This is it. This is the final week of regular season play in the Pac-12 and will likely determine whether the Huskies go to the NCAA or the NIT. There are a lot of things going on all across the country that will determine the Huskies’ fate.
To summarize where the Huskies are right now. UW is currently 19-10 (9-7) which puts them at 7th in the conference standings. If the season ended today that would mean a 1st round game in the conference tournament against Oregon State. Not ideal. Leapfrogging at least one more team guarantees a 1st round game against Wazzu or Cal or a bye. That’s what the Huskies are shooting for. If they win both games this week the worst they can finish is 6th.
In terms of NCAA picture the consensus is that Washington is just short at the moment. Jerry Palm at CBS, Yahoo, and SI all have the Huskies as the 3rd team out. Joe Lunardi at ESPN has the Dawgs the 5th team out of the tournament. NBC Sports is one of the few outlets with Washington in the dance right now but as a 12 seed in a play-in game against Louisville. There is no more wiggle room. Just keep winning.
We’ll start over at Montlake.
The Huskies have two games this week against the Oregon schools at home. Washington has to win both games if it wants to get an at large bid to the NCAA tournament. Nothing else will do even if they make it to the Pac-12 tournament final. We’ll have more details in our in-depth game previews the day of the games.
Oregon State at Washington, Thursday 8p, ESPN2
Rooting for: Washington
KenPom Percentages: UW 71 - OSU 67. UW 65% chance of victory
Edit: Washington won 79-77
Oregon at Washington, Saturday 1:30p, Pac-12 Networks
Rooting for: Washington
KenPom Percentages: UW 72 - OSU 71. UW 53% chance of victory
Rest of the Pac-12
It is still possible for the Huskies to get up to as high as 3rd place in the conference standings if everything breaks right for them. The important thing to note is that UW is screwed when it comes to tiebreakers. They have a chance of tying Stanford, Utah, UCLA, and/or Oregon in the standings. They are a combined 0-6 against those teams at the moment. UW is rooting for all of those teams to lose.
Stanford at Arizona, Thursday 7p
We’re still not sure whether Lorenzo Romar will still be on the sidelines for this one but he could do the Huskies a favor with a win. Arizona has all but clinched the conference title but if Stanford gets swept in the desert and Washington goes 2-0 this week then the Huskies would leapfrog the Cardinal in the conference standings. If Stanford wins this game then they will stay above UW in conference tourney seeding no matter what.
Rooting for: Arizona
KenPom Percentages: Arizona 82 - Stanford 72. Arizona 83% chance of victory. (Note that this doesn’t take into account the absences of Allonzo Trier or Sean Miller).
Edit: Arizona did win 75-67
Stanford at Arizona State, Saturday 11:30a, Pac-12 Networks
As noted above, we want Stanford to lose both of their games. If they win either one then it puts a huge dent in Washington’s chances of getting a bye.
Rooting for: Arizona State
KenPom Percentages: Arizona State 84 - Stanford 75. Arizona State 80% chance of victory.
Colorado at Utah, Saturday, 4p, Pac-12 Networks
Colorado helped out with a win at home against UCLA on Sunday and they can help the Huskies out in multiple ways on Saturday. If UW sweeps and Utah drops this game then the Huskies pass them in the conference standings. That would be great. The second way this helps is that Colorado’s RPI currently sits at 78. Currently UW’s road win at Boulder is a quadrant two and the home win is a quadrant three. If Colorado’s RPI bumps up to 75 then they count as quadrant one and quadrant two. If the Huskies get back to 5 quadrant one wins it’ll be more than basically any other team on the bubble. And then there’s the fact that Utah is on the bubble with Washington. A loss here would cross off one more contender for an at large berth
Rooting for: Colorado
KenPom Percentages: Utah 72 - Colorado 63. Utah 77% chance of victory.
UCLA at USC, Saturday, 7:15p, ESPN
This is the same scenario as the above game only this time we get to root for the favorite. A UW sweep and a USC win in the battle for L.A leapfrogs the Huskies over the Bruins in the standings. If Washington does pull off the wins they need then this will be appointment viewing. Just like Utah the Bruins are ahead of Washington in most brackets and a loss here would allow UW to pass them in both the conference standings and in the bubble standings.
Rooting for: USC
KenPom Percentages: USC 83 - UCLA 78. USC 67% chance of victory.
