Pac-12: Jockeying continues through final day
The only resolution stemming from Washington's loss to UCLA on Thursday night is the Huskies are out of contention for a possible tie for third place in the Pac-12 men's basketball standings.
Otherwise, a huge jumble remains in place in the conference's middle tier.
As the final round of regular-season games unfolds Saturday, here are the relevant standings - and some tiebreaking methods to keep in mind:
From No. 3 through No. 9 - Colorado 10-7, Arizona State 10-7, Oregon 9-8, Utah 9-8, Stanford 9-8, California 9-8, Washington 8-9.
Utah and Stanford will separate themselves in their head-to-head meeting Saturday, while Cal can tie with Colorado by beating the Buffaloes in the Bay Area. ASU (at Oregon State) and Oregon (vs. Arizona) have about 50-50 chances of winning, while Washington should beat USC.
Now, for the tiebreakers. The first factor, obviously, is head-to-competition. In a multiple-team tie, that includes all games played within the group. If more than two teams remain tied on that basis, the next step is results vs. the top teams in the conference standings.
It's complicated, but that procedure potentially gives advantages to Cal, because of its win over Arizona, and Utah, which beat UCLA.
So it's likely that a tiebreaker will be used to determine one or more of the top four seeds, with a first-round bye, for next week's Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. Arizona and UCLA are locked into the top two seeds.
There's also an argument that a team such as Utah or Oregon would benefit from playing in the first round, for the sake of accumulating wins to enhance its NCAA Tournament chances.
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