Yet again, another college basketball regular season is coming to an end, which only means one thing, it’s tournament time! The part of the season when each game becomes increasingly important and at any given moment, a team’s season can end on a simple flick of the wrist. Conference tournaments will take place first and shortly after is the highly coveted, NCAA tournament.
After a rugged 30-game regular season for every team in the country, they all begin to look forward to a week packed with familiar competition as they take on teams in their conference. Each game becomes a struggle to either keep your season alive or to improve your seed for the upcoming NCAA tournament.
The conference tournament is a vital part of the season for many teams due to the fact that winning the conference championship gives a team an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of their record.
The Arizona Wildcats (23-6, 11-6 Pac-12) await their final game of the regular season against in-state rival, Arizona State University (20-10, 9-8 Pac-12) which will be played at McKale Center Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET.
The Wildcats are currently fourth in the conference behind Oregon, UCLA and California. At the moment, Arizona State holds on to seventh place in the Pac-12.
This college basketball season has truly proven to be completely unpredictable as pre-season rankings went out the window as defending national champion and pre-season No.3 Kentucky now fights for a spot in the tournament. Rankings have become meaningless as the unranked underdogs continue to storm the court and the prestigious No.1 seeds fall five consecutive weeks.
So, optimistically speaking, a Pac-12 team may actually have the best chance of winning the NCAA tournament as they lead all conferences with 15 national champions. Behind them, the ACC has 12, followed by the SEC (11), Big-Ten (10), and Big East (6).
However, it is more than likely that a Pac-12 team doesn’t reach the national championship as the conference has proven to be weaker compared to other conferences. Having said that, the Big-Ten and Big East have performed at a level that has many people convinced a national champion is coming out of one of those conferences.
Although many eager fans are looking forward to “March Madness”, teams most focus on being successful in their conference tournaments as that can make all the difference this year. In a season of unpredictability, every little detail counts which reinforces that a solid conclusion to your season is more essential than ever.