#Pac12Hoops prepared to make noise in postseason

Karl Maasdam/Oregon State Athletics

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#PAC12HOOPS STARTING FIVE

12-7 - Combined non-conference record of the Pac-12’s seven NCAA Tournament teams against this year’s field. Including league meetings, that mark is 53-48.
>> In total, all Pac-12 teams fared well against non-conference teams to make a postseason event to the tune of a 52-25 mark (19-17 vs. NCAA, 15-5 vs. NIT, 8-1 vs. CBI, 6-0 vs. CIT, 4-2 vs. Vegas16).  OREGON led the way at 8-0, while ARIZONA STATE, the league's 11th-place finisher, went 7-1.

1 - The seed awarded to OREGON, the program’s first-ever No. 1 seed and 16th all-time top seeding for the Pac-12 Conference dating back to the start of seeding for the NCAA Tournament in 1979. CALIFORNIA also earned its highest-ever seed in the NCAA Tournament at No. 4, and the average seed for the Pac-12's seven teams was 5.3, third nationally behind the seven-bid Big 12 (4.1) and ACC (5.0).

6 - NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances by Pac-12 teams the last two seasons (2014 - ARIZONA, STANFORD, UCLA; 2015 - ARIZONA, UCLA, UTAH), tied with the ACC for the most by any conference in the country.

7 - Pac-12 teams in the 2016 NCAA Tournament field, a record total for the conference, tied for the most in the nation this season and tied for the seventh-most in NCAA Tournament history.
>> WASHINGTON’s selection to the 2016 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) gives the Pac-12 a combined eight teams in the NCAA and NIT fields, matching the most for those two postseason tournaments in conference history (2013, 2014).

26 - Years between NCAA Tournament appearances for OREGON STATE, which last made the field in 1990. The Beavers are led this season by two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Gary Payton II, while the 1990 Beavers were led by Pac-12 Player of the Year Gary Payton.

PAC-12 QUICK HITS

RANKINGS RESPECT: For the third straight week, the Pac-12 has four teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, including OREGON with its highest-ever national ranking at No. 5.
>> The last time the league had four Top 25 teams entering the postseason came in 2006-07 when OREGON reached the Elite Eight and UCLA made the Final Four.

BATTLE TESTED: All 12 Pac-12 schools posted NCAA Strengths of Schedule in the Top 100 in the nation (T-2nd in NCAA with the SEC), including 11 in the Top 50 and seven in the Top 25.
>> In terms of Non-Conference SOS, the Pac-12 had nine teams with a Top 100 NC SOS, a total matched only by the SEC.

ROUGH, TOUGH WEST: The Pac-12 was the toughest conference in the country to win on the road in 2015-16 (31-77, .287).
>> Dating to its expansion to 10 teams in 1978-79, 2015-16 was the toughest road slate in league history. The most recent season as challenging on the road came in 1996-97 (27-63, .300), the year ARIZONA won the league’s last NCAA title after finishing fifth in Pac-10 play.

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. This season, the Pac-12 boasted a Conference RPI of .5776, second-best in the country, according to CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm. That .5776 rating is the 13th-best by any conference since 2004-05, and the fifth-best by a league in the last five seasons.

.5884 - Big 12 - 2016
.5860 - Big 12 - 2010
.5848 - Big 12 - 2015
.5842 - ACC - 2009
.5817 - ACC - 2007
.5814 - SEC - 2007
.5812 - Big 12 - 2014
.5804 - Mountain West - 2013
.5802 - ACC - 2005
.5802 - Big Ten - 2006
.5802 - Big East - 2010
.5796 - Big East - 2011
.5776 - Pac-12 - 2016

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

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

EVERY GAME WAS A BATTLE: In the combined 119 league and tournament games of the 2015-16 Pac-12 season:
>> Average scoring margin was 11.3 ppg.
>> 58 were decided by single digits.
>> 20 were decided by one possession (3 pts or less).
>> Nine went to OT, 14 total OT periods.
>> Eight decided by team’s final possession.

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

#PAC12HOOPS LINEUP

1 - Which of the Pac-12's seven NCAA Tournament entrants has the best chance to reach the league's first Final Four since 2008, and possibly its first national champion since 1997? The Pac-12 Networks 'Sports Report' crew says it's OREGON.

2 - The regular-season champion OREGON Ducks took home the hardware at last week's Pac-12 Tournament. Their reward for the double titles was the program's first-ever No. 1 seed in the West Region.

3 - Among the Pac-12's record seven teams in the 2016 NCAA Tournament field, three of them achieved their highest-ever seed. Along with No. 1 OREGON and No. 4 CALIFORNIA, COLORADO matched its highest seed at No. 8 and the Buffaloes are now looking for wins to add to their fourth NCAA appearance in the last five seasons.

4 - While only results will be the official barometer, the Salt Lake Tribune's Kurt Kragthorpe says that the Pac-12's record seven NCAA Tournament invitations were "well deserved."

5 - For the third time in the last four years, the Pac-12 has both a USBWA All-American and Freshman All-American. UTAH's Jakob Poeltl followed up former teammate Delon Wright's selection in 2015 and ARIZONA's Nick Johnson in 2014 with Second Team honors, while CALIFORNIA's Jaylen Brown joined ARIZONA's Stanley Johnson (2015) and UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad (2013) among those to receive rookie honors.

6 - In what will likely be a similar decision confronting Brown and CALIFORNIA teammate Ivan Rabb in the near future, Poeltl has "no regrets" in returning to UTAH for his sophomore season writes the Salt Lake Tribune's Kyle Goon.

7 - The only player in Pac-12 history to record 100-or-more blocks and 30-or-more three pointers in a season will have the opportunity to repeat the feat in 2016-17.  OREGON announced on Wednesday that Chris Boucher was granted another year of eligiblity by the NCAA. 

- During league play, The Register Guard's Steve Mims broke down the success of the Pac-12's coaches as players. With March Madness underway in earnest, ESPN has ranked all the coaches from the NCAA Tournament field and the Pac-12 fares extremely well with four in the top 10, five in the top 25 and six in the top 32. And the seventh, at No. 54, happens to own three of the last four Pac-12 Coach of the Year awards and is the league's active coaching wins leader at 561.

9 - Despite an exit in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals and missing out on the NCAA Tournament, WASHINGTON coach Lorenzo Romar and senior Andrew Andrews believed this season was a success in Seattle. The Huskies are still trying to build on the foundation laid by Andrews and a talented quintet of freshmen as they advanced to the NIT second round with a come-from-behind 107-102 victory over Long Beach State on Tuesday.

10 - The season's final installment of Pac-12 All-Access focused on UCLA and its preparation heading into the Pac-12 Tournament. After the Bruins' first-round exit, Coach Steve Alford said the program needed to "get its culture back." With just one senior on this year's roster and high school All-Americans Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf joining the mix in 2016-17, UCLA is primed to accomplish just that.

11 - The West will continue to be won in Vegas as the Pac-12 Tournament will have a new home at T-Mobile Arena as part of a three-year deal starting in 2017.

12 - A fun feature from CBSSports.com's Matt Norlander, who bracketed the NCAA Tournament using the favorite band or musician from each of the 68 coaches. From a Pac-12 perspective, the two Montana grads went chalk with a standard bearer of 1990s grunge, but Queen Bey scored what could be considered a mild upset in the Southwest.

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