Mayhem hardly describes what is going on at the Pac-12 tournament.
Regular-season champ and top seed Washington is out, a victim of its own free throw failures and No. 9 seed Oregon State, which won 86-84 in today’s first quarterfinal at Staples Center.
The Huskies are 21-10, but their RPI is in the 50s and about to get worse. They are 1-8 against RPI top-50 teams, 4-8 against the top-100. They are 6-8 outside Seattle. They lost their only game against Pac-12 runnerup Cal — at home.
And they missed five free throws in the final 18 seconds — four of them by freshman Tony Wroten.
Do they deserve a bid?
“I would think the Pac-12 champion would be able to find a place in the NCAA tournament,” UW coach Lorenzo Romar said afterward. “We certainly didn’t help ourselves today . . . but I am not on the committee . . . and we’re kind of at the mercy of their decision.”
What did you expect him to say?
Historically, of course, every regular-season champion from this conference — by any name — has made it in. This is not every year. This is unlike any year.
How much would the picture be complicated if Cal lost to Stanford this evening?
Would the NCAA take both Cal and UW? Take neither? Take one or the other?
Or would the NCAA convene a special board and decide that the Pac-12 simply does not deserve any bids?
That wouldn’t be much crazier than the final 31 seconds of the OSU-UW game, when the teams combined to miss 10 of 13 FTs. Or a game where the two teams combined for 29 missed free throws altogether.
Stay tuned. How much worse can this get?