Now things get a little more intense.
Photo by Nick Oza/The Arizona Republic

Four Pac-10 teams are in the NCAA tournament but one of them has to go to work early. Two other teams are in the NIT and a 7th Pac squad is in one of those tournaments that may or may not truly exist.

TWIT-Pac is hunting brackets.

The 2011 Pac-10 postseason tournament schedule x 3 (all times Arizona/Pacific):

NCAA Tournament

Date Time TV
Wed. Mar. 16 11 USC 11 VCU 6 p.m. truTV
Thu. Mar. 17 7 UCLA 10 Mich. St. 6:20 p.m. TBS
Fri. Mar. 18 5 ARIZONA 12 Memphis 11:45 a.m. CBS
Fri. Mar. 18 7 Washington 10 Georgia 6:45 p.m. CBS


Date Road Team Home Team Time TV
Wed. Mar. 16 5 Mississippi 4 Cal 6 p.m. ESPN2
Wed. Mar. 16 7 Long Beach St. 2 WSU 7 p.m. ESPNU

NIT = National Invitational Tournament


Date Road Team Home Team Time TV
Wed. Mar. 16 Weber St. Oregon 7 p.m. HDNet

CBI = College Basketball Invitational

– – –

NCAA Tournament

#11 USC (19-14 / 10-8) vs. #11 VCU (23-11)
Kevin O’Neill did not lose his job, at least not yet. It’s probably good for him that he has a chance to win more games than anyone this week.

If they win they play…
#6 Georgetown. USC will be the first Pac-10 team to use the “The extra game wore us out” excuse if they lose or the “The extra game made us sharper” explanation if they win.

If they win again they play…
#3 Purdue / #14 St. Peter’s winner. When there’s a college booster club known as Peacock Nation there are officially too many nations. That’s why we have the Wildcat Universe.

#7 UCLA (22-10 / 13-5) vs. #10 Michigan State (19-14)
The Bruins are facing the team that was ranked #2 in the preseason polls. Perhaps they meant in the state of Michigan.

If they win they play…
#2 Florida / #15 UC-Santa Barbara winner. It could be a rematch of the 2006 championship game…in basketball or soccer.

#5 ARIZONA (27-7 / 14-4) vs. #12 Memphis (25-9)
If Jason Terry comes out and says he’s rooting for Josh Pastner I’m going to be very upset.

If they win they play…
#4 Texas / #13 Oakland winner. Revenge against Duane Akina!

#7 Washington (23-10 / 11-7) vs. #10 Georgia (21-11)
The Huskies have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in three of their last four tournament appearances, including as an 11 seed last year.

If they win they play…
#2 North Carolina / #15 Long Island winner. I’m guessing it won’t be the school named after an iced tea.


Mississippi (20-13) at Cal (17-14 / 10-8)
With only one senior on their roster the Bears are hoping the NIT can springboard them into a strong 2012.

If they win they play…
Colorado / Texas Southern winner. First a non-conference football game and now this. The Bears and Buffaloes just can’t wait to play each other.

Long Beach St. (22-12) at WSU (19-12 / 9-9)
The Beach went 14-2 in the Big West but lost in the tournament final to UCSB. Curse those Gauchos!

If they win they play…
Oklahoma State. I still have nightmares about…Orange! Power! Orange! Power!


Weber St. (18-13) at Oregon (16-17 / 7-11)
Wait, you don’t even need a winning record to make one of these? The Ducks are the only team below .500 in any of this year’s tournaments.

If they win they play…
Duquesne / Montana winner
Oregon State won this tournament in 2009, with a losing record to boot. The pressure’s on, Ducks!

– – –

So here we are – Sean Miller’s first NCAA tournament game as the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Arizona. You would love for the team to play relaxed, loose and confident but that’s not always how these things go.

During the first half of the Pac-10 season Derrick Williams averaged 11 free throw attempts a game. Over the second half of the conference season (including the tournament) that number dropped to 6. The days of Williams going 15-for-16 from the line are over.

As a result, my feeling is this team will advance until it hits a cold 3-point shooting game and/or it runs into a team that can dominate inside.

Hopefully that team isn’t coached by a former Wildcat walk-on.

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Scott Terrell has on his dancing shoes. Start the madness on Twitter and Facebook.