Busting Brackets

Pac-12 basketball: 2024 Conference Tournament preview and predictions

Oregon v Arizona
Oregon v Arizona / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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9) USC vs 1) Arizona

When these two played to end the regular season, Arizona recorded its second-lowest shooting percentage and lowest point total all year. And the Trojans forced Arizona into its second-most turnovers in a game this season. The Wildcats have been one of the most efficient teams all year. I think Arizona’s offense will show up and take advantage of a USC defense that has, until recently, struggled to get stops. Only one team has managed to beat Arizona twice this season, and I don’t see USC becoming the second.

Prediction: Arizona wins

5) UCLA vs 4) Oregon

UCLA and Oregon split the two games they played during the regular season, the home team winning both. In those games, UCLA held Oregon to an average of 63.5 points, well below the Ducks season average of 75.8. The Bruins have only scored more than 70 points ten times this season, so the margin for error is super low. UCLA’s offense hasn’t been consistent enough to make a deep tournament run.

Prediction: Oregon wins

7) California vs 2) Washington State

Washington State has held more opponents under 60 points than it has allowed over 75 points. Cal took the first matchup between these two, but WSU responded in a big way to get revenge. The Golden Bears have struggled to score the ball in the last month of the regular season, averaging 69 points while allowing over 77. That might be good enough to get past a bad Stanford defense in the first round, but it's nowhere near good enough to upset this WSU team.

Prediction: Washington State wins

6) Utah vs 3) Colorado

Colorado and Utah split the two meetings this season. The Buffaloes dropped the first game on the road in a rare poor shooting outing. Colorado dominated the second matchup in Boulder. Scoring shouldn’t be a problem in this matchup as both teams are average over 78 points per game and allow at least 72 points per game. Utah is one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the county, making 65 percent from the line. I anticipate this being a close game, but I’m not sure Utah could close it out from the line if needed.

Prediction: Colorado wins