PAC 12 Parade

PAC 12 Parade

By Wayne Allyn Root:

College basketball fans just enjoyed a Wild Wednesday with thrillers all over the major conference schedule. Thursday could feature a night that wild in the Pac 12 alone! There are three very important games on the card that could make or break Big Dance hopes for "good, but not great" contenders.

Here's a quick look at the standings for teams playing .500 ball or better in the league.

PAC 12 STANDINGS
Washington: 9-2
California: 8-3
Colorado: 8-3
Oregon: 7-4
Arizona: 7-4
Stanford: 6-5
UCLA: 6-5

That's seven teams currently better than .500 within the conference. But, there's no way the Pac 12 is going to get that many bids to the Big Dance. In fact, for most of the season, the thought was that only TWO teams would earn invitations. And, STANFORD was one of those two teams! They're down in a tie for sixth with UCLA at the moment. Who's going to play in the NCAA Tournament? Tonight's schedule could go a long way toward determining that. Six of the seven teams I just listed are playing each other!

WASHINGTON (-1) AT OREGON
The Huskies are currently in first place in the Pac 12, but they have a challenging weekend trip to face the Oregon schools. You college basketball fans know it can be tough to sweep a weekend on the road in this league, no matter which pairing you've drawn. Oregon is currently tied for fourth place, but could certainly rise into the title mix by sweeping this weekend at home. Vegas oddsmakers have this game near pick-em...and you know the atmosphere is going to be electric surrounding that psychedelic home floor of the Ducks. This is definitely a game you should check out on Fox Sports on cable tonight.

COLORADO AT ARIZONA (-7)
Colorado has stormed into contention with some very strong results. This gives you a sense of how much better the Big 12 is than the Pac 12 in college basketball. Colorado is an immediate contender! ESPN's Bracketology is currently snubbing the Buffaloes though, leaving them off the Dance card. Arizona is surprisingly in as a projected #12 seed even though they trail Colorado in the Pac 12 standings. Obviously, Colorado has every motivation in the world to win on the road tonight...and Arizona realizes that it's a must win if they want to maintain any level of national respect. The market sure respects the Wildcats. Is that line too high given the standings?

STANFORD AT UCLA (-7)
This is an elimination battle with the loser being EXTREMELY unlikely to qualify for the Big Dance down the road. You just can't be that far off the pace in a conference that isn't seen as a true power any more. Both teams are 6-5 heading into the game. The loser will be 6-6 and looking at the NIT unless they get lucky in the Pac 12 tournament. I expect both teams to play like their backs are against the wall. That's because they're backs ARE against the wall!

California gets a probable break tonight by playing USC. But, then they draw UCLA this weekend which could be a very tough road spot against a motivated host.

I can tell you that I'm really looking forward to tonight's card because of these potential Pac 12 thrillers, along with games like St. Mary's/Gonzaga, Wisconsin/Minnesota, Illinois/Indiana, and the busy slates in the WAC and Big West (games played in my backyard). And, don't forget about the NBA! Vegas sportsbooks will be showing Lakers-Celtics on the big screens because Kobe Bryant is so popular here in town.

I may or may not be involved in those three games discussed today in terms of my personal service. I can assure you I WILL BE INVOLVED in the Pac 12 in a very serious way at some point within the next week, and often in the rest of February.

You can sign up for my best plays right here at the website with your credit card. If you're not sure which package best suits your individual needs, call my handicapping office at 1-877-766-8946. Packages that take you through March Madness are very affordable.

Football is over, which means it's time to focus on college and pro basketball. You got a taste of how exciting the rest of the season is going to be with those Wednesday Night thrillers at North Carolina and Syracuse. Don't sit on your couch moping because there's no football. Make a fortune in the baskets! It's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!

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