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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Selection Sunday: Projecting Pac-12’s NCAA Tournament teams and seeds

Tyler Baker

Kaleb Tarczewski attempts a dunk while engulfed in the Oregon defense in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal in MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday, March 11. Arizona’s bid at back-to-back titles ended with an overtime loss.

With Championship Week in the books, we now turn our attention to Selection Sunday. The names of the official participants will be announced on CBS and at 2:30 p.m. The brackets will be set and the madness will begin.

The Pac-12 Conference will be well represented in this year’s NCAA Tournament. As it stands, Joe Lunardi of ESPN and Jerry Palm of CBS each predict that seven teams will represent the Conference of Champions this season. 

Read: Arizona selected as a No. 6 seed in South bracket, await winner of Vanderbilt/Wichita State first-round matchup


The regular season and Pac-12 Tournament champs are predicted by Lunardi and Palm as a two seed in the West bracket, facing off against the Big Sky Conference champion Weber State.

In Lunardi’s bracket, if they win, the Ducks could be on a course to take on St. Bonaventure or Wisconsin in the Round of 32, and a possible matchup with Miami in the Sweet 16.

This Oregon team is hot right now and could make a deep push into the tournament. Don’t be surprised, with their recent success, if they somehow are placed as a one-seed going forward.


Palm is one of the biggest believers in the Utes, as he has them as a two seed in the Midwest bracket taking on New Mexico State. Lunardi on the other hand, sees Utah as a three seed in the Midwest taking on Hawaii.

Utah, the Pac-12 Tournament runner-up, is another team who could make some noise in the tournament. Keep an eye on the Utes and who they match up with.


The Wildcats have been bounced around from anywhere to a four seed to a six seed over the past couple of weeks. After their early exit from the Pac-12 Tournament, Lunardi has Arizona newly projected as a five seed in the South playing Northern Iowa.

Read: Arizona is projected as a five seed in the South bracket by ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi. Where will they end up?

The Wildcats could see a potential matchup with one-seed Virginia in the Sweet 16 if both teams sweep the first weekend. 

In Palm’s bracket, the Wildcats are a four seed facing off against South Dakota State in the South.

A team full of potential and question marks, Arizona will need some luck of the draw with its matchups for the tournament. With all of the past tournament experience on this team, it’ll be interesting to see where they land and what they can make of it.


Palm sees the Golden Bears as a five seed in the West, taking on North Carolina-Wilmington. Lunardi sees Cal as a five as well, but rather in the Midwest bracket facing Arkansas-Little Rock. Cal was arguably the hottest team in the Pac-12 to end the season.

A late overtime loss to Utah ended their bid at the Pac-12 Tournament title, but don’t sleep on the Golden Bears this March.


A team that started out hot and sputtered toward the end, the Trojans are predicted as an eight seed by Palm and a nine by Lunardi.

Lunardi put them in the South bracket against Texas Tech while Palm has them in the East against Pittsburgh. USC has proven they can ball with the big boys. The surprise of the Pac-12, a furious comeback attempt against Utah in the Pac-12 Tournament came up short, but the heart of this team is there.

They could be a nightmare for a one-seeded team if they meet them in the Round of 32.

Oregon State

Following in his father’s footsteps, Gary Payton II is leading the current Beaver squad to possibly their first tournament appearance since his dad did it 26 years ago.

Behind second-year head coach Wayne Tinkle, the Beavers are projected by Lunardi to play as a nine seed in the East against St. Joseph’s. Palm has the Beavers as a nine seed in the South against the same opponent.

Oregon State, a hard-nosed defensive team, could be another upset pick come next weekend.


Another Pac-12 surprise, Palm has the Buffs as a seven seed in the South while Lunardi is sending Colorado to the West to face Butler. This sets the Buffaloes on a crash course to meet a possible one seed in Michigan State in the second round. 

Colorado is one of the best rebounding teams in the country and can battle down low with Josh Scott manning the post.

Watch out for Colorado as they too could surprise some people.

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