Pac-12 Tournament Preview: Arizona and Everyone Else?

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 7:24 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2018 7:24 PM UTC

The Pac-12 Conference tournament tips off Wednesday and the oddsmakers favor the regular-season champion Arizona Wildcats to take home the hardware. Let’s check out all the teams, as well as the odds, and let the games begin!

#1 Arizona (24-7, +183 at 5Dimes to win conference tournament): There’s more on the line for Arizona than just a conference championship. The Wildcats, last season’s Pac-12 champs, come into the postseason ranked 15th in the nation, but if they win their next three games in convincing fashion, there is an outside shot the Cats could launch into a No. 1 seed when the Big Dance commences.

#2 USC (21-10, +395):The Trojans were on a roll until they hit a brick wall named UCLA to end their regular season. The NCAA basketball odds had tagged the Trojans as five-point home chalk but the wrong side was favored as the Bruins rallied in the second half en route to an 83-72 victory. USC earned a first-round bye and will await the winner of the Oregon State/Washington contest.

#3 Utah (19-10, +825): The Utes came on strong towards the end of the season by winning six of their last seven, and if you had been backing them in your NCAA basketball picks you would know they were a big-time money-maker, covering the number in nine of their last 12 contests. Utah will play the winner of the Washington State/Oregon clash.

#4 UCLA (20-10, +600): The Bruins snapped a two-game skid and upset USC in hostile territory to end their regular-season campaign. That big win propelled them to the No. 4 seed in the Pac-12 tourney and landed them the last of four first-round byes. UCLA will face the winner of the California/Stanford game.

#5 Stanford (17-14, +1600): The Cardinal ripped off three wins over their last four contests, with their only loss coming by way of a 75-67 setback to Arizona as 11½-point road underdogs. Stanford will tangle with the cellar-dwelling California Golden Bears in the first round.

#6 Oregon (20-11, +725): Oregon defeated three of four conference opponents to wrap the season, including a huge win over top-seeded Arizona. The Ducks have value at +725 in a wide-open tournament and will be out for revenge when they face Washington State, their lone loss down the stretch, in the opening round.

#7 Washington (20-11, +3200): The Huskies notched wins over conference foes California and Oregon State before they bowed in their regular-season finale to Oregon by the score of 72-64. They hope to duplicate their efforts against the team they edged a week ago, Oregon State, which they battle in the first round.

#8 Colorado (16-14, +8000): The Buffaloes are getting no respect from the oddsmakers at +8000 to win the tournament, but three losses over their last four games will do that. However, let’s not forget that Colorado’s lone win during that span was a solid 80-76 win over UCLA. The Buffs will tip off against Arizona State in the opening round.

#9 Arizona State (20-10, +875): The odds of +875 belie Arizona State’s low seed in the tournament, but with wins over high profile and highly ranked teams like Xavier and Kansas, the potential is there despite the Sun Devils losing four of their last five games. ASU welcomes Colorado in the opening round.

#10 Oregon State (15-15, +5500): The Beavers were busy scoring in their last game of the regular season as they drew away to a 92-67 victory over Washington State. Oregon State would need a string of upsets to bring home the cash, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. OSU gets No. 7 seed Washington in the opener.

#11 Washington State (12-18, +45000): The Cougars will likely be one-and-done when they take on No. 6 Oregon in the opening round. It’s a bad matchup for a team that was dominated 84-57 on the road but then stunned the Ducks 78-76 in the rematch held on their home court. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and the Cougars are on the menu.

#12 California (8-23, +50000):California deserves zero respect entering the tournament having lost 16 of its last 17 games. They will be but a quick appetizer before Stanford advances to the entrees.

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