MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada
Record: 28-3, 16-2
Arizona would like a 1-seed, especially with only three losses, but due to the weakness of the Pac-12 this season, that may not be possible unless both Villanova and Wisconsin go down. Everyone knows the Wildcats are good, but we still don’t know just how good. Their best wins on the year are against Gonzaga and Utah. It’s hard to gauge them.
With how ‘Zona has closed the season and beaten up on Utah this year, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t win this Tournament. They excel in most areas on the cOurt and the other teams in the Pac-12 can’t compete with that.
Record: 23-8, 13-5
The Ducks slyly snuck in and stole the 2-seed away from Utah. They won nine of their last 10 Games including three straight on the road to close the year and a home Game against the Utes before that. Even with that run, Oregon is still only expected to be around an 8-seed unless they can beat Utah again in the semis.
The Ducks run everything through Joseph Young and that’s about all you need to know about them as he averages 19.8 points per Game. against Arizona, they lost 80-62 at home and 90-56 on the road. Don’t expect them to upset the Wildcats if a third matchup arises.
Record: 23-7, 13-5
The Utes are really kicking themselves after losing three of their final five Games. All of their problems have come on the road this year and we’ll get to see if they can overcome them in this Tournament. Utah did look like a 3-seed before the road struggles began, but now they could be looking at a 5-seed if they can’t get past Oregon.
Utah may even have some trouble in their first Game against either Washington or Stanford. The Utes have straight-up dominated teams throughout the Pac-12 season, but poor losses cost them late.
Record: 19-12, 11-7
And that’s it for the Tournament teams for the Pac-12 unless UCLA or Stanford can do something in this Tourney. The Bruins didn’t do anything in non-Conference play, which is the main reason they are on the outside of the bubble. A bye probably hurts them because a win over Arizona State (or USC) might not be enough to get into the Tourney. And then a matchup with Arizona is waiting for them, and it’s doubtful that will end well.
Record: 18-12, 9-9
The Cardinal are in a better spot in this Tournament than the Bruins, but after losing seven of their final 10 Games in this conference, that doesn’t mean a whole lot. Stanford could get wins over Washington and Utah and still need another one to get on the bubble. This team really disappointed this year after their 2014 Tourney run, and this is their last chance to make something of the season. Don’t count out the Cardinal yet, but they still have a ways to go.
Arizona State and Oregon State are next up in the standings, but neither of them pose as real threats to the conference.
This Tournament should be smooth sledding for Arizona. UCLA may give a desperate fight, but don’t count on them beating the Wildcats. As long as ‘Zona plays their Game, they’ll win this Tournament and hope for a 1-seed on Selection Sunday.