The Pac 12 tournament has a field of 12 teams and will start on Wednesday with the first matchup between Utah and Oregon State. This tournament will continue to go despite the coronavirus effects on the west coast. The Pac-12 has adjusted conditions in order to try to prevent the virus from getting to the players. This includes closing the locker rooms to the media. We will see how this affects the teams involved as the virus continues to have a domino effect on sports.

Bubble Teams

The Pac- 12 features many bubble teams that are right on the edge to get into the tournament. The most likely team that will get into the tournament that is on the bubble from this conference, is the USC Trojans. They are the fourth seed in the tournament and will play the winner of Washington vs Arizona. The interesting thing about these potential matchups is that USC split the season series between these two teams. One win should get this team into the tournament. 

The next team on the bubble is the Arizona State Red Devils. They should easily be in with a win, and as the three seed in this tournament, they shouldn’t have a problem getting a win. The next bubble team for the Pac-12 is the UCLA Bruins. You might be wondering how in the world the second best team in this tournament is on the bubble. With a very high NET and RPI which are two metrics the committee uses, the Bruins need a few wins to feel secure. Lastly the 7 seed in this tournament, the Stanford Cardinals. The Cardinals have been on the edge on the bracket for quite a while and will continue treading water until selection day. The main problem for this team is their conference record which was 9-9. Otherwise, this team would already be a lock for the NCAA tourney. For now, the Cardinals will have to run the table and win a few games to feel secure.

Intriguing Matchups

The most interesting matchup of this tournament would be a game between the Cardinals and Bruins. Stanford won the first matchup in January by 15. Both are fighting for a bubble spot and have been playing well enough to get in. This game could be the deciding factor when picking which team could get into the tourney. Expect both teams to play extra aggressive and keep this game tight all the way to the last buzzer. Another interesting matchup would be Colorado vs Arizona State. Colorado is already a lock for the tournament and has a game against a bubble team for seeding. Colorado won both the season games and might overlook Bob Hurley’s squad in this early matchup. Expect this to be a scrappy game for both teams. 

Predictions 

I think this tournament should be an interesting one with so many bubble teams competing. I expect the Cardinals to climb all the way to the finals before they lose to Oregon in the championship. I also believe that ASU is able to get a win before losing to Stanford in the quarters. USC also makes it to the semifinals before losing to Oregon. The reason Stanford will make it all the way to the finals is simply that they have shown the potential they can win big games. With the tournament bid on the line they come up clutch, but just can’t simply finish off the job against the Ducks.

Top Picture by Gina Ferazzi from Los Angles Time

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