Pac-12 tournament schedule updates have come in after the Oregon Ducks beat UCLA. The 2016 Pac-12 tournament brackets begin on Wednesday, March 9, with Oregon and the Utah Utes holding the top two seeds. By beating the UCLA Bruins on Wednesday, March 2, Oregon clinched at least a share of the Pac-12 regular season title. By moving to 13-4 in conference games, Oregon also clinched the top seed in the Pac-12 tournament brackets. The Ducks then clinched the Pac-12 by finishing off the season with another win.
The updated standings have shifted how the Pac-12 tournament brackets look, even though the top four teams haven’t changed. The four schools at the top receive first-round byes, and they are Oregon at No. 1, Utah at No. 2, California at No. 3, and Arizona at No. 4. The schools get the first day of the Pac-12 Tournament to just sit back and watch potential opponents battle it out for spots in the quarterfinals. Getting the first-round byes means only having to win three games to win the conference tournament.
The Pac-12 tournament schedule has the first game at 12:10 p.m. PT on March 9. Currently that is No. 8 Washington vs. No. 9 Stanford. That game is followed in the schedule by No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 Washington State at 2:40 p.m. PT, No. 7 USC vs. No. 10 UCLA at 6:10 p.m. PT, and No. 6 Oregon State vs. No. 11 Arizona State at 8:40 p.m. PT. All first-round games are set to be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.
The Pac-12 tournament schedule also has game start times for the quarterfinals ready to go. The Washington vs. Stanford winner will play No. 1 Oregon at 12:10 p.m. PT on March 10. The other match on that side of the bracket has the Colorado vs. Washington State winner playing No. 4 Arizona in the quarterfinals at 2:40 p.m. PT. On the bottom of the Pac-12 tournament brackets, the USC vs. UCLA winner advances to play No. 2 Utah at 6:15 p.m. PT and the Oregon State vs. Arizona State winner advances to play California at 8:45 p.m. PT.
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) March 6, 2016
The first seven games in the Pac-12 tournament schedule will be aired on the Pac-12 Network, with the late game on March 10 moving to FS1. The semi-final games takes place at 6 p.m. PT and 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 11. It all leads to the Pac-12 Championship Game scheduled for 7 p.m. PT on FS1. The prize that is on the line for the 12 schools is an automatic berth in the 2016 NCAA Tournament later in March. This is a huge deal, as several Pac-12 schools are considered to be on the bubble as the conference tournament draws a bit closer.
In the updated version of the 2016 NCAA tournament brackets from Joe Lunardi, seven Pac-12 schools are making it into the Big Dance. Those schools are Oregon as a No. 3 seed, Utah as a No. 3 seed, California as a No. 5 seed, Arizona as a No. 6 seed, Colorado as a No. 8 seed, USC as a No. 9 seed, and Oregon State as a No. 11 seed. Lunardi has Oregon State vs. Gonzaga as one of the play-in games, with the winner advancing to play Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Washington Huskies (17-13) have been taken off the bubble in this latest bracketology report, showing the team would have to win several games in the Pac-12 Tournament to get noticed by the NCAA Selection Committee. The Oregon Ducks (24-6) and Utah Utes (23-7) could also move up into one of the No. 2 seeds if the schools finish the regular season strong and win the Pac-12 Tournament. For schools like the Washington State Cougars and UCLA Bruins, the only real hope of earning an invite to the NCAA Tournament is to sweep through the Pac-12 tournament brackets next week.
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