Pac-12 tournament brackets for 2016 have been confirmed. The 2016 Pac-12 tournament schedule gets started on Wednesday, March 9, in Las Vegas. A report from the conference showcases the four first-round games, each of which will decide how the quarterfinals look on Thursday, March 10. The final Pac-12 standings show just how competitive the conference has been in men’s basketball this season and how many of the games have the potential to provide an upset.
The four first-round games begin at 12:10 p.m. PT on March 9 with 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 quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament brackets play out on Thursday, March 10. The first game of the day will have the Washington vs. Stanford winner playing No. 1 Oregon at 12:10 p.m. PT. The other match on that side of the bracket has the Colorado vs. Washington State winner playing No. 4 Arizona 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.
All games on the Pac-12 tournament schedule will be aired on the Pac-12 Network. The semi-final games takes place at 6 p.m. PT and 8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 11. It all leads to the Pac-12 Championship Game scheduled for 7 p.m. PT on Saturday, March 12. The title game will also be on FS1 for a national audience to see which Pac-12 school is getting the guaranteed invite to the 2016 NCAA Tournament. That could be very important, as only six conference teams show up on the latest bracketology report from ESPN.
Joe Lunardi has Oregon, Utah, California, Arizona, Colorado, and USC moving straight from the Pac-12 tournament brackets to the NCAA tournament field. USC and Oregon State are both considered to be bubble teams, meaning the schools could need one or two tournament wins to secure a stronger postseason resume. The Washington Huskies (17-13) have an outside shot at an at-large invite, but may need to win the Pac-12 Tournament to make the NCAA Selection Committee really notice.
Oregon (25-6), Utah (24-7), and Arizona (24-7) are all still considered to be in the running for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Sweeping through the tournament would be a requirement, though, as well as an upset or two taking place in other conference tournaments. In the 2015 Pac-12 Tournament, Arizona beat Oregon 80-52 to win the title and secure a stronger seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. The way the current Pac-12 tournament brackets are set up, a possible Oregon vs. Arizona game would be in the semi-finals.
The Arizona Wildcats are the clear favorites according to the Pac-12 tournament odds. They are followed by the Oregon Ducks, Utah Runnin’ Utes, and California Bears in order of likelihood to win the title. The only other schools receiving odds are USC, Colorado, and Washington. The remaining five schools are considered part of “the field” when it comes to the odds. Those odds won’t please fans of Oregon or Utah.
There are going to be a lot of very competitive games on the Pac-12 tournament schedule, but starting with USC vs. UCLA in the first round is certainly a great way to tip things off. The fans of both teams should be out in force in Las Vegas with hopes of advancing deep into the tournament. The winner of that game has a very tough match-up with Utah in the Pac-12 tournament brackets, though, showing that it’s not just enough to win a first-round game.
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