Pac-12 tournament brackets for 2016 are coming into focus. The 2016 Pac-12 Tournament begins on Wednesday, March 9, and currently Oregon and Utah hold the top two seeds. Getting one of the top four seeds in the Pac-12 tournament brackets will lead to first-round byes. It means Oregon and Utah fans won’t have to show up to Las Vegas to watch the games until the quarterfinals on March 10.
The other two schools in line for first-round byes as one of the top seeds are California at No. 3 and Arizona at No. 4. In addition to the advantages that the top four schools have in the Pac-12 Tournament, those schools are all nationally ranked as the final week of the regular season gets started. The national ranks of the top four Pac-12 schools are No. 9 Oregon, No. 13 Utah, No. 18 Arizona, and No. 25 California. Outside of those four schools, the other school with a great chance at making it into the 2016 NCAA Tournament is Colorado (21-9).
The current Pac-12 tournament brackets could shift a bit, depending on how the final week of games turn out, but many of the seeds are already set. The current first-round match-ups in the Pac-12 Tournament are No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 Washington State, No. 6 Oregon State vs. No. 11 Arizona State, No. 7 Stanford vs. No. 10 UCLA, and No. 8 USC vs. No. 9 Washington. A really important game between USC and Oregon State takes place on March 2 that could shake things up even further.
Currently, three teams are tied for sixth place in the Pac-12 standings, leading to tie-breakers to decide whether USC, Oregon State, or Stanford gets the better seeding in the Pac-12 Tournament. Currently, USC has lost both games it has played against Stanford and Oregon State, dropping the team in the seeding, despite having a 19-10 overall record. USC could still get an at-large invite to the NCAA Tournament if the team finishes the regular season strong and then performs well in the Pac-12 Tournament next week.
As for how the top teams in the Pac-12 tournament brackets look, Oregon would play the winner of the USC vs. Washington game. No. 2 Utah would play the winner of the Stanford vs. UCLA game, No. 3 California waits for the winner of the Oregon State vs. Arizona State game, and No. 4 Arizona awaits the winner of the Colorado vs. WSU game. That’s not good news for Washington State Cougars fans, because even a first-round upset would pit the team against an Arizona Wildcats team that had been predicted to win the Pac-12 this year.
In the latest bracketology report from CBS Sports for the 2016 NCAA tournament brackets, six Pac-12 teams are in line to receive invites. They are Oregon as a No. 2 seed, Utah as a No. 4 seed, California as a No. 6 seed, Arizona as a No. 6 seed, Colorado as a No. 7 seed, and USC as a No. 8 seed. These are just the best guesses by college basketball experts, but Colorado and USC likely need to do well in the Pac-12 Tournament to guarantee an invite. For schools like Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington, winning the Pac-12 Tournament becomes a requirement.
The official 2016 Pac-12 tournament brackets will be set once the final regular season games have been played. The Oregon Ducks can clinch the No. 1 seed with one more victory or a loss by the Utah Utes. Since Oregon already beat Utah this year, the Ducks would win a tie-breaker should the teams finish with identical Pac-12 records. The 2016 Pac-12 Tournament runs from March 9 – March 12, with the Pac-12 Championship Game scheduled for 7 p.m. PT on FS1. All games will take place in Las Vegas and tickets are still available for fans looking to attend.
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