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Pac-12: Tournament, Outlook, and Beyond

Posted by: Hilbert Mayer
Pac 12 Conference

The PAC 12 Conference is back. It may never have gone away, but it’s definitely back now. With the UCLA Bruins returning to the Final Four last year, and Arizona finding their way this year with a new coach, the PAC 12 is a national force yet again. With their tournament about to start tomorrow, it makes all the sense in the world to look into this tournament that, yet again, will have plenty of teams that are going to be powers in the larger tournament to come. If you’re looking to bet on a Pac 12 basketball game, you can visit our website.

Where, Who, and Odds 

The tournament starts tomorrow, March 9th, and runs through the 13th. All the games will take place at T-Mobile Arena, in Paradise, NV (the home of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights). The games can be seen on Fox, FS1, and of course, the PAC 12 network. 

The favorites this year aren’t the Bruins of UCLA. Rather, the Arizona Wildcats are, once again, the odds on pick. Our handicappers have them at -125. Coming right behind them are the Bruins, at +190. Then, there’s a steep fall to the rest of the pack. USC’s resurgent program comes in at +800 and then you get to some other contenders, such as Oregon (+1200), Washington State (+1500), and then Colorado (+2200). 

It’s a conference tournament so anything can happen. The longshots then are the Arizona State Sun Devils (+5000), Cal at +5000, Stanford +5000, Utah +5000 and Washington +5000. Oregon State is the last seed in at +7500. 

Pac 12 Conference: Breaking Down the Favorites 

Arizona Wildcats 

This was supposed to be a down year for the Wildcats as so many thought. With Sean Miller gone, it was believed that Zona would take a step back. However, they’ve been either better, as coach Tommy Lloyd has done a remarkable job. 

Speaking of “remarkable job,” that’s what their leader, guard Bennedict Mathurin, is doing. With 17.3 PPG and 5.7 RPG, he’s been a force. When it comes to scoring offense as well as rebounding in the offensive zone, the Wildcats rank in the top five nationally. They’re a heavy favorite in the PAC 12 for a lot of reasons. 

UCLA Bruins 

Last year, the UCLA Bruins seemed to come out of nowhere to make a run to the Final Four. This year, teams were gunning for them and it showed. The expectations were high and the Bruins have been good but perhaps not as good as advertised. They tend to rank in the top 50 or so programs for both points allowed and scoring offense. Those are good numbers, but not what you would expect from a Final Four contender. 

Guard Johnny Juzang has had a great season, pacing the team at 16.7 PPG. They’ve covered five of their last seven, so perhaps they’re heating up. 

USC Trojans 

As far as basketball betting options go, the Trojans have only beaten the line twice in their last six. They’ve been scoring plenty, however, led by Isiah Mobley, Drew Peterson, and Boogie Ellis (with 14.6, 12.5, and 12.2 PPG respectively). So, if you’re looking for a team to bet the “over” on, this might be it, as five of their last have gone over the total. 

Colorado Buffaloes 

Another team that wasn’t expected to do much this season, Colorado has emerged as a real force in the PAC 12. That hasn’t always translated to the bettors, of course, (with an offense ranked lower than 150th across many stats) but they have covered in five of their last six. Jabari Walker paces Colorado with 14.7 PPG. 

We like: the Bruins. Yes, Arizona is better than advertised, but the Bruins have been there and done that.