It’s a big stage for the Pac-12 regular season champions.
Who? The Beavers of Oregon State.
What? The Beaver is the state animal of Oregon. Benny’s been the mascot since 1952.
Where? Corvallis, Oregon, which claims to have its own Seven Wonders.
When? March 20th, in Corvallis, Oregon.
Why? One does not simply ignore the regular season champion of a Power 5 conference. Or a 17 RPI. Or 26 wins.
How? They were an at-large selection.
Surprise? Predicted to finish third in the conference, they took the regular season crown by a game over Arizona State.
Record: 26-4 (16-2 Pac-12)
Good wins: At North Carolina.
Bad losses: At Washington. Colorado in the Pac-12 tournament might very well be worse, both statistically and seeding-wise.
Who’s in charge around here? Scott Rueck, since 2010, now two-time Pac-12 coach of the year.
Junior guard Jamie Weisner leads the scoring charge for the Beavers, at 13.7 points per game, including 42.9% from beyond the arc. 6-6 junior center Ruth Hamblin is a defensive stopper in the middle (8.8 rebounds, 3.8 blocks) and a steady option on the inside (12.9 points, 57.7%). Sophomore point guard Sydney Wiese rounds out the three-headed monster, at 12.5 points and 5.6 assists.
This is one of the teams I’m most looking forward to seeing in the tournament- we haven’t gotten much of a look at them on the East Coast.