The West will be won this week at the 2016 #Pac12Hoops Tournament

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The West will be Won this week as the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament descends on the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. With a bracket that wasn't decided until the penultimate game of the league's regular season, this week will prove to be a fitting finish to the Conference's Centennial campaign, with a potential record haul of NCAA Tournament and postseason berths on the line.

#PAC12HOOPS STARTING FIVE

.287Road win percentage in Pac-12 play, the toughest league to win on the road in Division I in 2015-16.
>> Dating to the league’s expansion to 10 teams for the 1978-79 season, 2015-16 was the toughest road slate in league history.  The most recent season as challenging on the road came in 1996-97, the year ARIZONA won the NCAA title after finishing fifth in league play:

Toughest road seasons by winning percentage in Pac-12/Pac-10 league play since 1978-79:
2015-16 - .287 (31-77)
1990-91 - .289 (26-64)
1996-97 - .300 (27-63)

.813 - Combined home win percentage of all Pac-12 teams during the 2015-16 regular season, the best home win percentage by a conference in college basketball.

.615 - Combined win percentage of all teams in the Pac-12 this season, which through the 2015-16 regular season is the best win rate for the league since the 1974-75 Pac-8 campaign (.635) in which UCLA won its 10th national championship in 12 years.

7-11The Pac-12’s seven teams in the NCAA RPI Top 50 (Big 12 also seven) and 11 teams in the RPI Top 100 (ACC also 11) as of March 8 are tied for the most in the nation.
>> Since 2004-05, only one conference has had at least 11 RPI Top 100 teams entering Selection Sunday - the old 15- and 16-team Big East on six separate occasions.

11Eleven Pac-12 teams have an NCAA Strength of Schedule in the top 100, including eight inside the top 25 and three in the top 10.

PAC-12 QUICK HITS

BRACKETOLOGY: The Pac-12 is currently projected to earn six-or-more NCAA Tournament bids according to various major sports news bracketology posts:

FOXSports.com - 7 (+1 Next Four Out)
Sporting News - 7 (+1 Bubble)
CBSSports.com - 7
NBCSports.com - 7
SI.com - 7
USA Today - 7
ESPN.com - 6 (+1 First Four Out)

>> The league record for bids is six set by the Pac-10 in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and Pac-12 in 2014.

RANKINGS RESPECT: For the second straight week, the Pac-12 has four teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, including OREGON in the top 10 for the first time since 2007.
>> The Pac-12 has had at least one AP Top 25 ranked team for 77 consecutive weeks.

TOUGH ROAD TO VEGAS: Only six times did a Pac-12 team complete a road sweep in 48 attempts in league play:

UTAH at WSU/WASH
ORE at ARIZ/ASU
ARIZ at WSU/WASH
UTAH at UCLA/USC
CAL at WASH/WSU
ORE at UCLA/USC

TOP 100 CHARTS: Through March 7, the Pac-12 has 128 wins versus NCAA RPI Top 100 teams, led by ARIZONA (15-7), CALIFORNIA (14-8), OREGON (19-5), OREGON STATE (11-11), USC (11-11) and UTAH (17-7).

The Pac-12 has 58 total wins vs. the RPI Top 50, paced by CALIFORNIA (7-7), OREGON (9-3), OREGON STATE (6-7) and UTAH (9-6).

CALIFORNIA (3-4), COLORADO (3-6), OREGON (4-1), OREGON STATE (3-5), UTAH (3-4) and STANFORD (3-8) combine for 19 of the Pac-12’s 25 RPI Top 25 wins.

CONTEXT TO STANDOUT YEAR: Since the NCAA adjusted the RPI formula to account for game location in 2004-05, the league’s best Conference RPI entering Selection Sunday came in 2013-14 at .5695. The Pac-12 currently boasts a Conference RPI of .5813, second-best in the country, according to CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm. That .5813 rating would be the sixth-highest by any conference since 2004-05.

Below is a breakdown of the league’s RPI Top 25-50-75-100 teams since 2004-05.

