The Pac-10 Tournament begins tonight with two meaningless games: OSU vs. Cal, and ASU vs. Washington. OSU and Cal are fighting for the right to get demolished by UCLA tomorrow, and there is no way in hell ASU beats Washington. Unless you are a fan of one of those respective schools, don't bother watching.
Oh, but starting tomorrow, the tournament gets really interesting. Oregon/Arizona should be a really entertaining game. They've had two good ones this year, and they both like to get up and down. And both teams will want this one, as it would be a quality win to improve their NCAA seeding (and, hopefully, not get sent to Buffalo).
The winner of that game likely gets UCLA (who should easily romp over the OSU/Cal winner). The question is, with a #1 seed already locked up, does UCLA want to win this game? Or does UCLA want to rest for the NCAAs? I think that UCLA would not want to endanger their #1 seed by losing to a crappy team like OSU, but would just as soon lose to Oregon or Arizona just to rest up (not saying that they'll tank it, but you know what I mean). Meanwhile, UO and UA are playing for seeding. So do not be surprised if the Ducks get to the tournament final.
On the other side of the bracket, we'll likely get an Apple Cup rematch. Washington has more to play for than any other team in the tournament. Due to their underperformance this year, they need to win the thing in order to get to the NCAAs. And they have the talent to legitimately do so. But Washington State is not a team that is going to back off, partially because its a rivalry game, but also because seasons like this only come along once in twenty years in Pullman, and they are fired up for every game. This will be two teams that really want this game.
Finally in the other match up, we have USC/Stanford. Stanford needs a win to get themselves off the bubble and firmly into the tournament, while SC again is playing for seeding.
What makes the tournament so great this year is that there are seven teams that could legitimately win this thing. And six of those seven teams have every legitimate reason to do so. We have three days of basketball that are just going to be a treat. Its a shame that they are going to be shown on Fox Sports.