Control of the Pac-10 race was on the line in Berkeley Thursday night with Lorenzo Romar's Washington Huskies needing to shake their road woes in order to declare themselves a factor. But all they did was show exactly why they're currently a longshot to make the NCAA Tournament, failing to defend in the first half as California got whatever they wanted in building a 48-34 halftime lead on the way to a 93-81 triumph.
How many bids will come out of the Pac-10 this year? There's a distinct possibility of the conference receiving just one bid to the NCAA Tournament given the unimpressive resumes of its primary contenders. And that essentially means the entire league with ten teams separated by just two games in the standings. However, the winner of Thursday's matchup between California and Washington in Berkeley will go a long way towards deciding who's got the inside track for the automatic bid.
After what can only be described as a truly awful start to the new year, the Pacific 10 Conference is now staring at the possibility, albeit right now still a remote possibility, of fielding only a single team to the represent them in the NCAA Tournament.
With usual Pac-10 powers Arizona and UCLA in re-loading mode, the door is open for California & Washington to put their stamp on the 2009-10 season.
Ranking players is more art then science. How do you compare the potential of freshmen with seniors who have already peaked? How much does physical talent come into play versus intangibles and experience? How big a role do numbers play? All of these questions make lists like this fun and debatable.. if you disagree with CHN's rankings, post what you think below.