YEAR RPI TOP 25 RPI TOP 50 RPI TOP 75 RPI TOP 100
2015-16 4 7 8 11
2014-15 2 4 5 6
2013-14 2 6 7 9
2012-13 1 4 5 8
2011-12 (Pac-12) 0 1 4 6
2010-11 1 3 4 6
2009-10 1 2 3 4
2008-09 1 5 6 7
2007-08  3 5 6 8
2006-07  3 5 6 8
2005-06  2 3 4 5
2004-05 (Pac-10)  2 4 5 7

The only other league to have at least 11 teams in the RPI Top 100 entering Selection Sunday during this time frame was the old Big East (13 - 2006, 2010; 11 - 2009, 2011-13).

EVERY GAME’S A BATTLE: Through 108 league games of the Pac-12 regular season:
>> Average scoring margin was 11.1 ppg.
>> 51 were decided by single digits.
>> 20 were decided by one possession (3 pts or less).
>> Seven went to OT, 12 total OT periods.
>> Eight decided by team’s final possession.

STREAKING: The Pac-12 owns two of the nation’s top 10 longest home-court win streaks. OREGON is tied for the nation’s fifth-best streak at 25 straight games, while CALIFORNIA has the eighth-best home streak in the country at 19 straight wins. UTAH enters the 2016 Pac-12 Tournament on a seven-game win streak, tied for the ninth-best in the nation.

#PAC12HOOPS LINEUP

1 - The COLORADO men's basketball program has achieved unprecedented success over the past four years, coinciding with the career of one of the Buffaloes all-time greats in forward Josh Scott. Pac-12 All-Access goes behind the scenes with Scott and Coach Tad Boyle before Colorado's home finale against ARIZONA STATE.

2 - The regular season might be complete, but Hurd Mentality isn't finished yet as Pac-12 Network college basketball analyst Lamar Hurd breaks down the field for what is bound to be a thrilling 2016 Pac-12 Tournament, which is sold out for all sessions for the first time in league history. 

3 - For the second consecutive week, there were fitting finishes to careers around the Pac-12:
>> Five seniors were recognized in Tucson, but ARIZONA's Gabe York stood out the most in his final home game, erupting for a McKale Center record-tying nine threes in a rout of STANFORD. An impressive feat was accomplished by Kaleb Tarczewski, who matched the school record for career victories with his 109th as a Wildcat.
>> Pac-12 leading scorer Andrew Andrews saved his best performance for last as he matched the national high this season with 47 points as WASHINGTON ended the regular season with a 99-91 win over in-state rival WASHINGTON STATE.
>> Jordan Loveridge and Brandon Taylor were instrumental in a late 19-0 run that pushed UTAH past COLORADO, 57-55.

4 - It was also a fitting finish to OREGON STATE's best Pac-12 season since 1992-93 as Gary Payton II threw down a ridiculous windmill dunk at the buzzer in a victory at UCLA. In a feature titled Glove Story II, Sports Illustrated's Dan Greene dove into the relationship between Payton II and his father and how the son has created his own legacy in Corvallis.

5 - The Pac-12's Player of the Year Jakob Poeltl is among the 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award.

6 - Poeltl was also named a First Team All-American by USA Today, joining Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, North Carolina's Brice Johnson, Kentucky's Tyler Ulis and Michigan State's Denzel Valentine.

7 - The USBWA announced its All-District selections and the Pac-12 was well represented out west. UTAH's Jakob Poeltl and Larry Krystkowiak were named Player and Coach of the Year, respectively, in District VIII, while OREGON's Dillon Brooks and Dana Altman earned those honors in District IX. Six Pac-12 players appeared on the 10-player All-District IX team, while three made the All-District VIII squad.

8 - Three short months ago, CALIFORNIA was a team searching for its identity following back-to-back losses in the Las Vegas Invitational. Now, Coach Cuonzo Martin and the youthful Golden Bears enter this week's Pac-12 Tournament as one of the hottest teams in the league - winners of eight of their last nine games and back in the top 25.

9 - WASHINGTON STATE's Josh Hawkinson led the Pac-12 in rebounding this season at 11.0 boards per game, but how did he do it? Hawkinson breaks down his carom acumen in the latest Chevron #HumanEnergyStories.

10 - The Arizona Republic's Doug Haller looks at the story of ARIZONA STATE assistant coach Rashon Burno, who played for Coach Bobby Hurley's father Bob at renowned St. Anthony School in Jersey City, N.J., and executive produced "The Street Stops Here" documentary on the elder Hurley before entering the coaching ranks.

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