Craig Projects the NCAA Tournament: Pac-10 Predictions

ctsports picksAnalyst IFebruary 24, 2009

Well its time to start projecting the NCAA Tournament and see who is in, who is out, seedings, and bubble teams.

This is Craig's, from CT Sports Picks, follow up article to his BIG 12 NCAA Tournament Predictions.

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Today, Craig will look at the Pac-10 and break down there chances in the big dance.

Right now the Pac-10 has a solid five teams in the big dance and no bubble teams. The bottom teams in this conference have been competitive but not good enough to get on the bubble.

Let's take a look at the five teams that are going to make the dance, look at potential seedings, and predict their success in the NCAA Tournament.

Arizona State
Coach Sendek has his team playing great lately locking teams down with there match up zone and offensively being very efficient. Craig's top team from the Pac-10 in his Power Rankings are very tough team to prepare for with the match up zone that they have mastered.
They hold teams to only 58 points per game and limit the number of possessions to there opponents better than any other team in the country.
Player of the Year candidate James Hardin can do it all—and when he is playing well could carry this team deep in the tournament.
There are two schools of thought on ASU. Are they ripe for a huge first-round upset, because the score in their games is usually close? Or are they a team that can make an Elite Eight run with the second-best player in the country?
Craig likes this team a lot, and thinks they are looking like a No. 4 seed that could upset a No. 1 seed and end up in the Elite Eight.

Another 20-win season for an underrated Washington program. No one has talked about them all year but don't look now—they are leading the Pac-10 and have the talent to make some noise in the big dance. This a dangerous team that is very balanced, with four players averaging double digits, led by guard Isaiah Thomas at 15 points per game.
Jon Brockman is a tough inside presence that is a little unorthodox but very effective. Defensive ball pressure helps this team get easy points and will need to crank up the defense even more if they want to make a run in the NCAA tournament.
Looks like this team is headed to No. 5 seed but they need to finish strong as there strength of schedule is not good. If this team is a No. 5 seed like them to get beat the first round.

Just a couple weeks ago Craig had UCLA No. 10 in his power rankings and heading for a No. 2 seed in the west. How things have changes since then, as the Bruins have lost three of four and have been giving up nearly 78 points a game in that stretch. Ben Howland is...