Around the Pac-12: Week 13 (Basketball)
The race to March is heating up in the Pac-12. With teams trying to get better seeding, get into the bubble and compete for the title, it will be an interesting final stretch.
After playing Arizona State on Wednesday, USC has looked dominant. Evan Mobley is making his case to be an All-American with his scoring being compared to Kevin Durant in college.
What was more impressive than the Trojans’ stars were the role players in the game versus the Sun Devils. Players such as Drew Peterson and Tahj Eaddy have become their own and have shown that this USC team has depth. If the Trojans start shooting well, in March then they could be in for a deep tournament run.
UCLA traveled to Washington state for a road trip and came out 1-1. After losing on the Palouse to Washington State 81-73, they then traveled to Seattle and barely beat a struggling Washington team 64-61.
UCLA is still in contention for the Pac-12 title, but they will need help from other teams to beat their rivals 13 miles from them. The Bruins are all but a lock for the tournament but it will be interesting to see how hard they will attack this title.
A red hot Oregon team is storming through the Pac-12 currently. After sweeping both Arizona schools, the Ducks have found themselves in third place in the Pac-12.
A big win versus the Wildcats of Arizona has given this team momentum where it becomes important. Big wins heading into March are important for teams and Oregon has the opportunity to have huge ones coming up. Oregon plays Colorado, USC and Stanford all coming up and this poses as a big opportunity for the Ducks.
Colorado is coming off of a big win and a huge loss currently. Colorado beat to bubble contenders Stanford convincingly, but lost by nine to Cal, a team they should have beaten.
This has been a pattern for the Buffalo this season as they would have a loss to a team they should beat but then beat a team convincingly. This inconsistency for Colorado could hurt them if they do not put together a good stretch of games coming up. In their next four matchups, the Buffalo play Oregon, Oregon State, USC and UCLA. Plenty of opportunities are there for Colorado.
These next four games are massive for Stanford if they want to make the tournament. All four games are winnable, also.
Stanford plays Washington, Washington State, Oregon and Oregon State coming up and if the Cardinals want to make the tournament in March, they are going to need to win these games with help from teams not in their conference. The Cardinals are coming off of a win versus Utah so, we’ll see if they can ride this momentum to March.
We are down to the final Stretch in the Pac-12. Fasten your seatbelts because this will be a wild ride.
Cole Koffler is a freshman majoring in communications. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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