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 State 10-7
Oregon State 7-10
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.