Part 24 of a 30 part series. Using Sagarin's Predictor ratings in a prediction formula, I'll weigh the probability of each conference team in each possible tournament matchup and through a Markov chain determine their chances of winning the tournament.
Is there a team outside of #Washington, #California and #ArizonaSt that could win the #PAC-10 tournament?
Sure, Jay. But it's a dim 7 to 1 shot that someone else will.
The three teams Jay Williams mention are the clear favorites, led by the only legit at-large team in a down Pac 10 in Cal at 3 to 2 (41.3%). UW (3 to 1) and ASU (4 to 1) have decent shots, but are the only non-longshots behind Cal in the field.
And both dark horses carry the sense of urgency that comes with being on the bad end of the bubble, though to their credit they were definitely on the outside looking in a few weeks before thanks to midseason struggles. Washington is 46th in the Sagarin ratings and Arizona State 47th. Both are slated for a semifinal clash, and both absolutely need to reach the final at the absolute least to have a real shot at an at-large bid. And even then, they can only afford to lose to Cal. In the unlikely event the Golden Bears are beaten beforehand, the Huskies or Sun Devils would do themselves good to just win the tourney outright, because at that point there is no scenario where they can lose and have a case for anything other than a #1 NIT seed. Cal was in perilous danger of leaving the Pac 10 with no at-large worthy teams, but a strong finish has them in line for an 8-9 seed provided they at least reach the final. They're definitely in no matter what.
Special note must be given to #5 UCLA on account of holy hell Ben Howland what the hell happened to the 2009-2010 Bruins this year? What was one of the Pac 10's stronger programs faceplanted to a 3-7 start that include losses to lofty opponents like Cal State Fullerton, Portland and Long Beach State. The Bruins might have recovered despite that if not for a 3-4 midseason stretch that included losses to fellow Pac 10 failboats Stanford and Oregon... as well as a disastrous 2-6 finish to the regular season that included another loss to Oregon. Save for the unlikely event that they win the Pac 10 Tournament (21 to 1), the Bruins are doing absolutely nothing come tournament time, not even the CBI Tournament. They would be underdogs to even make it out of the first round if not for the tourney being in their backyard in Los Angeles.
Here are the Pac 10 odds for every team involved.
1. California: 3 to 2 (41.3%)
2. Arizona State: 3.8 to 1 (20.7%)
3. Washington: 2.9 to 1 (25.9%)
4. Arizona: 23.8 to 1
5. UCLA: 20.6 to 1
6. Oregon State: 134.4 to 1
7. Stanford: 71.5 to 1
8. Oregon: 188.5 to 1
9. Washington State: 136.3 to 1
Next: The Southland Conference