Updated March 11, 2012
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — CALIFORNIA and COLORADO earned bids to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, the NCAA selection committee announced Sunday. The Colorado Buffaloes punched their ticket to the Tournament on Saturday with an automatic bid after defeating ARIZONA, 53-51, in the Pacific Life Pac-12 Basketball Tournament championship game. The California Golden Bears received an at-large bid after finishing 24-9 in the regular season and falling to Colorado in the Conference tournament semifinals.
Eleven-seed Colorado (23-11) takes on six-seed UNLV (26-8) on Thursday in the South region’s second round in Albuquerque, N.M. The Golden Bears face South Florida in a play-in game for the Midwest region’s 12-seed on Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio. The winner of that contest goes on to play fifth-seeded Temple (24-7) on Friday in Nashville, Tenn.
Colorado, which last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2003, will be making its 11th trip to the Big Dance, and just the third since 1970. Cal last participated in the NCAA Tournament as the Conference champion in 2010. The Golden Bears, who won the 1959 national title, will be making their 17th appearance in the Tournament.
There have been 16 national champions from the Pac-12: UCLA with 11 and Arizona, Cal, OREGON, STANFORD and UTAH with one apiece.