Five teams from the Pac 12 earned NCAA Tournament bids and they have all arrived at second round play in every way possible. UCLA was forced to play on Thursday to earn a spot on the 64 team bracket, and beat Michigan State in that play-in game. Oregon advanced out of the first round without having to play, getting the decision over Virginia Commonwealth when VCU was forced out of the tournament with a positive Covid-19 test.
Yesterday, Oregon State, which earned an NCAA automatic bid by winning the Pac 12 Conference Tournament, won its second game in Indiana by downing Oklahoma State. The twelfth seed Beavers upset the Tennessee Volunteers in their opening contest. Four Pac 12 teams are in action today with USC versus Kansas, Oregon against Iowa, Colorado challenging Florida State and UCLA taking on Abilene Christian.
For Tony Bennett and his Virginia Cavaliers it has been all or nothing in recent years. Three years ago the Cavaliers became the first and only team in NCAA Tournament history to lose to a 16th seed when they were upset by The University of Maryland-Baltimore County. They followed that low point with a National Championship in 2019, a title they would hold for two years given there was no tournament in 2020.
On Saturday, Virginia once again lost an opening round game, this time to 13th seed Ohio. Today Ohio meets Creighton with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
This year’s tournament has had their traditional schedule revised based on Covid-19 concerns. While in a typical year the Tournament has their play-in games on Tuesday and Wednesday and the Field of 64 start play on Thursday and Friday, this year the four play-in games were all staged on Thursday with the full field getting into action on Friday. Thus, we have a Monday where eight tournament games are scheduled.
Sweet 16 action gets underway next Saturday, with four games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday and the Final Four determined in two games played on Monday and Tuesday. All this rescheduling will conclude with a typical schedule, the Final Four meeting on Saturday, April 3rd, and the Championship Game held on Monday April 5th.