Record seven Pac-12 teams in 2016 NCAA Tournament

Eric Evans Photography


SAN FRANCISCO — The Pac-12 Conference placed a record seven teams into the 2016 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, while WASHINGTON will participate in the National Invitational Tournament.

"The Pac-12 was as deep as any conference in the nation this season and we are thrilled the committee rewarded the great play of our teams," said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. "We look forward to our deserving student-athletes competing deep into the tournament."

OREGON (28-6) earned the Pac-12’s automatic NCAA Tournament berth on Saturday after defeating Utah, 88-57, in the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament championship game. The Ducks, who are making their 14th NCAA Tournament appearance, claim their first-ever No. 1 seed. Oregon will meet the Holy Cross/Southern First Four game winner Friday in the West Region’s First Round in Spokane, Wash.

UTAH (26-8) is making its 29th NCAA Tournament appearance, and first back-to-back appearance since 2002-05. The Utes claimed the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region and will meet No. 14 Fresno State on Thursday in Denver.

CALIFORNIA (23-10) is the No. 4 seed, its highest seed in school history, in the South Region where it will meet No. 13 Hawai’i Friday in Spokane, Wash. The Golden Bears are making their 19th trip to the NCAA Tournament, and first since 2013.

ARIZONA (25-8) is seeded No. 6 in the South Region and will meet the Vanderbilt/Wichita State First Four game winner on Thursday in Providence, R.I. The Wildcats are making their 33rd NCAA Tournament appearance and are the league’s last team to cut down the nets for a national championship in 1997.

OREGON STATE (19-12) is making its first appearance in 26 years since Gary Payton led the Beavers into the 1990 NCAA Tournament. Gary Payton II is leading the 2016 Beaver squad to its 17th NCAA Tournament appearance as the No. 7 seed and will meet No. 10 VCU on Friday in Oklahoma City, Okla.

COLORADO (22-11) and USC (21-12) are each seeded at No. 8. For the Buffaloes, it’s their fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in five years, and 14th overall. They’ll meet No. 9 UConn Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa in the South Region.

USC returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011 and is making its 17th appearance. The Trojans will meet No. 9 Providence Thursday in Raleigh, N.C. in the East Region.

WASHINGTON (18-14) will host Long Beach State Tuesday in first round NIT action. For the Huskies, it’s their eighth NIT appearance.

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