Previewing & Predicting The Pac 12 Semifinals

Jason Lake

Friday, March 10, 2017 8:28 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 10, 2017 8:28 PM UTC

The three “elite” Pac-12 teams all survived the second round, but all three had their issues. We’ll help you sort out your college basketball picks for Friday’s semifinals.

 California vs. Oregon

The No. 5 California Golden Bears survived Thursday’s Pac-12 Tournament hijinks; they’ll be huge underdogs on Friday’s NCAAB odds board when they face the No. 1 Oregon Ducks.

That wasn’t supposed to happen. The Utah Utes are out of the Pac-12 Tournament, and they probably won’t go to the Big Dance, either. They lost 78-75 to the No. 5 California Golden Bears (+3.5) in Thursday’s second-round matchup. And it took a furious comeback just to make the game close. Not the greatest of college basketball picks, I’m afraid.

Cal advances to face the No. 1 Oregon Ducks (28-4 SU, 19-12 ATS), who came out of the gate slowly in their 80-57 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils – but the Ducks still managed to cash in as 17-point faves on the closing line, again to our chagrin here at the ranch. Friday’s semifinal (9:00 p.m. ET, PAC12) ought to be very interesting; while Oregon won both regular-season games, the two clubs split the cash ATS – and split the totals, too.

It seems anything can happen at this point, but we’re looking at the UNDER for a slight lean on the NCAAB odds board. This pick is based on the tempo of both teams, which is somewhere between largo and larghetto. Plus, the Golden Bears (21-11 SU, 14-18 ATS) are top-heavy on defense; Ken Pomeroy has them ranked No. 10 overall at that end of the court, compared to No. 182 on offense.

Free NCAAB Pick: UNDER 126.5
Best Line Offered: at 5dimes

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UCLA vs. Arizona

Lonzo Ball and the No. 3 UCLA Bruins are barely into the Pac-12 semifinals, and they might not be the sharpest NCAAB pick for Friday’s game with the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats.

Conference of Champions? Not this year. The Pac-12 Tournament has seen some ugly basketball thus far, and it’s clear that even the top teams in the conference have their flaws. The No. 3 UCLA Bruins (28-3 SU, 16-15 ATS) nearly coughed up Thursday’s second-round game against the USC Trojans; UCLA held on for a 76-74 victory, but they were 10.5-point favorites on the closing line, and we had them in our college basketball picks here at the home office. Phooey.

The No. 2 Arizona Wildcats (28-4 SU, 16-14-2 ATS) did better in their 92-78 win over the Colorado Buffaloes, cashing in as 8-point favorites on the NCAAB odds board. But Arizona had a hard time pulling away from the Buffs until later in the second half. Good thing the ‘Cats were 10-of-19 from long range – good for them, that is. Us, not so much. We had the UNDER.

Arizona and UCLA split their regular-season games SU and ATS, winning on the other team’s court, and they split the totals, so we’ll have to go with the hot hand and recommend the Wildcats for Friday’s semifinal (11:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Bill Walton will be there. So should you.

Free NCAAB Pick: Arizona +2
Best Line Offered: at Wagerweb

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