Yes, I’m a day late but the PAC 12 Tournament is heating up. The Pac 12 had an interesting year, to say the least. Arizona for starters has self-imposed a postseason ban and ruined any shot they had at making the NCAA Tournament. Oregon won the league regular-season title despite playing fewer games, winning fewer games than USC, and losing to them in blowout fashion. Evan Mobley has proven himself to be a clear Top-3 freshman in the sport and he will be heading to the NBA in a year. McKinley Wright and Colorado have been tough this year. Let’s not forget UCLA, who finished fourth in the league despite losing their best player for the season. Without any further introduction, let’s pick some games.
1.Oregon vs. 8.Arizona State
The Ducks won the PAC 12 title despite facing many issues when it comes to Covid-19. The Ducks are peaking at the right time while Chris Duarte is a star. Arizona State is maybe peaking at the right time, Remy Martin and Alonzo Verge are playing their best basketball of the season but they also have been extremely disappointing. I’ll like Arizona State to keep this game close but Oregon will win.
Prediction: Oregon 84 Arizona State 77
4.UCLA vs. 5.Oregon State
No Chris Smith, no problem. The Bruins may not have won the PAC 12 but they once again had a solid season and they are heading to the NCAA Tournament. Oregon State as the five seed, what? The Beavers haven’t been terrible this year but it would be hard to expect them to do much in the league tournament, the Bruins will win this game handily.
Prediction: UCLA 78 Oregon State 65
2.USC vs. 7.Utah
Utah has been solid this year, Timmy Allen has been solid but the Rylan Jones breakout season did not come into effect. One thing that did come into effect was Evan Mobley and the Trojans. The Trojans were for my money the best team in the PAC 12, thanks in large part due to the contributions of a lot of transfers. The Trojans will run away with this game and hide.
Prediction: USC 82 Utah 66
3.Colorado vs. 11.California
The Colorado Buffaloes have been very solid throughout the season as McKinley Wright IV has been a star, while his core of players has been fantastic playing their roles. The Golden Beats just aren’t a good basketball team, I know they beat Colorado already this year but that’s likely just a fluke. As you might expect, the smart pick is the experienced Buffaloes.
Prediction: Colorado 75 Stanford 64
1.Oregon vs. 4.UCLA
The Ducks enter into this game playing some of their best basketball and they will look to ride Chris Duarte, along with their guard-heavy lineup into the Championship game. UCLA has been playing really well this season, considering they’ve been decimated by injuries, most notably with Chris Smith. Tyger Campbell has been steadily leading the charge while the rest of the rotation has filled in nicely. I’m going with a flyer here, give me UCLA in an upset.
Prediction: UCLA 78 Oregon 73
2.USC vs. 3.Colorado
The Trojans have played fantastic this season, Evan Mobley is the ultimate superstar because of his scoring, rebounding, and scoring abilities. Colorado will look to ride McKinley Wright again in this Tournament. The two teams met twice already with Colorado sweeping the season series, however, they will need to continue to slow down Mobley and Tahj Eaddy to win again, I don’t think that happens here again.
Prediction: USC 67 Colorado 66
2.USC vs. 4.UCLA
Here we go again, the Battle of Los Angeles with the PAC 12 title hanging in the balance. The Trojans have won both of these games, with the most recent one coming in dramatic fashion. UCLA will have a tough matchup inside going against Mobley and he should get his but can UCLA get a Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez game? I think USC will once again have the late-game heroics and playmaking to win this game.
Prediction: USC 67 UCLA 62