Sizing up their second Pac-12 tournament title in the last four years, the top-seeded and No. 9-ranked Oregon Ducks can improve their stock for the 2016 NCAA Tournament by crushing the hopes of their conference rivals during the four-day long tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Oregon last claimed the Pac-12 title in 2013, and can now angle for one of the four No. 2 seeds in the upcoming national tournament by winning their second. The win would lock up an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
The Ducks (25-6) get to avoid the opening round, just like No. 2-seed Utah (ranked No. 13), No. 3 California (ranked No. 25), and No. 4 Arizona (ranked No. 18), and they’ll begin play in the quarterfinals starting Thursday afternoon in a competitive bracket. Colorado (21-10), seeded No. 5, and USC (21-11), seeded No. 7, are expected to make the tournament.
Led by forward and leading scorer Dillon Brooks, Oregon is the favorite to win the tournament but four of their six losses were to conference opponents this season, leaving a huge window for an upset.
Two of those losses were to one of several bubble teams hoping to improve their stock in the eyes of the selection committee. Rivals Oregon State and Colorado each pulled off upsets while hosting the Ducks this season, and they join USC as the teams seeking a deep tournament run to strengthen their March Madness prospects.
Washington senior Andrew Andrews leads the conference in scoring, averaging 21.2 points per game. But Utah big man Jakob Poeltl is the leading contender for Pac-12 Player of the Year, averaging 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds.
Tickets are available in session packages, or for just one day’s worth of games. According to StubHub, all session tickets range from roughly $260 to more than $1,400. However, there are some one-day packages available for less than $10 a ticket for the opening round.
Wednesday, March 9
No. 9 Stanford vs. No. 8 Washington, 9 a.m PT/ 12 p.m. ET
No. 12 Washington State vs. No. 5 Colorado, 11:30 a.m PT/ 2:30 p.m. ET
No. 10 UCLA vs. No. 7 USC, 3 p.m PT/ 6 p.m. ET
No. 11 Arizona State vs. No. 6 Oregon State, 5:30 p.m PT/ 8:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, March 10
No. 1 Oregon vs. Stanford/Washington, 9 a.m PT/ 12 p.m. ET
No. 4 Arizona vs. Colorado/Washington State, 11:30 a.m PT/ 2:30 p.m. ET
No. 2 Utah vs. UCLA/USC, 3 p.m PT/ 6 p.m. ET
No. 3 California vs. Arizona State/Oregon State, 5:30 p.m PT/ 8:30 p.m. ET
Friday, March 11
Game 1, 3 p.m. PT/ 6 p.m. ET
Game 2, 5:30 p.m. PT/ 8:30 p.m. ET
Saturday March, 12 (4 p.m. PT/ 7 p.m. ET)