MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada
Record: 25-6, 14-4
Arizona was finally knocked off its Pac-12 pedestal this year and it’s not because the Wildcats had a down season. The Ducks are a team to reckon with come March Madness and could very well be locking down a 2-seed for the big Tournament, depending how this one plays out.
Oregon has been the best team in the Pac-12 for most of the season, but a meeting with Arizona in the semifinals is almost inevitable. The Wildcats would definitely like some revenge after losing the first meeting. This is the deepest this Conference has been in some time and there’s no telling how the Tournament will play out.
Record: 24-7, 13-5
Standing in Oregon’s way for the championship could easily be Utah, currently on a seven-Game winning streak. The Utes have put everything together over the last month and it has resulted in wins against the conference’s best. Of course, Oregon still swept Utah during the regular season.
Nevertheless, the Utes won’t be an easy out. Granted, no one will be. Utah will face USC or UCLA in its first Game and then likely a hot California team in the semifinals. If the Utes make it through that gauntlet, either Oregon or Arizona is next.
Record: 24-7, 12-6
The Wildcats may have finished third in the Pac-12, but this team could easily be just as dangerous as any other versions of the squad. Arizona is finally (mostly) healthy and that doesn’t mean good things for the rest of the conference. They could end up being a sleeper pick in the NCAA Tourney, the opposite of previous years.
‘Zona will likely take on Colorado in the quarterfinals, a team they just lost to on the road. From there, the Wildcats will have to take out Oregon if they want a chance at the championship Game.
Record: 22-9, 12-6
The Golden Bears are the 4-seed in this Tournament, but no one wants to see them right now. The Bears have won eight of their last nine Games with the only loss being by three points at Arizona.
A team filtered with veterans and high-upside freshmen, California is a real threat to reach the Sweet 16 and beyond later this month. For an underdog with value, the Golden Bears fit the bill for the Pac-12 Tournament.
Record: 21-10, 10-8
The Buffaloes have been good this year and are part of the reason this Conference is so deep this year. However, advancing to the championship Game as a 5-seed looks almost impossible at this point. Colorado would have to take out Arizona and Oregon on back-to-back days to make it there.
Record: 20-11, 9-9
The Trojans are another team that came out of nowhere to be a relevant team in the conference. Still, USC has fallen off a bit since early on and has lost six of its last eight. If the Trojans win their first Game, they’ll face Utah, a team they lost to by 11 points at home not too long ago.
Record: 17-13, 9-9
The Beavers are another one of those solid Pac-12 teams, but probably has too tough of a road to reach the championship Game. At the least, Oregon State is slated to reach the NCAA Tournament, which is about all this team could ask for before the season.
Washington, Stanford and UCLA have all had their moments this season, but the top Four seeds in the Pac-12 are too strong to make a run through the Tournament.
It’s really a Four-way toss-up between those top Four seeds to win it. Oregon, as a 1-seed, is the favorite, but by no means are the Ducks a lock.