Across the Country
There are 13 teams that are considered to be on the bubble right now. 3 of those teams are Utah, USC, and UCLA mentioned above. Another is Nebraska who has concluded their regular season and has a bye in the Big-10 tournament. Their first game will happen on Friday likely against Michigan. But no matter who they play, the Huskies should be rooting against the Cornhuskers. UW is hoping for all these teams to lose out but here’s the most important game for each in order of when they occur. It just so happens that they all happen either tonight or Saturday night.
Tennessee 21-7 (11-5) at Mississippi State 21-8 (9-7), Tuesday, 4p, SEC Network
Washington is going to be rooting hard for the Volunteers as they play a pair of bubble teams this week. The Bulldogs are neck and neck with UW on the bubble so we need them to miss their last regular season chance for a statement win.
Rooting for: Tennessee
KenPom Percentages: Tennessee 68 - Miss State 67. Tennessee 54% chance of victory.
Edit: Tennessee did win 76-54
Oklahoma 17-11 (7-9) at Baylor 17-12 (7-9), Tuesday, 6p, ESPN2
Baylor seemingly clinched a bid during an impressive 5 game winning streak but have followed that up by losing 2 in a row. A loss here would drop them to 7-10 in conference which may be a death knell. The same is true for Oklahoma but they had a much better non-conference schedule plus have a national player of the year favorite so still seem to be safe in most people’s eyes.
Rooting for: Oklahoma
KenPom Percentages: Baylor 82 - Oklahoma 78. Oklahoma 36% chance of victory.
Edit: Oklahoma crapped the bed and lost 87-64
Davidson 17-10 (12-4) at St. Bonaventure 22-6 (12-4), Tuesday, 6p, CBS Sports
The Bonnies are probably in with an RPI of 23. But a loss at home to a Davidson team that’s much better than their RPI plus an early loss in the conference tournament might drop them out. Davidson won the first matchup between the two at home.
Rooting for: Davidson
KenPom Percentages: St. Bonaventure 74 - Davidson 72. Davidson 42% chance of victory.
Edit: Davidson blew it in 3OT 117-113
Boise State 22-6 (12-4) at San Diego State 17-10 (9-7), Tuesday, 8p, CBS Sports
San Diego State’s analytics profile is much better than their RPI so this would be a damaging loss for Boise State even though it shouldn’t be. A loss here likely shuts the door on BSU’s chances at an at large bid.
Rooting for: San Diego State
KenPom Percentages: San Diego State 72 - Boise State 70. SD State 57% chance of victory.
Edit: San Diego State got it done 72-64
West Virginia at Texas 17-13 (7-10), Saturday, 9a, ESPN
Texas lost last night and continue to slide down the bubble having lost 5 of 7. Stud freshman Mo Bamba missed their last game and if he is out for this one as well then their tourney hopes may be done. Only two teams have ever made the tournament as at larges finishing 4 games under .500 in conference play.
Rooting for: West Virginia
KenPom Percentages: West Virginia 70 - Texas 68. West Virginia 55% chance of victory.
Clemson 21-7 (10-6) at Syracuse 18-12 (7-10), Saturday, 11a, ACC Network
I’ve loved the support from Syracuse fans all year but when it’s down to you versus us I choose us. The Orange have dropped 4 of 5 and this is their last chance for a statement. I don’t think a 10 loss ACC team gets in.
Rooting for: Clemson
KenPom Percentages: Syracuse 62 - Clemson 61. Clemson 50% chance of victory.
Creighton 20-9 (9-7) at Marquette 17-12 (8-9), Saturday, 11:30a
Marquette really only has only one bad loss on their resume which is why they’re in the hunt at 17-12. But is an 8-10 team in the Big East actually going to get in?
Rooting for: Creighton
KenPom Percentages: Marquette 84 - Creighton 83. Creighton 45% chance of victory.
Louisville 19-11 (9-8) at North Carolina State 20-10 (10-7), Saturday, 3p, ESPN
Louisville unfortunately pulled off a win on Saturday against Virginia Tech which has them in the field right now. The Cardinals blew their home game against #1 Virginia in one of the craziest endings of the season. They might be able to afford a two game skid to end the regular season but it’ll make things mighty uncomfortable if they do.
Rooting for: North Carolina State
KenPom Percentages: NC State 80 - Louisville 78. NC State 60% chance of victory.
Georgia 16-13 (7-10) at Tennessee 22-7 (12-5), Saturday, 3p, SEC Network
We finish where we started, rooting for Tennessee. Georgia needs to win this game and then make it to at least the SEC tournament semis to stay in the hunt. This would be the best win on their resume so they mustn’t have it.
Rooting for: Tennessee
KenPom Percentages: Tennessee 69 - Georgia 59. Tennessee 81% chance of victory.
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