SALT LAKE CITY — Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak made it clear he wasn’t too happy with how things shook out for the Pac-12 in the NCAA Tournament. He called it “a perfect storm” for the conference. Only three teams earned berths this year — Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA.
Krystkowiak is mystified that the Pac-12 was supposedly down this season. The conference had a 7-2 record (including Utah’s 77-59 win over Missouri in November) against the SEC that had eight teams invited. The Tigers earned a No. 8 seed with a 20-12 record, including a 10-8 mark in conference play. Krystkowiak looked at their resume and couldn’t see much difference than Utah’s 19-11 (11-7 in the Pac-12) campaign.
The conference simply didn’t get much respect from the tournament selection committee. Krystkowiak wonders if Pac-12 champion Arizona’s 0-3 preseason showing in the Bahamas — losing to North Carolina State, SMU and Purdue — was a factor in the minds of some folks despite the Wildcats turning things around as the season progressed.
“It’s disappointing. I think our conference is really solid and really good,” Krystkowiak said. “I’m blown away that USC was not in the tournament.”
The Trojans didn’t get in despite finishing second in the Pac-12 and reaching the tournament finals. At the same time, Arizona State received a berth despite an 8-10 record in Pac-12 play and a first-round ouster as a No. 9 seed in Las Vegas.
Krystkowiak said that if you beat Kansas and Xavier in the preseason — as the Sun Devils did — and finish ninth in your conference “that’s all it takes.”
Sarcasm aside, Krystkowiak said it’s all spilled milk and the rest of the country doesn’t care about what Pac-12 folks are saying about the lack of respect for the conference.
The real problem, Krystkowiak said, was the lack of …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News