The first round of the Pac-10 Tournament kicks off at Staples center in Los Angeles on Wednesday with the Stanford Cardinal, Oregon State Beavers, Oregon Ducks and Arizona State Sun Devils all in action. The four teams are stuck in the play-in games by virtue of their conference record, placing each team in the bottom four. The two winners move on to face Arizona and UCLA, the top-two teams in the Pac-10 this season, on Thursday in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals.
Here's the full schedule of for Wednesday, including TV information and a bracket.
Schedule: The action kicks off late, almost ensuring the East Coast won't be able to see any of the games. Stanford and Oregon State tip-off at 6 p.m., followed by Oregon and Arizona State half an hour after the first game ends, as early as 8:30. With games running until at least 10:30 p.m., it's going to be a late night.
Location: Staples Center in Los Angeles has the hosting duties again this year. Keep an eye on attendance as empty seats are typically prevalent, especially in games that don't involve UCLA or USC.
What's at stake?: The winner of the Pac-10 Tournament takes home the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. While Arizona and UCLA are likely in, and Washington is in as of now, teams such as USC and Washington State need the Pac-10 automatic bid to make it into March Madness. The result is hard-fought games with teams fighting for their tournament lives.
Who's favored tonight?: The higher-seeded teams are favored in the opening round games. Oregon is favored by one-point in what's expected to be a close matchup. Arizona State swept the Ducks in the regular season despite finishing with just four conference wins. Stanford is favored over Oregon State with a point spread of 4.5.
Finally, here's the full bracket.
First round: Wednesday, March 9
No. 8 Stanford Cardinal vs. No. 9 Oregon State Beavers, 6 p.m. FSN
No. 7 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devils, 8:30 p.m., FSN
Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 10
No. 4 USC Trojans vs. No. 5 California Golden Bears, noon, FSN
No. 1 Arizona Wildcats vs. Stanford/Oregon State, 2:30, FSN
No. 2 UCLA Bruins vs. Oregon/Arizona State, 6 p.m., FSN
No. 3 Washington Huskies vs. No. 6 Washington State Cougs, 8:30 p.m., FSN
Semifinals: Friday, March 11
USC/California vs. Arizona/Stanford/Oregon State, 6 p.m., FSN
UCLA/Oregon/Arizona State vs. Washington/Washington State, 8:30 p.m., FSN
Finals: Saturday, March 12
Semifinal winners, 3 p.m., CBS
For more on the tournament, including the latest news and bracket updates, check out the rest of our 2011 Pac-10 tournament StoryStream.