They'll face sixth-seeded Oregon State again in the quarterfinals on Thursday. If both ASU and UW make the semifinal, that game could be for a bid.
Keep an eye on that Bubble Watch, because it's likely the fate of those two teams -- if they don't win the conference tournament -- will be determined by the success or failure of other teams.