We are a mere six days away from NCAA Tournament selection Sunday, and there is a chance both local teams will join the big dance, according to the latest Bracketology on SB Nation. The UCLA Bruins, who are the No. 2 seed in this week's Pac-10 Tournament, are a lock to hear their name called on Sunday. Meanwhile, the USC Trojans, who finished their season with an upset win in Washington over the Huskies, are firmly on the bubble for March Madness, but a strong showing in the Pac-10 Tournament could punch their ticket for the big dance.
UCLA is currently projected as a No. 8 seed in the Southwest Region by Chris Dobbertean. The Bruins, in his bracket, are slated to face Tennessee in the first round, with a possible date with No. 1 seed Pittsburgh in the second round. UCLA coach Ben Howland coached the Panthers for four seasons before coming to Westwood in 2003.
USC, meanwhile, has their work cut out for them. The Trojans are listed by Dobbertean as one of the first four teams out of the tournament, so they need to add some wins to their resume, and simultaneously hope for minimal upsets in smaller, one-bid conference tournaments. USC is the No. 4 seed in the Pac-10 Tournament, and plays Cal at noon on Thursday. A win over Cal could presumably get the Trojans another date with the top-seeded Arizona Wildcats in round two. USC has beaten Arizona five of their last six meetings in Los Angeles, and the Pac-10 tournament is at Staples Center, so the Trojans could get the wins they need to secure a bid in the NCAA Tournament.
For more local NCAA hoops news and information, be sure to read Bruins Nation and Conquest Chronicles.