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Pac-12 Tournament 2013 Bracket: X-Factors That Will Decide Conference Champion

BERKELEY, CA - DECEMBER 15: Richard Solomon #35 of the California Golden Bears reacts after being called for a foul against the Creighton Bluejays at Haas Pavilion on December 15, 2012 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Michael DulkaContributor IMarch 12, 2013

The Pac-12 tournament gets underway on Wednesday with the opening-round games. Play continues every day through the championship game on Saturday night.

Throughout the season, no Pac-12 team has really separated itself from the rest of the conference. Teams like Oregon, California, UCLA and Arizona have established themselves as favorites, but the rest of the conference isn't far behind.

The bracket for the tournament is as follows and can be found here:

Anything can happen in this tournament. Here are a couple of players who could decide which team is crowned Pac-12 champion:

 

Richard Solomon, F, California

The Golden Bears are one of the hottest teams in the conference, entering the tournament having won nine of their last 11 played. Allen Crabbe has been fantastic for the Bears this season as he's carried the scoring load as the main option. While that should continue, it could be Solomon who is the difference in winning or losing the tournament.

In those 11 games, Solomon has averaged 9.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per outing to improve his season averages to 8.4 points and 6.5 rebounds. If he plays well in the tournament and adds another scoring threat for the Bears, they could be hard to stop.

 

Kevin Parrom, F, Arizona

The four-year senior, Kevin Parrom has played extremely efficient and productive basketball over the Wildcats' last four games. During that stretch, he's averaged 14.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per night, despite Arizona going 2-2 in those games. By replicating that success, Parrom could take the Wildcats to the Pac-12 championship.

Parrom has the type of leadership that is so crucial in tournament play. His ability to level the team and stay composed will determine how far Arizona advances. The team will also need to get strong play out of their other senior leaders, Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill. 

 

Arsalan Kazemi, F, Oregon

Oregon's big man is capable of taking his team on a nice run through the Pac-12 tournament, despite their recent struggles. Having lost three out of their last five, the Ducks are in need of a big turnaround as they head into the NCAA tournament. Kazemi's physical play down low will help them dictate play and win games.

Kazemi has been huge for Oregon this year; the senior forward has averaged 9.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Over the last five games, Kazemi is averaging 11.6 points while adding 9.4 rebounds per game. His improved scoring and consistent rebounding could take Oregon deep in the Pac-12 tournament.

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