2022 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament Preview
The Pac 12 tournament is set to take place from Mar. 9 to Mar. 12 in Las Vegas.
The Arizona Wildcats in recent years have struggled to continue their success as a PAC 12 powerhouse. Now they enter this conference tournament as the number one seed and one of the top teams in the nation.
The UCLA Bruins led by coach Mick Cronin come in as the second seed and one of only two teams to beat Arizona in conference play. Colorado and USC are the other two teams who will receive a first-round bye and avoid playing Wednesday.
Even though most see this as a two-team race between both teams will be tested to make the final. This conference is proving to be more competitive every year.
Stanford has eight wins and is bottom four in the conference, teams like Cal, Utah and Oregon State have struggled this year. The idea that teams are not consistently owning the top of this conference anymore adds value to conference games and the conference tournament.
On Wednesday, Arizona State will be coming into a matchup against Stanford off four straight wins. Stanford on the other hand has had five straight losses where it scored over 60 points just once. These teams faced off last week where Arizona State defeated Stanford by 11 points.
Oregon and Oregon State will face off on Wednesday as well. The Beavers are coming into this in-state matchup off of 17 straight losses. Oregon has kept it close with Arizona, UCLA, and USC. The Ducks will then play Colorado if they win in round one.
Washington State will match up against California in round one of this conference tournament. It is coming off three straight wins including a 20 point win against Oregon to close out its regular season. The Golden Bears have struggled during conference play. They lost to Washington State by eight points in January, let’s see if they can shock the conference in this game and play for a season that appears to be lost.
The final matchup on Wednesday is between Utah and Washington. Washington has stayed more competitive in conference than Utah. Terrell Brown Jr. is quietly having the best season by a Washington player since Markelle Fultz was there.
The Utes came into the season with much higher expectations than where they are right now. They should be grateful that they would avoid Arizona and UCLA if they were to upset Washington. The Huskies are a dark horse who could upset one of the powerhouses in this year's PAC 12.
It’s hard to picture this season ending without another UCLA and Arizona matchup. Benedict Mathurin and Azoulas Tubelis are names to watch for the Wildcats. The Bruins are paced by Johnny Juzang, he and Jaime Jaquez Jr. create a backcourt that the Wildcats will need to contain to win this conference.
Teams like Washington, USC, and Colorado will need their stars Terrell Brown Jr., Isaiah Mobley, and Jabari Wheeler to put up big numbers to be in a position to steal this conference.
The Arizona Wildcats overcome their last few years of struggle due to the Sean Miller investigation by winning the PAC 12. With all that considered, they have the most to play for and have been the most consistent team within the conference all season.
Coach Tommy Lloyd deserves and will get his credit if his team wins this conference, which makes them an automatic number one seed.
Sam Kirk is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Contributors
Junior / Broadcast Journalism
Sam Kirk is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer and podcaster for the CommRadio sports department. He is also featured weekly in the CommRadio news department on Thursday newcasts. Sam has written articles all across the board that deal with baseball, football and basketball. He is also working for a football media company called Inside the Hashes, writing articles, interviewing players and contributing to their YouTube channel.