Conference Tournament Preview: Pac 12
In a year where almost every conference tournament is wide open, the Pac-12 might be the most wide open simply because there isn’t a single dominant team.
Early on, Oregon looked like they were going to dominate and that didn’t carry out for the whole regular season.
Arizona was not only atop the conference, but in the AP top 5 as well, before they fell off the map and finished among three teams with a 12-6 conference record.
UCLA was supposed to be that and it didn’t pan out, although they did end up winning the conference tournament with a 13-5 conference record.
Now, after the lower eight teams faced off yesterday, day two of the Pac-12 tournament begins and this is where it gets interesting.
The first game of the day features No. 1 seeded UCLA against No. 9 seeded Arizona State. UCLA should roll through this one, but once they get to the semifinals things get interesting.
Should UCLA win, they would face the winner of Arizona and Colorado, two teams that are desperate for a win for different reasons. Both teams need a win today and would love a win against UCLA to boost their tournament resume’s.
A win for Colorado today would lock up a berth in the tournament, even though they might already be in. If Colorado were to beat Arizona and UCLA, they might get in as an eight or nine seed, which would be preferable.
After a late season collapse, Arizona could use a couple wins in the tournament not only to prove something to themselves, but also to prove something to the committee and maybe garner a three seed.
On the other side, it is a similar situation. Oregon is a lock to be in, but have slipped as of late. They have Washington today and would face the winner of Cal and Utah.
For the Bears, they look to be in decent shape right now to make the tourney, but a loss to Utah could hurt its chances. No. 10 Utah already upset No. 7 USC and look to do the same to No. 2 Cal.
The Pac-12 could have as many as five teams in the tournament, but improvements could be made win withs for team’s like Colorado and Cal. Five teams in the tournament would be a huge improvement as far as the past few years are concerned.
Colorado surprised everyone last year by winning the tournament and getting the auto-bid, believe it or not, Utah or Washington, two teams we didn’t talk about much before the tournament, could do the same. Don’t write off either team in this wide open tournament.
Mike Esse is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and a ComRadio Sports Director. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Mike Esse is a senior from Grosse Pointe, Mich., majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in business. He is a reporter for the Centre County report with a primary focus in sports. Additionally, he serves as the Student General Manager for ComRadio as well as being a producer, talk show personality and play-by-play voice.
Mike also is a staff writer for gopsusports.com where he covers Penn State women’s basketball and baseball and works for Penn State Athletics in video production. He has completed internships with MLB Advanced Media in Summer 2014 and Westwood One Sports in summer 2013.