Pac-10 Race; UCLA's Chances

The tiebreakers can be a bitch, but here's an analysis of the possibilities in regards to who can win the Pac-10, and where UCLA can finish in it all...

If you haven't looked at the Pac-10 tiebreaker policies, don't do it; it's more complicated than the new tax codes.

Plus, being a glutton for punishment, I did it for you.

It's truly amazing when analyzing it since different teams in different tiebreakers dramatically impact other tiebreakers in the conference.

After running all the possible scenarios in how the Pac-10 could finish, here are some conclusions:

Oregon doesn't quite have a lock on the Pac-10 regular season title and the #1 seed in the Pac-10 tournament just yet. Cal will win the Pac-10 regular season title if they beat Arizona on Saturday, UCLA beats Oregon, and Oregon State beats USC (regardless of the outcome of the Stanford/ASU game).

UCLA has a chance at third place. There are a few possible scenarios for this to happen. UCLA definitely has to beat Oregon. Then, it would be easier if USC lost to Oregon State, and it would actually be a good chance if that happened. But there is still a chance UCLA gets third place even if USC beats OSU. UCLA would have to beat Oregon, Cal would have to beat Arizona and ASU would have to beat Stanford. If UCLA beats Oregon, they can't finish any lower than fourth. If UCLA ends up in a four-way or five-way tie for second, they end up in fourth place as a result of tiebreakers. In most scenarios, though, even if UCLA beats Oregon, UCLA finishes in fourth.

If UCLA loses to Oregon, they most likely finish sixth. There are a couple of scenarios where they finish better, though. If UCLA loses to Oregon but USC loses to OSU, UCLA has a chance at fourth. If UCLA loses to Oregon but USC still beats OSU, they can finish in fifth if Cal beats Arizona and Stanford beats ASU.

Got it all?

In playing out most of the scenarios and working through every tiebreaker, UCLA has an equal chance of playing Arizona, Stanford or USC in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament, and a remote chance of playing Cal.

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