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Home > Champ Week 2012 > Championship Week: Pac-12, Big East Tournaments heat up

Championship Week: Pac-12, Big East Tournaments heat up

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Craig Robinson and the Oregon State Beavers have made an unexpected run to the final four in the Pac-12. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Three days ’til Selection Sunday. By now, Championship Week has provided us with some indelible images, incredible games and burst bubbles. You can almost smell the fresh-printed ink of those brackets now. Last night, Northwestern and Mississippi State virtually guaranteed that their names won’t be on that bracket sheet by losing to double-digit seeds in Minnesota and Georgia in the first round of their conference tournaments. Here’s a look at the brackets in the major conference tournaments:

PAC-12 TOURNAMENT BRACKET

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What we’ve learned so far: Colorado has done a spectacular job in its first year in the Pac-12, winning 21 games and advancing to the semifinals in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals. The Buffaloes will fare much better in the Pac-12 than they did in the Big 12, where they had to battle Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, and the rest of the big boys in the midwest. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Colorado knock off Cal and advance to the Pac-12 final, possibly stealing the Golden Bears’ tournament bid in the process. Oregon State has also advanced to the final four, which means that the Beavers are two wins away from forcing President Obama to pick them to win the national championship. (You know, because, his brother-in-law is the coach.)

BIG EAST TOURNAMENT BRACKET

These jerseys should be laid to rest. (Photo:espnmadison.com)

What we’ve learned so far: South Florida and UConn have played their way into NCAA Tournament bids. Both could have easily advanced to the tournament semifinals, and both were helped by Seton Hall’s loss to Louisville. Also, Cincinnati, Marquette, and USF have established themselves in the Big East after transferring from Conference USA in 2004. They are beginning to become true conference members with real rivalries and history—unfortunately, the Big East won’t be the same conference next year so it won’t mean much. Syracuse has advanced to the semifinals in perhaps its last Big East tournament appearance ever, and likely won’t face much of a challenge from Cincinnati, which doesn’t match up well with the Orange.

Tournament Highlight: The Georgetown-Cincinnati double-overtime game Thursday afternoon was a classic, and it was even more impressive that the Bearcats won the game. Cincinnati hasn’t had such a marquee win in its Big East history, so that was a program-building victory over Georgetown, and one that may give the Bearcats a top-six NCAA tournament seed.

Tournament Lowlight: Louisville’s uniforms. They Cardinals are wearing hot pink.

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Categories: Champ Week 2012
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