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Weekly Six Pac: Final Flops

Pac-12 Shut Out of Final Four

Connecticut v Gonzaga Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

1. UCLA and Gonzaga have made it a habit to face off under the bright lights of March Madness. Two years ago, the Zags got as close as they have ever come to the National Championship by beating UCLA 93-90 in OT of the national semifinal. Several players from that matchup- including stars Drew Timme, Tyger Campbell, and Jaime Jaquez- were back last week when the two squads faced off in the Sweet 16. While this iteration came earlier in the bracket, it did not lack drama. Gonzaga came back from a double-digit deficit in the second half, but Amari Bailey nailed a go-ahead three for the Bruins with 12 seconds to go. Not to be undone, Julian Strawther took and made a three from the edge of the half court logo to give Gonzaga the victory. The Zags ultimately lost to UConn in the regional final, but San Diego State’s run to the Final Four ensures that the West Coast will be represented.

2. Before moving on from Pac-12 Men’s Basketball, Arizona Desert Swarm has a cool feature to track the offseason. They created a player movement tracker that lists both players on their way out of the program and those they have targeted as options in the transfer portal. Some of the potential incoming names will look familiar to Husky fans, while the most notable outgoing name is PG Kerr Kriisa, who may choose to join his old coach Sean Miller at Xavier.

Princeton v Arizona Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

3. The Pac-12 was much better represented at the top of the rankings on the women’s side, but they couldn’t crack the Final Four in that tournament, either. Utah was one of the best bets, but they fell to eventual Final Four qualifier LSU in the Sweet 16. The Utes had a chance to tie or take the lead with a pair of free throws with under five seconds left in the game, but missed both. While Kim Mulkey has LSU clicking on all cylinders, Utah fans will feel like they missed a golden opportunity.

4. The Pac-12 Baseball standings have been a roller coaster ride with many of the teams who struggled the most in non-conference play suddenly surging to the top of the standings. Case in point is USC, who started 7-6-1, but has since gone 7-2 in conference play. Most recently, the Trojans swept WSU in dominant fashion. The Cougs were a feel-good story earlier in the season when they surged into the top-25 nationally. but they’ve lost their last six and now sit 8th in the conference standings.

5. While Stanford and USC are the two ranked baseball teams in the conference, the current leader in the standings is Arizona State. The Sun Devils emphatically swept arch-rival Arizona over the weekend to improve to 5-1 in conference play. Some Seattleites might have a soft spot for the team, which is managed by former Mariner Willie Bloomquist. Or maybe that might make you root against them. Your mileage may vary.

6. There is at least one bit of football news to report. Colorado got a commitment from its QB for the 2024 class. Danny O’Neil, a three-star recruit from Indiana, is a good fit for OC Sean Lewis’s system. The Dawgs saw Connor Schlee’s dual-threat ability for Kent State last year and O’Neil profiles as the same sort of player- he will pass first, but has the legs to move to extend plays.