The Pacific-12 Conference -- better known as the PAC-12 -- will host the 2017 conference tournament this week with the Oregon Ducks enjoying the top seed.
The PAC-12 tournament is one of the youngest in the country as the conference previously named their regular season champion as their league's automatic bid. After a brief run in the late 1980's, the PAC-12 returned to granting its automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament to the winner of the regular season champion. By 2002, the league again reversed its thinking and held a conference tournament to crown their conference champion.
The following is the PAC-12 Tournament schedule with seeding, dates and times for each game at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. All games for the PAC-12 Tournament are listed using Pacific Time.
Wednesday, March 8 -- First RoundGame 1: No. 9 Stanford vs No. 8 Arizona State -- Noon (PAC-12 Network)Game 2: No. 12 Oregon State vs No. 5 California -- 2:30 p.m. (PAC-12 Network)Game 3: No. 10 Washington State vs No. 7 Colorado -- 6 p.m. (PAC-12 Network)Game 4: No. 11 Washington vs No. 6 USC -- 8:30 p.m. (PAC-12 Network)
Thursday, March 9 -- QuarterfinalsGame 5: Game 1 Winner vs No. 1 Oregon -- Noon (PAC-12 Network)Game 6: Game 2 Winner vs No. 4 Utah -- 2:30 p.m. (PAC-12 Network)Game 7: Game 3 Winner vs No. 2 Arizona -- 6 p.m. (PAC-12 Network)Game 8: Game 4 Winner vs No. 3 UCLA -- 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Friday, March 10 -- SemifinalsGame 9: Game 5 Winner vs Game 6 Winner -- 6 p.m. (PAC-12 Network)Game 10: Game 7 Winner vs Game 8 Winner -- 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Saturday, March 11 -- ChampionshipGame 14: Semifinal winners -- 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Viewers outside the PAC-12 Conference footprint can view the tournament online. In addition to the Watch ESPN app, viewers can follow the action by going to Pac-12.com to view the conference tournament as it happens.
Three Bold Predictions
1. PAC-12 winner will earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Currently, three PAC-12 teams are among the Top 10 in the country -- No. 3 UCLA, No. 6 Oregon, and No. 7 Arizona. Only the PAC-12, Big 12 and ACC tournament champions have a chance to go through another Top 10 team en route to the conference championship. In either Arizona or UCLA's case, that could be two Top 10 teams depending on how the tournament unravels. Look for the committee to reward whichever of the three PAC-12 teams currently in the Top 10 with a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament next Sunday.
2. Don't expect too many upsets. The Arizona Wildcats have won the most PAC-12 tournament titles, earning five out of the first 20 tournaments the league has held. Both the Oregon Ducks and the UCLA Bruins are tied for second with four tournament titles apiece. That means that nearly two out of every three tournaments have been won by this year's top three seeds.
Further, the past four championship games in the PAC-12 tournament have featured two of the aforementioned three schools. Only the ACC tournament -- with either Duke and North Carolina having played in the tournament championship game for two consecutive decades -- has been more reliable that the PAC-12 tournament championship game. Bettors picking all chalk have fared well thanks to the Arizona Wildcats, Oregon Ducks, and UCLA Bruins.
3. California will make a push for the NCAA tournament. The University of California Golden Bears are currently not among the 68 teams ESPN predicts will make the 2017 NCAA Tournament. But don't count California out just yet despite the Golden Bears losing five out of their final six games. While the school's loss against a 14-16 Stanford team is among its worst, but a 74-44 defeat this week against the No. 4 seeded Utah Utes is also in the running. A win against the conference's worst team -- the Oregon State Beavers -- will give the Golden Bears a chance to rectify its latest loss to Utah Thursday in the PAC-12 Tournament. Winning both games would put the California Golden Bears at 21-13 for the season, putting them squarely in the running for a NCAA tournament bid.
Do you think the PAC-12 Tournament champion will be either the Arizona Wildcats, Oregon Ducks or UCLA Bruins? Follow the Inquisitr on Twitter (@InquisitrSports) to join in on the conversation.
[Featured Image by Steve Dykes/Getty Images]