Now that the football season is over, we turn our attention to college basketball and the upcoming NCAA Championship. In an effort to get you involved in anything you missed while watching football, we’ve already taken a look at the national scene. In addition, we split ACC, Big 12, Big East and SEC.
Now, we take a look at the Pac-12. While there may not be many Pac-12 teams representing the conference in March, there are some legitimate contenders in the conference. How will the rest of the regular season start and what teams can we expect to see in March?
Arizona State likely to win the convention
The Arizona Wildcats are a legitimate contender for the title. They are currently ranked #3 in the country and have a 22-2 overall record with a 12-1 record in conference play. Their only losses came at Tennessee State and UCLA, and at least two more schools are expected to be among the top four seeds for March.
Arizona is leading 2.5 games in the Pac-12 with seven games remaining on its schedule. The Wildcats are -2000 to win the Conference regular season title. USC has the next best odds at 16 to 1. UCLA is 35 to 1 and Oregon is 40 to 1.
What Pac-12 teams will we see in March?
Last year, five Pac-12 teams won the championship. All of them have won at least one match. UCLA went from match play to Final Four. Oregon State and USC featured in the Elite 8. It was a solid showing by the Pac-12. Arizona, long considered one of the conference’s flagship programs, didn’t even qualify for the championships last year.
This year, we’re not likely to see five Pac-12 teams. However, the teams they make are poised to be dangerous. What difference are we likely to see in March?
Arizona: As mentioned earlier, Arizona is one of the best teams in the country. The Wildcats will return to the tournament after their absence last year. Currently on BracketMatrix.com, the Wildcats are expected to be one seed along with Gonzaga, Auburn, and Kansas. Led by Benedict Mathurin, Arizona is the rightful contender for the title. Arizona is currently +800 to win the title, tied for second best odds in the country with Kentucky.
University of California: UCLA went from playing the 11th place game to the fourth final in 2021. The Bruins then brought back nearly all of their top players, including Johnny Guzhang, Jaime Jaques Jr., Jules Bernard and Tiger Campbell. UCLA went 17-5 overall and 9-4 in team play. It’s been a solid season, and they obviously have the championship experience which has always been positive. UCLA is currently projected to be the fourth in most locations. The Bruins are 18 to 1 to win all in March.
USC: USC went to the Elite Eight last season, and it looks like it could be serious again in March. USC is 21-4 overall and 10-4 in team play. USC finally got that notable win the last time when it was knocked out by UCLA. The forecast has USC as a potential seed 6/7 comes March. In BetMGM, Trojans are 66 to 1 to win everything.
Who is in the bubble?
Outside of the three schools mentioned above, there is only one other school that can make a strong case to play in tournament time. Some might argue Washington State or Stanford, but they feel like a distant opportunity at best. In IN CC Stats, Washington State has only a 10% chance of securing a public bid. Stanford has an 11.6% chance.
The strong Pac-12 team in the bubble is Oregon. At BracketMatrix, the Dana Altman group is the first team to come out. The IN CC stats give Oregon a 51.7% chance of securing an offer.
Oregon is 17-8 overall and 10-4 in team play. Oregon has won the USC and UCLA, which are obviously resume boosters. However, the losses in the home states of California and Arizona are difficult to explain.
Fortunately for the Ducks, they will have plenty of opportunities over the course of the latter part of their schedule to lock in some resumed winnings. They still have games in Arizona and at home against USC and UCLA on their schedule. If they can get some results, they may end up on the right side of the bubble.
Oregon is currently 100 to 1 to win the National Championship.