Around the Pac-12: Week 15 (Basketball)
The Pac-12 sometimes gets forgotten by the east coast fans, but the conference has had some really exciting basketball this year. The conference has some serious contenders for the NCAA Tournament, including some of the top players in the nation.
The Pac-12 has one of the top players in the country in USC freshman Evan Mobley. Mobley is a monster on the inside for the Trojans, and a projected top-5 pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
Mobley is a huge reason why the Trojans are a contender this year, averaging 16.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. Mobley also shoots 58.2% from the field and 70.7% from the free throw line, making him one of the most efficient bigs in the country.
Mobley has dominated the Pac-12 this year, and is the main reason why the Trojans are in the national spotlight.
The Oregon Ducks, right now, are leading the Pac-12 conference, as they have done a lot over the last few years. The Ducks have been a great program over the last five years, and this year is no different, as the Ducks have a 13-4 conference record and 18-5 overall.
Oregon has been led all year by senior guard Chris Duarte. Duarte has been phenomenal for the Ducks, averaging 17.7 points per game while shooting 53.8% from the field, 43.4% from three and 80% from the free throw line.
The Ducks have asked a lot from Duarte, and he has responded in a big way that is leading Oregon to a lot of success this year.
The only team ranked in the top-25 in the conference is No. 24 Colorado. Colorado has been solid this year with a 13-6 conference record and 19-7 overall.
The Buffaloes have some huge wins, including an 80-62 win over USC. Colorado is led by senior guard McKinley Wright IV, who is having a stellar senior season. Wright is averaging a career 15.0 points per game and has willed the Buffaloes to some key wins all year long.
Colorado is making a late push, and could be a problem in the NCAA Tournament this year.
A lot of teams in the Pac-12 need a good run in the Pac-12 tournament to make the NCAA Tournament, but perhaps no one needs it more than Stanford. Stanford had a great resume a few weeks ago, but a triple-overtime loss to Washington State kick started a four-game losing streak to end the year for the Cardinal.
Stanford looked like a team that had a great chance to make the tournament, but a .500 conference record might not put Stanford over the top if they are fighting for a spot against Michigan State or Duke who play in stronger conferences this season.
Stanford is a good team, but they desperately need a strong run in the Pac-12 Tournament to clinch their spot in the NCAA Tournament this year.
The Pac-12 has been up-and-down all season, and have been an extremely competitive conference. No team is dominant over the rest of the league, and could lead to some very entertaining basketball in the conference tournament next week.
Adam Sheetz is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Junior / Broadcast Journalism