The Pac-10 received 8 bids to the NCAA tournament today, tying them for the most bids by a conference with the SEC and ACC, both of whom are 12 team leagues. 8 out of the 10 teams in the league are playing in the postseason, a ridiculous 80% rate. Last year, the Pac-10 received just 3 bids to the tournament. The most bids the conference has ever had in one year was 5. By sending 8 teams to the NCAAs, the conference shattered that record and set the bar for years to come.
Outsiders may look at the conference records of the teams that made it and wonder what the big deal is. After all, only 4 teams have winning conference records and only UCLA and ASU have conference records that aren't hovering around .500.
Below is a list of the teams in the conference and their records outside of conference play:
Arizona State: 27-1
Washington State: 21-8
Oregon State: 19-7
Add them all up and you get a .728 winning percentage. The tournament teams alone had a winning percentage of .760 during non-conference play. Additionally, Arizona State lost one game outside of conference play. Their loss came against Arizona.
At the end of the season, all 8 tournament teams held RPIs in the top 40, with California the lowest at 37th. In the final USA Today poll, 7 Pac-10 teams received votes, with both UCLA and Arizona State landing in the top 10.
The Pac-10 wasn't just good this year, it was historically good. Finishing 3rd in a loaded conference like this is a huge accomplishment for the Cougs and something they can wear proudly heading in to the NCAA tournament.