Despite what you may have heard, the Pac-10 will be getting a basketball team in the NCAA tournament this year. That automatic bid will be earned by one very excited team this week.

It’s not going to be Arizona, right? No way a lowly 4-seed wins the tournament…right?

Did you know, since the Pac-10 tournament returned in 2002, a team seeded 4 or worse has won the tournament three times, or just as often as the #1 team has won?

#5 Oregon in 2003, #4 Oregon in 2007, and #6 USC last year. It can be done. It’s just a matter of who’s going to do it.

Here comes TWIT-Pac, Staples style:

Wed. Mar. 10 (all times Arizona/Mountain)

Game 1 #8 Oregon #9 WSU 9:10 p.m. FSN

Thu. Mar. 11

Game 2 #4 ARIZONA #5 UCLA 1:10 p.m. FSN
Game 3 #1 Cal Game 1 winner 3:40 p.m. FSN
Game 4 #2 ASU #7 Stanford 7:10 p.m. FSN
Game 5 #3 Washington #6 OSU 8:40 p.m. FSN

Fri. Mar. 12

Game 6 Game 2 winner Game 3 winner 7:18 p.m. FSN
Game 7 Game 4 winner Game 5 winner 9:40 p.m. FSN

Sat. Mar. 13

Game 8 Game 6 winner Game 7 winner 4:10 p.m. CBS

Wed. Mar. 10
#8 Oregon (15-15 / 7-11) vs. #9 WSU (16-14 / 6-12)
With Ernie Kent getting fired is Mike Dunlap going to coach the Ducks, or did he turn that down too?

Thu. Mar. 11
#4 ARIZONA (16-14 / 10-8) vs. #5 UCLA (13-17 / 8-10)
Remember in 2004 when the Cats lost twice to Washington in the regular season and then played a third time in the Pac-10 tournament? Yeah, we lost again. The UA is looking to be the three-peting team this year.

#1 Cal (21-9 / 13-5) vs. the Oregon/WSU winner
Mike Montgomery won one Pac-10 tournament while at Stanford, in 2004 when he was the #1 seed.

#2 ASU (22-9 / 12-6) vs. #7 Stanford (13-17 / 7-11)
The Devils finished second in this tournament last year, playing as the 4-seed.

#3 Washington (21-9 / 11-7) vs. #6 OSU (14-16 / 8-10)
Do the Beavers have one last stink attack in them?

‘Tis the season to survive and advance. Win on Thursday and the dream lives on.

Streak or die.