PAC-10 Basketball Tournament Preview – 2009
Get ready for another classic PAC-10 Tournament!
There have always been good teams in the PAC-10 Tourney, but this season teams seem to be more equally matched then they have been in recent memory. Last year was a battle, but this year might be even better.
Last season it was more of a superstar watch then anything with NBA talent like Kevin Love, Brook Lopez and OJ Mayo. USC, Stanford and UCLA were good teams, but the Bruins were the clear favorite to win it all.
This time around the Bruins are not the favorite; in fact some may say that they arent even the second best team in this PAC-10 Tournament which would be the first time that has happen in a long, long time.
The Bruins are still a great team. Are they Final Four bound? I doubt it, but still a great team nonetheless. UCLA has had their share of struggles this season, especially against teams from Arizona, but they ended the season strong on a Four Game winning streak.
The USC Trojans arent the same team they were last season without OJ Mayo running the show. Stanford is also a shell of its former shelf after the loss of the Lopez brothers to the NBA. The interesting thing about this Tournament is that every team in the PAC-10 has at least Four losses to Conference opponents which drastically increase the chances of seeing an upset in the PAC-10 Tourney.
Although the UCLA Bruins are always a dangerous team in this Tournament, the team to watch out for is the Washington Huskies who just recently just broke into the top ten ranking in the country. The Bruins and Huskies regular season might be identical at 24-7, but their seasons have turned out completely different.
These two teams have split their two Games against each other with the Bruins avenging their loss to the Huskies back in late January just recently at Pauley Pavilion.
I see these two meeting in the PAC-10 championship Game, but there is one team that could pull off the upset and stop one of these teams for getting to the final Game in the Tournament.
The team with the best chance of pulling off the upset is the Arizona State Sun Devils.
The Sun Devils just recently took the Huskies to the limit at Washington in an overtime thriller. The Huskies were able to come out alive with a three point victory in overtime, but Arizona State proved they can play with the best in the conference.
Not only were the Sun Devils able to take the Huskies to the limit in their last meeting, but they have also gotten the best of the Bruins twice this season. Arizona State did struggle a bit to finish the season losing three straight before beating Cal, but they definitely could win this Tournament.
I think that the Huskies are playing so well right now that they will not be beaten by either the Bruins or Sun Devils, but an upset might be around the corner for Washington.
Current Odds to win the PAC 10 Tournament courtesy of 5dimes.com
Arizona State +500
Field (Any Other Team) +2000
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