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PAC 12 CONFERENCE
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nev.
Record: 28-3, 15-3
At this point, this tourney is Arizona's to lose. In fact, it would be an upset if they didn't win. The Wildcats are coming off a loss at Oregon, but there wasn't much at stake in that game for them. They already had the Pac-12 locked up and are a sure No. 1 seed in the Big Dance. The same could be said about this tourney, but on a neutral court, this team may not get beaten.
Arizona has figured out how to play without Brandon Ashley which is what matters most. The only way to beat them is to get their bigs into foul trouble because they don't have a deep squad. They'll likely get Utah in the first game and California or Colorado in the next one. While they lost to two of those teams already, the situation is a lot different in Nevada. Expect the Wildcats to head to the championship, where they will have an edge.
Record: 23-8, 12-6
The Bruins were set to challenge Arizona for the Pac-12 title when Ashley went down, but that didn't happen. UCLA has now lost three of their last five games and aren't looking like the same team, especially after the one-game suspension for their two best players. UCLA can move anywhere from a 4 to a 6 seed in the NCAA tourney, depending on how they play here.
They are coming off a terrible 18-point loss at Washington State which isn't a good sign. They'll likely face Oregon in the first game then either Arizona State or Stanford. None of those games will be easy, but the Bruins will be favorites. If they can meet Arizona in the championship, it should be a fun game.
Record: 21-10, 10-8
Five teams had the same conference record which is incredible. The Sun Devils could have been anywhere from the 3 seed to the 7 seed in the Pac-12. They had the best record against the other four teams and got the top spot. The bad news for ASU is that they are pitiful on the road. They won just two conference road games on the year, with one of them going to overtime. Their last loss came at Oregon State.
They'll likely play Stanford in the opening game, but that one is far from an automatic win as the two split on the season. And if they do reach the next round, it's hard to see them beating UCLA.
Record: 19-12, 10-8
The Golden Bears got a much needed OT win in their final game, but still remain on the bubble. They get a bye from the first round which isn't exactly a good thing because they'll have to face Colorado again, the team they just beat at home in overtime. California is inconsistent on the offensive end outside of Justin Cobbs which is their main problem. A loss in this game will leave them out of March Madness.
Record: 21-10, 10-8
The loss to Cal didn't hurt Colorado as much since it was on the road and they are likely a lock for the NCAAs unless they lose to USC in their opening game. Still, the Buffaloes have lost three of their last four and just aren't the same team without Spencer Dinwiddie. While they can beat California, that's probably where their tourney run ends because Arizona will be waiting.
Record: 19-11, 10-8
The Cardinal are another team on the edge in the Pac-12 and a loss to Washington State would not be good. However, that shouldn't happen and they'll face Arizona State in the next round which will be a good game. Stanford has the size down low to deal with anyone and Chasson Randle on the outside to score. This team has plenty of potential if they put it together and could make a run at the championship.
Record: 22-8, 10-8
With much-improved play and seven straight wins, the Ducks are back in the NCAA tourney and ready to make a run. After starting the season 13-0, they suddenly fell apart, but it looks like they're back, especially after coming back to beat Arizona. Oregon is a tough team and could give some trouble to UCLA in the next round. If so, the Ducks could make the leap to a 7-seed in the big tourney.
Utah is slightly on the bubble and will likely need to win two games to get off that bubble. First up is Washington followed by Arizona. It doesn't look promising.
Arizona is the hands-down favorite to win the Pac-12 tourney and shouldn't even have problems reaching the final. Opposite of them could be anyone from UCLA, Oregon or even Arizona State or Stanford. This league is a mesh after 'Zona.
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