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Seeding Possibilities for Saturday

By the way, I could not be more excited that a Cougar team most of us wrote off after the second USC loss has a shot at fifth place in the conference this weekend. Let's start with the most optimistic scenario and work our way down.

If we beat UW: (Updated 12:45 PM for accuracy - thanks PaulThomas)

We earn fifth place if Oregon State beats USC. Doesn't matter what Arizona does, since we would have the tie-break thanks to wins over UCLA and UW.

We earn sixth place if USC beats Oregon State and Arizona loses.

We earn seventh place if both USC and Arizona win, forcing a three-way tie. (see comments as to why that might not be so bad).

If we lose to UW:

If USC and Arizona lose, we have a four-way tie for fifth place in the conference. It's weird. I assume the tie-break is head to head record against those teams, so...

Arizona: 4-2
Oregon St: 3-3
USC: 3-3
WSU: 2-4

This is the worst possible scenario for us, and it only magnifies how big those home losses to USC and Oregon State were. We'd finish eighth in the conference, and not only have to play an early game in the Pac-10 tournament, but play a decent Stanford team. Hope this doesn't happen (it is a long shot, with Arizona and USC playing at home with superior teams).

Now, if both USC and Arizona win, we find ourselves alone in seventh place.

If USC wins and Arizona loses, we earn seventh place because a loss to UW gives the Wildcats the tie-break edge over us.

If Arizona wins and USC loses, we also get seventh place since we lose the tie-breaker to the Trojans.

So here's the basic jist: If we win, we get fifth, sixth, or seventh. If we lose, seventh or eighth. You can see why this is a huge game for WSU.

If we win Saturday, root for Oregon State and Stanford. If we lose, root for USC and/or Arizona.

Although, maybe the six seed and the first-round bye isn't really what we need. Think about it: the Cougars need not only quality wins, but quantity of wins. A first round matchup against the ten-seed Ducks could help us out in the W column. In that case, we're better off with seventh.

Regardless, don't worry about the seed so much tomorrow and just root for the Cougs.