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2022 Pac-12 Tournament

(Jason Barr/KGUN)

2022 Pac-12 Tournament Preview and Predictions

2022 Pac-12 Tournament
(Jason Barr/KGUN)

2022 Pac-12 Tournament Preview and Predictions

No. 1 Seed Overview: Arizona Wildcats

Sleeper to Win: Oregon Ducks

Players to Watch

Bennedict Mathurin – Arizona
Johnny Juzang – UCLA
Terrell Brown Jr. – Washington

First Round Predictions – Wednesday, March 9

No. 8 Arizona State vs. No. 9 Stanford – 3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Arizona State has played fairly well lately and Stanford’s star freshman Harrison Ingram has really struggled to close the year. In the previous matchups between these two teams, Stanford won by three on their home floor and Arizona State won by nine in Tempe. Stanford has lost eight of their last 10 games, so we’ll go with the Sun Devils to get the win here.

Prediction: Arizona State 67, Stanford 62

No. 5 Oregon vs. No. 12 Oregon State – 5:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Just a year removed from winning the Pac-12 Tournament and going on a run to the Elite Eight, Oregon State is an absolute train wreck. The Beavers finished 1-19 in conference play and 3-27 overall. The Ducks never fully capitalized on their talent this season, but they ave pulled out numerous wins against the conference’s better teams. Expect head coach Dana Altman to lead Oregon to a first-round win.

Prediction: Oregon 74, Oregon State 63

No. 7 Washington State vs. No. 10 California – 9 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Washington State is a real sleeper in this tournament. The Cougars have had games where they’ve looked phenomenal and other games where they can’t hit the broad side of a barn. They swept Cal this season and enter the tournament having won four of their last five games. On the other side, the Golden Bears have lost 10 of their previous 13 contests and failed to find a consistent scoring punch this season (No. 216 in KenPom’s Adjusted Offensive Efficiency). Their above-average defense and plodding pace should keep them within reach for much of the game, but this is looking like a Wazzu victory.

Prediction: Washington State 68, California 60

No. 6 Washington vs No. 11 Utah – 11:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Washington’s Terrell Brown Jr. is the best player in this game and one of the best overall scorers in the country. I expect the Craig Smith hire to pan out for Utah in the future, but this is not their year. These two squads are right next to each other in KenPom, with the Huskies owning the advantage in defensive efficiency while Utah has the edge in offensive efficiency. I think Brown will have a big game and get Washington to the next round.

Prediction: Washington 75, Utah 69

Quarterfinals Predictions – Thursday, March 10

No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 8 Arizona State – 3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Arizona State will enter this game having won eight of their last nine games, but I think Bobby Hurley’s team is going to run out of gas here. These teams are on very different levels. Arizona won both meetings with their in-state rival by double-digits and I would expect more of the same in this one. The Wildcats like to run up the pace and not many teams can keep up with them for an entire game. Arizona State’s defense will get some stops but they are outside the top-200 in KenPom’s Adjusted Offensive Efficiency metric. The Sun Devils simply lack the shot-making ability that Arizona has in spades.

Prediction: Arizona 83, Arizona State 69

No. 4 Colorado vs. No. 5 Oregon – 5:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Have to give Colorado some love after their big win over Arizona on Senior Night, but I’m taking the Ducks here. Dana Altman’s squad has been pretty disappointing this season given all the talent on their roster, but I’m defaulting to my preseason hopes and giving them the benefit of the doubt despite all the evidence that I shouldn’t. The Ducks swept UCLA this season, so this isn’t a total reach. Plus, Oregon beat Colorado in Boulder by 15 points last time they played. Feels like a very winnable game.

Prediction: Oregon 68, Colorado 64

No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 7 Washington State – 9 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

I want to take Wazzu very badly, but I just can’t bring myself to do that.

No. 3 USC vs. No. 6 Washington – 11:30 p.m. ET, FS1

Semifinals Predictions – Friday, March 11

No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 5 Oregon – 8:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 6 Washington – 11:30 p.m. ET, FS1

2022 Pac-12 Tournament Championship Prediction – Saturday, March 12

No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 2 UCLA – 9 p.m. ET, FOX

Arizona is far and away the best team in the Pac-12 to me. UCLA will get a lot of hype for their tournament pedigree, as they have all season, but the Wildcats are very clear of the Bruins. I’m really not a fan of UCLA’s penchant for taking inefficient midrange shots and I think Arizona can run all over them to sweep the conference’s regular season and tournament titles.

Prediction: Arizona 84, UCLA 73

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