Basketball: The complicated road to a No. 4 seed

I have a headache.

Ah, but you are the beneficiaries because, with some help, I believe I have identified the four scenarios that could earn Cal a No. 4 seed and first-round bye in next week’s Pac-12 tournament.

There is no way for the Bears to climb into the No. 3 position, and best I can tell they cannot finisher lower than the No. 7 seed.

First, here are the standings headed into play Saturday:

Arizona 15-2
UCLA 12-5
Arizona State 10-7
Colorado 10-7
Cal 9-8
Oregon 9-8
Stanford 9-8
Utah 9-8
Washington 8-9
Oregon State 7-10
USC 2-15
Washington State 2-15

The seeding positions that are set: No. 1 Arizona; No. 2 UCLA; No. 10. Oregon State.

For the Bears to get No. 4 and a Thursday quarter-final against the No. 5/12 winner, here’s what has to happen:

— Cal beats Colorado, Arizona State beats Oregon State, Stanford beats Utah and Arizona beat Oregon. That leaves ASU at 11-7 and the No. 3 seed. Cal, Colorado and Stanford all would be 10-8 and Cal wins the tiebreaker based on its 2-1 record against the other two.

— Cal beats Colorado, Oregon State beats ASU, Stanford beats Utah, Arizona beats Oregon. That creates a four-way tie between Cal, Colorado, ASU and Stanford, all at 10-8. ASU’s 4-2 record vs. the other three gives it the No. 3 seed. Cal gets the No. 4 seed based on its 2-1 record vs. Colorado and Stanford.

— Cal beats Colorado, Oregon State beats Arizona State, Stanford beats Utah and Oregon beats Arizona. That creates a five-way tie between Cal, Colorado, ASU, Stanford and Oregon. ASU earns the No. 3 seed based on its 5-3 record vs. the other four. Cal is the No. 4 seed because of its 3-1 record vs. Colorado, Oregon and Stanford.

— Cal beats Colorado, Oregon State beats Arizona State, Utah bears Stanfod and Oregon beats Arizona. (Same as above, but Utah beats Stanford). Again, ASU gets the No. 3 seed based on its 5-3 record vs. the other four. Cal is 2-1 vs. Colorado, Oregon and Utah and gets the No. 4 seed.

Please pass the Advil.

Jeff Faraudo


  1. Thank you for your sacrifice, Jeff. Once again, you’ve given us hope. Go Bears, beat the Buffs!

  2. I think you’re over complicating it a bit.

    To get the #4 Cal must beat Colorado and Furd must beat Utah. If Furd loses to Utah then Oregon has to beat Arizona.

    I don’t think ASU-OSU factors in at all

  3. if we beat colorado and do end up a 4 seed, we’ll probably have to play arizona again at full strength. i don’t think getting drubbed by them again would get us into the tournament. i kind of hope we beat colorado but slip to 5 or 6, so we get two winnable games to prove ourselves. asking a team that has gotten trounced repeatedly, to win 3 in a row (colorado plus 2 against hungry teams) is a very tall order, but if we can actually do it, we definitely deserve to make the tourney.

  4. Let’s just beat CU and let the chips fall where they may.

  5. I think you’ve made a very good point, though I had mentioned in an earlier post we needed to have at least one easy game in the tourney. Unfortunately for me, I now in Walla Walla WA and it will be tough for me to find a place that will show the game.

  6. Oregon is about to win so as long as we win we have 4th place, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *