Pac-12 Tournament 2014: Day 1 Schedule, Live Stream Info and Bracket Predictions

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Pac-12 Tournament 2014: Day 1 Schedule, Live Stream Info and Bracket Predictions
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The madness is officially upon us as the college basketball world delves into the conference tournaments the week before the Big Dance captivates the country.

The Pac-12 boasts one of the best teams in the land in the Arizona Wildcats and a number of dangerous contenders throughout the rest of the league’s tournament bracket.

Even though Brandon Ashley is out for the season with injury, the Wildcats are a strong favorite to grab a No. 1 seed come Selection Sunday. Winning the conference tournament in Las Vegas would make it a virtual certainty.

Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com pointed out that even though the Pac-12 has followed the preseason script for much of the year, there is plenty at stake in Las Vegas:

The Pac-12 has followed the script for the most part. 

Entering this season, anyone could recognize Arizona’s perch atop the conference with McDonald’s All American Aaron Gordon joining one of the nation’s best frontcourts.

Steve Alford, meanwhile, had come to Los Angeles to save UCLA.

Oregon, Colorado, Stanford, Arizona State and Cal all looked like potential NCAA tourney teams.

But even though we knew that about this league, no conference is teetering on a bigger platform of uncertainty right now. Maybe this is a three-bid league. Maybe it’s a six- or seven-bid league.

With so much on the line, here is a look at the tournament bracket, via Pac-12 Networks:

 

The action kicks off Wednesday with four first-round showdowns. Here is a look at the first day’s schedule:

No. 8 Utah vs. No. 9 Washington

Time: 3 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. PT

TV: Pac-12Networks 

Live Stream: Pac-12.com with username and password provided by TV providers

 

No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 USC

Time: 5:30 p.m. ET, 2:30 p.m. PT

TV: Pac-12Networks 

Live Stream: Pac-12.com with username and password provided by TV providers

 

No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 Oregon State

Time: 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT

TV: Pac-12Networks

Live Stream: Pac-12.com with username and password provided by TV providers

 

No. 6 Stanford vs. No. 11 Washington State

Time: 11:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. PT

TV: Pac-12Networks 

Live Stream: Pac-12.com with username and password provided by TV providers

 

Now that we know the schedule for the first day of action, let’s dig into a couple of predictions about the tournament as a whole.

 

Bracket Predictions

Arizona Takes Home the Crown

It may not be going out on much of a limb to predict the No. 1 seed to win the Pac-12 tournament, but the Wildcats are in that position for a reason.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Between Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Aaron Gordon, Kaleb Tarczewski and Nick Johnson, nobody in the league can match the talent from top to bottom that Arizona brings to the table. The Wildcats create mismatches down low with the Tarczewski and Gordon pairing and have a small forward who can post up smaller defenders or blow past bigger ones in Hollis-Jefferson.

What’s more, Johnson is the best player in the entire conference (hence, the Player of the Year award he was given) and can serve as a closer in late-game situations.

Realistically, Arizona probably won’t be challenged until the finals even though California did knock off the Wildcats during the regular season. That game was something of an outlier though because Ashley got hurt during the contest and the California fans created an atmosphere that will not be duplicated in Las Vegas. 

If anything, there will be more Wildcats fans than every other school combined during the conference tournament.

 

Oregon Charges All the Way to the Finals

Steve Dykes/Getty Images

There hasn’t been a more Jekyll and Hyde team in the Pac-12 than Oregon this year, and the league’s tournament just so happens to occur in the middle of a hot streak.

The Ducks started the regular season with 13 straight wins, proceeded to lose eight of their next 10 and are now riding a seven-game winning streak. At one point, Oregon climbed to as high as No. 10 in the rankings.

The win over Arizona to close the regular season likely took the Ducks off the bubble for good. Jason Calliste felt that his team could play with anyone after the win, as was evidenced in comments he made to Associated Press reporters that were passed along by ESPN.com:

I just didn't want to lose. Wasn't time to go home yet…We can be one of the best teams in the country. Doesn't matter who we're playing. Doesn't matter what the name on the chest says. 

Who wins a hypothetical final?

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The Ducks proved they can play with talented teams in victories over Georgetown, Illinois,  BYU, UCLA and Arizona and should have more confidence than anyone outside of the Wildcats heading to Las Vegas. 

Between Joseph Young, Johnathan Loyd, Calliste and Mike Moser, Oregon has a terrific foursome, especially on the offensive end. Only Arizona will stand in the way of a repeat Pac-12 tournament title for the Ducks.

 

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