The stage was set.
The No. 25 Washington Huskies men’s basketball team entered Thursday’s matchup against California with a celebration planned and an agenda to get the attention of the basketball world.
But instead, it was the Cal Golden Bears who made headlines. The Pac-12’s last-place team, who entered the game 0-15 in conference play, took down the Huskies in convincing fashion.
Nearly nine hours north in Corvallis, the Oregon State Beavers, who held third place in the Pac-12 heading into the night’s matchup with Arizona, were stunned as Wildcats guard Devonaire Doutrive laid in an offensive rebound at the buzzer to send shockwaves through Gil Coliseum.
And in Eugene? That’s right…another upset. The Arizona State Sun Devils, who sat second in the Pac-12 standings, had one of their most uninspiring games of the season, as they were blown out by Oregon Ducks, who held the conference’s top-scoring team to 28 points below its season average.
Twitter had a field day roasting the Pac-12 after last night’s finishes:
When it comes to unintentional comedy, there is no better league in the country than the Pac 12— Brian Snow (@BSnow247) March 1, 2019
The Pac-12 should have to give its auto bid to another conference— Matt Moreno (@MattGOAZCATS) March 1, 2019
Last night the Pac-12's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams lost to the league's last place, 10th place and 9th place team. pic.twitter.com/pSrLmaNYgL— Matt Prehm (@MattPrehm) March 1, 2019
While Washington still managed to clinch the Pac-12 title as Arizona State and Oregon State both lost, none of this bodes well for the “Conference of Champions.” The Pac-12, who was expected to have two teams in the March Madness field heading into Thursday, could end up being a one-bid league after last night.
As of Friday, according to ESPN Bracketology, Washington dropped to a No. 9 seed in the West playing Syracuse in the first round, while Arizona State is listed as one of the last four teams in the field as No. 12 facing Utah State in the First Four.
It’s not all gloom and doom though. The Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament is only two weeks away and there's still an opportunity for teams vying for a NCAA bid to make a run at locking down their spot in the big dance.