Pac-12 Tournament Preview3 min read
So, the LMBF boys are putting together a preview for all the conference tourneys and I got stuck with the one I know the least about, the GD Pac-12. Whatever though, someone has to deliver the goods and I am proud to be that guy. So, the Pac-12 (I still say Pac-10 99% of the time, damnit). The frontrunners of the conference are third ranked UCLA, fifth ranked Oregon, and seventh ranked Arizona. Utah is solid, but they just aren’t in the same tier as the ‘big three’. For the sake of brevity and relevance I’m mostly going to talk about these three teams and their respective match ups. Sorry Washington State Cougar fans 13-17 is just not gonna cut it! ***ALSO, I’m very sorry folks but I used a little bit of sabremetrics in this one. PPG=points per game and it’s how many scores one of the fellas averages in one game. Mind bending stuff isn’t it?
#1 Oregon vs. #9 Stanford or #8 ASU – 12PM PST Thu 3/9
As mentioned, Oregon is the 5th ranked squad in the AP polls and are sitting pretty at 27-4. They are led by #24 Dillon Brooks who is averaging 16 points/game. This man is simply un-human at times, but he is the KING of the flop, yes even more than LeBron.
The rest of the team is pretty solid as well, but they do have a couple shaky losses sprinkled in there. They lost to Colorado (18-13) and Georgetown (14-17). They will match up against a sub .500 team either way so I can confidently say they will win. Out of the other ‘big three’ they by far have the easiest path to the conference championship. I see them going there, but losing.
#2 Arizona vs. #10 Washington State or #7 Colorado – 6PM PST Thu 3/9
Arizona is ranked 7th in the AP polls and are 27-4. The only reason they’re behind Oregon is because they got absolutely trampled by them back in early February: 85-58, Ducks. Their 4 losses are all quality. They lost to Butler (sgo Dawgs), Gonzaga, Oregon and UCLA. I see the Wildcats playing 18-13 Colorado and absolutely blowing them of the water. The Buffs just don’t have the firepower necessary to matchup with them. Arizona will win this one, but will then face a tough test against UCLA in the semis.
#3 UCLA vs. #11 Washington or #6 USC – 8:30PM PST Thu 3/9
Kinda funny. UCLA is ranked #3 in the conference tourney AND #3 in the AP rankings. That’s some good shit right there, am I right? No I’m not right, but it is pretty interesting that the 28-3 UCLA Bruins are third in the Pac-12. Their three losses were to Oregon, Arizona, and USC. UCLA could potentially play USC, do I smell an upset? EH, probably not. USC matches up well against the high-powered Bruin offense, but I think UCLA is going to come out extremely hot and dominate. They will blow out the Trojans just like they did at home less than 20 days ago (102-70). I’m not going to mention 9-21 Washington because they are downright TRASH this year.
Who’s gonna win?Mark my words, UCLA is going to win this tourney. They will beat Arizona in the semifinals and Oregon in the finals. UCLA lost to ‘Zona once, but beat them recently on February 26th. UCLA has arguably the best player in the country (IMO) in Lonzo Ball and he will find a way to get it done in crunch time. The finals will go much the same way as the semis. The potential Oregon-UCLA matchup would have my mouth salivating, if I paid a single lick of attention to the Pac-10.. I mean 12. I watched highlights of their last matchup and it came down to the wire, with Lonzo Ball getting it done in crunch time. This is going to be a high scoring, fun-to-watch ballgame, but UCLA is going to come out on top.