Arizona has been the best team in the Pac-12 all season long, finishing three games ahead of Utah and Oregon for the best record in the conference. The Wildcats look to continue that dominance in the Pac-12 Tournament, hoping to win the championship and claim a No.1 seed in the NCAA Tournament when
Winning 16 of 18 conference games and going 28-3 overall, Arizona has been one of the top teams in the nation. They rank fifth in the AP Top 25 Poll, with No.17 Utah being the only other ranked Pac-12 team. The Wildcats enter the postseason on an eight-game winning streak, having won nine of their last 12 contests by at least 22 points.
If the tournament committee was to select the field of 68 before the start of the Pac-12 Tournament, it’s likely that only the conference’s top three teams would be playing in March Madness. UCLA’s 19-12 overall record with an 11-7 mark in Pac-12 play has them on the bubble, but the Bruins will need to make some noise in the tournament for a chance to compete for the national title.
The rest of the conference probably needs to win the Pac-12 Championship in order to make the NCAA Tournament. Eight teams failed to post a winning record in conference play, making them all longshots to win the conference title. Arizona is the odds-on favorite with 1/2 betting odds, according to Bovada.lv.
Arizona, Oregon, Utah and UCLA all have a bye in the first round. California and Washington State, who rank eighth and ninth in the conference, respectively, will kick off the tournament on Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas.
It’s been 13 years since Arizona last won the conference championship. They’ve lost the conference championship game in three of the last four years.
A few potential first-round picks in the 2015 NBA Draft will compete in the Pac-12 Tournament. Arizona’s Stanley Johnson could be a top-five selection, and his teammate Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could go in the second half of the first round. Utah and UCLA also have a few potential first-rounders in Delon Wright, Jakob Poeltl, Kevon Looney and Norman Powell.
The Pac-12 Tournament will be broadcast on two different networks over the course of four days. Seven of the first eight games can be seen on Pac-12 Networks, while one quarterfinal game will be broadcast on ESPN. The semifinals will be split between the two networks, and ESPN will broadcast the Pac-12 Championship Game on Saturday night.
ESPN will offer a live stream online with WatchESPN for the three games it broadcasts. The ability to watch a Pac-12 Networks broadcast online usually requires subscription information from a cable provider, but that won’t be the case on Thursday. Viewers will be able to watch quarterfinal coverage on Pac-12 Networks for free on Pac-12.com and on the Pac-12 Now app.
Arizona State 33/1
Oregon State 200/1
Washington State 500/1
Date: March 11-March 14
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena
TV Channel: Pac-12 Networks or ESPN
Prediction: Arizona over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game