2023 College Basketball Pac-12 Tournament Picks & Predictions

Mar 6, 2023 - 4:05 PM

The Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament will begin on March 8 and conclude on March 11 with a Tournament Champion.

The top four seeds will get a bye game and only need three straight games to win the Pac-12. All other seeds would need to win four games in four games to win the Pac-12.

The Pac-12 has been pretty balanced this season. UCLA went 18-2 in conference play and is the clear favorite heading into the tournament. However, Arizona and USC each won 14 games, while Oregon, Washington State, and Arizona State all finished with an 11-9 record in the Pac-12.

The only two teams that have looked bad in conference play have been California and Oregon State. But we all remember what Oregon State did in 2021, pulling off multiple upsets to win the Pac-12 that year. So you never know what could happen.

We’ll preview the Pac-12 Tournament below.

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Pac-12 Conference Tournament

Dates: March 8-11
Venue: T-Mobile Arena — Las Vegas, Nevada
Top Seed: UCLA

Previous Winners:

  • 2022 — Arizona
  • 2021 — Oregon State
  • 2020 — N/A
  • 2019 — Oregon
  • 2018 — Arizona (Vacated due to NCAA penalty)

Favorite to Watch

UCLA (+110 at DraftKings)

UCLA might not just be a No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament. But with a Pac-12 Championship, UCLA could be a top seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

The Bruins won 18 of 20 conference games and have a top-25 offense and defense, according to KenPom. They’ll likely have two all-conference players in Jaime Jaquez and Jaylen Clark.

The Bruins rank first in offensive rebounding in the Pac-12 and have limited turnovers in conference play to under 17 percent. The Bruins haven’t been the most efficient on offense in conference play, but offensive rebounds will help with second chances and more points overall.

Defensively is where the Bruins have dominated. The Bruins have the top defensive efficiency in the Pac-12 and have earned 23.3 percent of turnovers in conference play. 12.1 percent of those turnovers are real steals where play continues into a potential fastbreak.

UCLA is the clear favorite heading into the Pac-12 Tournament.

Top Live Underdog

Utah (+2500 at DraftKings)

The Utah Utes are an average offense in the Pac-12. They’ve done nothing incredible on the offensive end, but they’re also not the worst team in any category. They’re an average offense with a top-three defense in the Pac-12.

The Utes will have to play better on the offensive end and take better shots from the field. On the defensive end, the Utes have held teams to a 47.2 percent effective field goal percentage, rarely allowing teams to get to the foul line. It’s hard to score against Utah, as they’ve held teams to 30.9 percent from downtown and 47.6 percent from inside the arc.

Best Longshot Play

Washington (+10000 at BetMGM)

There’s a good chance Washington can hang on against Colorado in the first round of the Pac-12. On the road, Washington gave UCLA all it could handle and only lost 70-61.

UCLA punched Washington early, but Washington responded, winning the final 30 minutes of that game by three points.

Suppose Washington gets through against Colorado. They’ll have momentum just because they would’ve already played a game. This time, you’d think Washington would get ahead early with UCLA being rusty. Of course, if Washington gets past UCLA, you can hedge your bet and earn some money or hold that bet with some insane value in the semifinals.

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