Talking Points: Huskies are on the bubble

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

On the NCAA basketball committee’s so-called “nitty gritty sheets” which contain all the pertinent numbers that govern its decisions is a column that seems to hold the key to the decision on Washington:

“Conference record.”

UW fans arguing for inclusion of the Huskies when the field is announced Sunday insist that column must stand for something. Shouldn’t winning the regular season of a major conference be enough?

But the devil is in the details, and if Washington’s name isn’t called, it will have a lot to do with the dynamics of its conference record.

First, for the initial time in its history, the Pac-12 played an “unbalanced schedule” this year, owing to the inclusion of Colorado and Utah. No more can the league play a double round-robin home and away against every school.

The UW appeared to benefit from that change, missing the hardest road trip in the conference to the Bay Area, where both Cal and Stanford were top-100 computer-ranked teams. In hairline cases, the committee is always wary of unbalanced schedules.

Second, the weakness of the Pac-12 causes a drain at the back end of every would-be at-large team from the league. Washington has a 10-0 record against teams with an RPI computer ranking of 200 or above, more than any other power-conference school it’s competing against for the NCAA tournament. In the eyes of the committee, those wins are empty calories, and indeed, a drag on a resume.

-- Bud Withers, Seattle Times

2

Like your basketball pure, without silly inventions like, say, a shot clock?

Well, then head south to Oregon.

Springfield beat Willamette of Eugene for the 5A girls state title Saturday. The final score? 16-7.

(Click here to read the Eugene Register Guard's story of the game.)

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