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Pac-10 Tournament: UCLA Tied For First, But Needs Help For Top Seed

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Yesterday's emotional win by the UCLA Bruins was great, as it pulled them into a first-place tie with the Arizona Wildcats for the top spot in the Pac-10 Conference. However, for the Bruins to take the top seed in the upcoming Pac-10 tournament, they will not only need to win two games in the state of Washington, but will also need some help. Let's take a look at the current conference standings:

Pac-10 Standings
School Record UCLA against Ari against Wash. against Games left
Arizona 12-4 1-1 -- 1-1 OSU, Ore
UCLA 12-4 -- 1-1 1-0 at Wash, at WSU
Washington 10-5 0-1 1-1 -- WSU, UCLA, USC
USC 9-7 1-1 1-1 1-0 at WSU, at Wash
California 9-8 1-1 2-0 2-0 Stan
Washington St    7-8 1-0 2-0 0-1 at Wash, USC, UCLA
Oregon 7-9 2-0 1-0 1-1 at ASU, at Ari
Stanford 7-10 2-0 2-0 1-1 at Cal
Oregon St 5-11 2-0 0-1 1-1 at Ari, at ASU
Arizona St 2-14 2-0 2-0 2-0 Ore, OSU

If both UCLA and Arizona (hosting the Oregon schools) win out, we will have to go to the tiebreakers to determine the top seed in the tournament, which runs from March 9-12 at Staples Center:

Two-team tie

  1. Results of head-to-head competition during the regular season.
  2. Each team’s record vs. the team occupying the highest position in the final regular standings, and then continuing down through the standings until one team gains an advantage. When arriving at another group of tied teams while comparing records, use each team’s record against the collective tied teams as a group (prior to that group’s own tie-breaking procedure), rather than the performance against individual tied teams.
  3. Won-lost percentage against all Division I opponents.
  4. Coin toss conducted by the Commissioner or designee.

Multiple-team tie

  1. Results of collective head-to-head competition during the regular season among the tied teams.
  2. If more than two teams are still tied, each of the tied team’s record vs. the team occupying the highest position in the !nal regular season standings, and then continuing down through the standings until one team gains an advantage.
  3. When arriving at another group of tied teams while comparing records, use each team’s record against the collective tied teams as a group (prior to that group’s own tie-breaking procedure), rather than the performance against individual tied teams. If at any point the multiple-team tie is reduced to two teams, the two-team tie-breaking procedure will be applied.
  4. Won-lost percentage against all Division I opponents.
  5. Coin toss conducted by the Commissioner or designee.

If UCLA and Arizona tie in the standings, the first tiebreaker would be head-to-head record but they split two games. The second tiebreaker involves going down in the standings team by team until there is a team against whom either Arizona or UCLA have a different record. The most likely scenario would be getting to Cal at 10-8, and Arizona would win the tiebreaker with UCLA since the Wildcats were 2-0 against the Bears, while the Bruins just went 1-1.

In other words, UCLA needs to win both games in Washington, and hope Arizona loses one game next weekend.Washington is still in the mix for the top seed as well. They need a win tonight against Washington State, then a sweep next weekend, plus one loss by Arizona. The Huskies would win a three-way tiebreaker based on their 3-1 record (if they win out) against UCLA and Arizona.

For more news on UCLA hoops, be sure to read Bruins Nation.