If you're rooting for maximum chaos at the Pac-12 basketball tournament — and really, who isn't? — you'll be glad to know there's still a chance we could end up with a seven-way tie for fourth place at 9-9 in the conference standings.
It's not that far-fetched, though it would require a bunch of pieces to fall into place. Here's how it would work:
Step 1: Colorado beats UCLA (68 percent probability, per KenPom)
Step 2: Utah beats USC (56%)
Step 3: Stanford beats Cal (89%)
Step 4: Washington State beats Oregon State (43%)
Step 5: Arizona beats Arizona State (56%)
Step 6: USC beats Colorado (44%)
Step 7: Utah beats UCLA (58%)
Step 8: Washington beats Oregon (69%)
There's an alternate version of this scenario where Utah goes 0-2 against the L.A. schools, but it's more likely that the Utes will sweep at home than get swept. The next question would be, what happens if some or all of these teams end up tied in the standings?
Per Pac-12 tie-breaking procedures, the first step is to compare winning percentages against the other teams involved in the tie. It's not a bad idea to brush up on head-to-head results since a multi-team tie of some sort is pretty much guaranteed.
Here's how each of these teams fared against the others, with some head-to-head games still pending:
Oregon State — 7-4 (.636)
Utah — 5-4 (.555)
Colorado — 5-4 (.555)
UCLA — 6-5 (.545)
Arizona —6-6 (.500)
Oregon — 5-6 (.454)
Stanford — 4-6 (.400)
USC — 4-7 (.363)
Those percentages will change depending on which teams are involved in the tie, but it gives you a rough idea of who will fare well in a tiebreaker and who won't.
The Beavers are in strong position to finish no worse than fourth as long as they beat Washington State. They'll have tiebreaker advantages against Colorado, Utah, Oregon and USC, other potential 10-win teams.
Oregon would fare well in a tiebreaker with Arizona, Utah and Stanford and poorly in a tiebreaker with Oregon State, UCLA and Colorado. In terms of rooting for the best seed, Oregon's first priority should be beating Washington on Saturday night. Beyond that, the Ducks are probably better off if UCLA and Oregon State win their games and remove themselves from the 9-9 pack.
Here's one other scenario, just for fun. If the favorite prevails in each remaining game, the seedings would look like this:
1. Washington (16-2)
2. Arizona State (11-7)
3. Utah (11-7)
4. Oregon State (10-8)
5. Colorado (10-8)
6. UCLA (9-9)
7. Oregon (9-9)
8. Arizona (9-9)
9. Stanford (9-9)
10. USC (8-10)
11. Washington State (4-14)
12. Cal (2-16)