The 2011 Pac-10 Tournament bracket heads to the quarterfinals now. Four games are in the Pac-10 Tournament bracket on Thursday, March 10, including the top seeds that were given byes through the first round. Two games took place on Wednesday night between the four schools seeded in the bottom four spots, and that allowed two of them to advance into the quarterfinals.
In the first game of the Pac-10 Conference Tournament, Oregon State beat Stanford in a pretty big upset. Oregon State came into the game with the worst record in the Pac-10, sporting an overall record of just 10-19 during the year. Now they have their 11th win through a 69-67 victory on Wednesday, and their prize is a much tougher game on Thursday night.
In the second game of the night, Oregon beat Arizona State to advance on their side of the brackets. E.J. Singler scored 22 points and Malcolm Armstead added 11 points, five assists, five rebounds, and three steals to the effort. It was a slow-paced game to say the least, and Arizona State ended up using 13 different players during the game. ASU has some young talent that could get better, but for now they will have to head home.
To open play in the quarterfinals, it will be USC vs. California in the early afternoon. The No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in the tournament will face off at noon PST on FSN, and it’s hard to predict which one of these teams will have the most fans in attendance. The whole tournament is being played at Staples Center in Los Angeles, so it is safe to assume that the fan contingents will be out in force to try to propel their team to the semifinals.
The second game of the day will be Arizona vs. Oregon State in what seems like a hugely one-sided game on paper. Arizona is the No. 1 seed in the tournament, and has posted a combined record of 25-6 this year. The game will take place at 2:30 p.m. PST, and should give the Wildcats a chance to shake off some rust before the semifinals on Friday. Don’t count out the Beavers, though, as they already beat Arizona back on Jan. 2, and would love a repeat performance.
Later on Thursday, the final two games will be played, with the UCLA vs. Oregon game at 6 p.m. PST and the Washington vs. Washington State game at 8:30 p.m. PST. UCLA is going to be heavily favored against Oregon, especially playing just down the road from where their home games take place. This may as well be considered another home game for the Bruins, who are looking to win their first Pac-10 title in quite some time. UCLA won both regular season games against Oregon, and comes into this game with a combined 22-9 record.
The final game of the night is a rivalry game for UW and WSU as they look to destroy the other team. The Washington State Cougars beat up on the Huskies twice this season, with the last victory coming in Seattle on the University of Washington home court. It was the first loss of the year for UW at home, and they were seeing red after that loss. It was compounded by the fact that WSU knocked them out of first place in the Pac-10 with a win in Pullman, a game in which the Cougar fans rushed the court after the win. Now the sub-plots of this game could boil over into something very exciting Thursday night.
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