If ever there was a year for the "east coast bias" argument to resurface, 2013 would be it. The Pac-12, which got five teams in the NCAA Tournament this year (as opposed to just two last year) has been looking for respect after a few down seasons. When the selection committee announced that league runner-up and conference tournament champion Oregon received a 12-seed, it became obvious what they thought of the league.
In fact, many have argued that all of the Pac-12's team are under-seeded. California and Oregon both received 12-seeds, Colorado received a 10-seed, and UCLA and Arizona both received 6-seeds - a clear message from the committee that they didn't view any of them as elite. Well, after just one day of the NCAA Tournament, it may be time to rethink things.
With Cal's defeat of 6-seed UNLV, the Pac-12 has now opened the 2013 NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 record. Earlier wins by Oregon over Oklahoma State and Arizona over Belmont have the conference on the right side of the conversation for the first time in a long time. If UCLA and Colorado can both win tomorrow, the conference would send all five of its representatives on to the Round of 32 - that would be something.
Whether or not any of the Pac-12's teams can make a deep run in the tournament remains to be seen, but it's hard to argue that the conference isn't off to a great start. East coast bias be damned.