Our Daily Dread: The Pac-10 Tournament (without an exclamation point, with a distainful sigh)

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Danny Moloshok/Associated Press
Oregon’s Nicholas Fearn, left, and John Elorriaga walk off the court after Oregon’s 62-40 loss to Washington State at the Pac-10 men’s tournament at Staples Center on Wednesday.

Your investement in this weekend’s Pacific Life (sorry I really thought that was part of the official name) Pac-10 men’s basketball tournament at Staples Center is:

A) Intense
B) Intrigue
C) Interested
D) Indifferent
E) Indignant

Who’s in? Who’s outdated? Who does Oregon think they’re going to beat scoring 40 points?

That’s all the introspection we could muster after Day 1 of this four-day sprint to the finish, rendering the regular season of Pac-10 play all for a seeding number that really makes no difference when the real NCAA Tournament begins next week, and the brackets are announced on Sunday.

If the NCAA event is still “The Big Dance,” then these conference tournaments are like the cheerleader’s cupcake fundraisers, hoping to get everyone’s spirits up before the big event takes place and they get the bill for their tuxedo rental. So they can afford to buy the streamers and balloons to hang above the punch bowl to class it up on Selection Sunday as they wait to hear how Billy Packer Clark Kellogg will tear down their programs after the field of 65 is announced.

At Staples Center this weekend, the real winners of this can only be USC, Washington State, Cal or Arizona, if they win and make it in. Maybe. The real losers can be UCLA, Arizona State and, again, Cal. If they lose and become irrelevant in the seeding process.

Stanford, Oregon State and Oregon have no business even making the trip to L.A. for the weekend, if only to see if they can strenghten their bid for that other tournament — not the NIT — when it picks its field of whatever early next week.

Watching to see if Arizona can knock off rival ASU in today’s round, or if UCLA meets up with USC in the semifinals, adds some intensity. Perhaps.

Seeing if Washington or UCLA can grab a seed higher than No. 3 in the upcoming dance is the real intrigue. Probably.

If Oregon State had won yesterday, that would have been interesting. Possibly.

If USC does make it all the way to Saturday’s final, and then loses, would just add to our indifference. Pfffff.

Those who have to pay face value for the tickets should be indignant. Poor bastards.

And, for those who need today’s meaningless schedule:
==ASU vs. Arizona, noon
==Washington vs. Stanford, 2:30 p.m.
==USC vs. Cal, 6 p.m.
==UCLA vs. Washington St., 8:30 p.m.

It’s on TV, you know. If you’re not invested in how “The Office” story arch developes this week.

Now, as long as we’re talking about selling our souls to the college basketball money makers, if you don’t mind, I’m going to read a Marc Isenberg story about the biggest whore Jerry Tarkanian ever met (that’s the headline, here at this link).

Interested in logging a comment here? Or do it thomas.hoffarth@dailynews.com.

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Danny Moloshok/The Associated Press
Oregon’s Frantz Dorsainvil, left, and Kamyron Brown, right, try to reach a loose ball along with Washington State’s Aron Baynes, center, during Wednesday’s game.

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