Podcast of Champions – Pac-12’s March Madness flop and potential home stretch for a media rights deal

In this episode of the Podcast of Champions hosts Ryan Abraham and David Woods are back to talk about the disappointing opening weekend for the Pac-12 in the NCAA basketball tournament, with three of the four programs that made it to the Big Dance getting bounced out on Thursday/Friday. Arizona State did get a win in the First Four to advance to the field of 64, but lost a tough one against TCU. USC looked flat yet again and had no answers for tournament tested Michigan State who once again made it to the Sweet 16. The biggest flop came early on Thursday with Arizona as a No. 2 seed succumbing to No. 15 Princeton, which would have been the biggest upset of the tournament had it not been for No. 1 Purdue losing to No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson.

The UCLA Bruins are the only Pac-12 program left in the field (unless you want to count San Diego State) and they will face off against Gonzaga in Las Vegas on Thursday. For the third season in a row the Bruins will face the Bulldogs having lost in Final Four of 2021 and in T-Mobile Arena last season. Overall UCLA is 2-5 against the Zags with three of those games in the NCAA Tournament.

The guys also talk about the latest rumors in the Pac-12 media rights negotiations saga, with the presidents of Arizona and Arizona State making statements about the deal being nearly done and still not a peep out of commissioner George Kliavkoff. Will he be able to pull off a lucrative deal that makes enough money for each athletic department to keep them competitive and also have enough exposure to keep West Coast football relevant? It appears that some sort of deal with ESPN, Amazon and Apple could accomplish that, but until something is announced we continue to await the fate of the Conference of Champions.

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