Around the League: March 7
(Liz Ketcham/Assistant Photo editor)
Angie Forburger, assistant Sports editor
The postseason is right around the corner.
No. 2 UCLA (7-1, 6-0 Pac-12) suffered its first loss of the season to No. 1 Oklahoma on Sunday, falling to the Sooners by two-tenths of a point. The Bruins will next host No. 23 Stanford (1-5, 1-5), marking UCLA’s first home meet in two weeks.
The Cardinal most recently took home a win over No. 25 Arizona (1-6, 1-5) on Feb. 24 after falling to No. 4 Utah (8-1, 5-1) the week before on Feb. 18. Stanford’s meet against UCLA is its final meet before the Pac-12 championships.
The Arizona Wildcats finished in first place at a quad meet against Texas Women’s University, Centenary College and Air Force on Sunday and will head to Raleigh, North Carolina, for another quad meet Saturday against North Carolina State, George Washington and Texas Women’s.
The Utes have only dropped one meet this season, against the Bruins on Feb. 23. Most recently, Utah defeated No. 8 Michigan on their home floor, and will travel to face No. 7 Georgia on March 16.
Behind UCLA and Utah, No. 12 Oregon State (4-2, 4-2) ranks third in conference standings. Oregon State took home a tri-meet win against Bowling Green and Alaska Anchorage on Friday and will travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Friday to face No. 5 LSU.
No. 18 Washington (2-4, 2-3) took second in its first tri-meet of the season Friday against No. 10 Boise State and Utah State. Washington will next host a tri-meet against Sacramento State and Iowa on Friday.
After defeating Washington by three-tenths of a point on Feb. 23, No. 15 California (2-4, 2-3) took first in a tri-meet against Sacramento State and UC Davis on Friday. Cal will next travel to San Jose State.
No. 20 Arizona State (2-3, 1-3) has not won a meet since defeating Stanford on Feb. 10. Arizona State will next travel to Denver for a quad meet against No. 6 Denver, No. 15 Nebraska and Pittsburgh before hosting West Virginia and No. 17 BYU the following week on March 13 to conclude their regular season.
The Pac-12 championships are slated for March 23 in West Valley City, Utah.
Gabriel McCarthy, assistant Sports editor
A number of Pac-12 tournament seeds have yet to be decided in the last weekend of conference play.
UCLA men’s basketball (16-13, 9-7 Pac-12) extended its win streak to three games with a 93-88 overtime win over USC (15-14, 8-8). UCLA will face Colorado (17-11, 8-8) and Utah (15-13, 9-7) on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. The Utes are one spot behind the Bruins in the Pac-12 rankings.
Washington (24-6, 15-2) has clinched the outright conference title and will have the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 tournament. The Huskies will close their season with a home game against Oregon Ducks (17-12, 8-8) on Saturday. Washington forward Matisse Thybulle is among the 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year trophy and has the most career steals of any active player in NCAA Division I.
Arizona State (20-9, 11-6) has claimed the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, most recently defeating Oregon State. Besides Arizona State and Washington, the only other seeds that have been decided are No. 11 seed Washington State (11-19, 4-13) and No. 12 California (7-22, 2-15). Two first-round byes also have to be determined by the end of conference play.
Oregon State will conclude its regular season matches against Washington State on the road. Oregon State was most recently defeated by Arizona (17-3, 8-9), Arizona State and Washington by scores of 74-72, 74-71 and 76-81 in overtime, respectively.
Utah will host both USC and UCLA to close its schedule. The Utes and Bruins share the same conference record but are in the No. 4 and No. 3 spots, respectively. The top four teams in the standings receive first-round byes in Pac-12 tournament play.
Colorado occupies the No. 7 spot in conference standings, and will also close out its season hosting games against UCLA and USC.
Joy Hong, assistant Sports editor
The Pac-12 tournament bracket is set.
No. 25 UCLA women’s basketball (19-11, 12-6 Pac-12) secured the No. 4 seed for the tournament after taking care of business against Utah (20-9, 9-9) and Colorado (12-17, 2-16) to wrap up the regular season Sunday.
Utah is the No. 6 seed and will take on No. 11 seed Washington (9-20, 2-15), while No. 12-seeded Colorado will face No. 5 seed Arizona State (19-9, 10-7) – both in the first round Thursday.
No. 6 Oregon (27-3, 16-2) was crowned the regular season conference champion last weekend for the second consecutive season. The Ducks earned the No. 1 seed and will take on No. 8-seeded Arizona (17-12, 7-11) and No. 9 seed USC (17-12, 7-11) in the quarterfinals Friday.
No. 7 Stanford (25-4, 15-3) – which fell to Oregon in the championship game last year – finished the regular season in second again, and will face the winner of No. 7 seed California (18-11, 9-9) and No. 10 Washington State (9-20, 4-14).
No. 11 Oregon State (24-6, 14-4) also earned a bye, securing the No. 3 seed last weekend, and will battle the winner of Utah and Washington.
The conference tournament will kick off in Las Vegas on Thursday when seeds five through 12 will compete in the first round.
Oregon, Stanford, Oregon State and UCLA earned byes and will play their first games in the quarterfinals Friday.