The Pac-12 tournament is Arizona's to lose.
The Wildcats have been one of the better teams in men's basketball this season, and they have been provided with extra motivation to dominate in March over the past couple of weeks.
DeAndre Ayton is arguably the best player in college basketball, and he's expected to prove why in a Pac-12 tournament in which there are few worthy challengers—and during the NCAA men's basketball tournament, in which few teams will be able to match up with him.
Outside of Arizona, the Pac-12 hasn't carried a ton of intrigue on a national level, but there is a chance for drama to bubble up in Las Vegas as teams fight for their respective NCAA tournament lives.
Pac-12 Tournament Schedule
All times ET.
No. 8 Colorado vs. No. 9 Arizona State (3 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
No. 5 Stanford vs. No. 12 California (5:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
No. 7 Washington vs. No. 10 Oregon State (9 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 11 Washington State (11:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
No. 1 Arizona vs. winner of No. 8 vs. No. 9 (3 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
No. 4 UCLA vs. winner of No. 5 vs. No. 12 (5:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
No. 2 USC vs. winner of No. 7 vs. No. 10 (9 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
No. 3 Utah vs. winner of No. 6 vs. No. 11 (11:30 p.m., FS1)
Winner of No. 1 vs. No. 8 or No. 9 vs. winner of No. 4 vs. No. 5 or No. 12 (9 p.m., Pac-12 Network)
Winner of No. 2 vs. No. 7 or No. 10 vs. winner of No. 3 vs. No. 6 or No. 11 (11:30 p.m., FS1)
Winner of semifinal No. 1 vs. winner of semifinal No. 2 (10 p.m, FS1)
No. 9 Arizona State def. No. 8 Colorado
No. 5 Stanford def. No. 12 California
No. 7 Washington def. No. 10 Oregon State
No. 6 Oregon def. No. 11 Washington State
No. 1 Arizona def. No. 9 Arizona State
No. 4 UCLA def. No. 5 Stanford
No. 2 USC def. No. 7 Washington
No. 3 Utah def. No. 6 Oregon
No. 1 Arizona def. No. 4 UCLA
No. 3 Utah def. No. 2 USC
No. 1 Arizona def. No. 3 Utah
Arizona Looking to Assert Dominance
As if a team with Ayton and Allonzo Trier needed more motivation, Arizona has earned that with the off-the-court drama involving head coach Sean Miller.
Arizona won five of its final six regular-season contests, with the only defeat coming in overtime to Oregon February 24.
The Wildcats cruised to the finish line of the regular season with easy victories over Stanford and California to secure their spot at the top of the Pac-12.
While they only won the Pac-12 regular-season title by two games, the Wildcats are far and away the best team in the conference and boast the potential No. 1 NBA draft pick, Ayton, on their roster.
Ayton and Trier are both averaging over more than 19 points per game, while Rawle Alkins and Dusan Ristic are also averaging more than 12 points per contest.
If opponents attempt to silence Ayton's impact on the contest by putting two defenders on him, the Wildcats could easily turn to Trier, Ristic or Alkins to make a few major baskets.
Barring a catastrophic collapse, the Wildcats should run the table in the Pac-12 tournament with their well-rounded attack while improving their seed for the NCAA tournament.
Which Potential NCAA Tournament Team Will Step Up?
The Pac-12 bubble situation is one of the most interesting in the country, as a few teams could work their way into the NCAA tournament with strong showings in Las Vegas.
UCLA finished off the regular season with an important victory over USC Saturday night to create momentum heading into the grind of the Pac-12 tournament.
USC needs to make gains in Las Vegas in order to solidify its March Madness resume, while Utah and Washington are in the same situation.
The oddest resume of any team in the nation belongs to Arizona State, which finished 8-10 in conference play despite capturing our attention with victories over Kansas and Xavier in nonconference play.
The 20-10 Sun Devils enter the Pac-12 tournament as the No. 9 seed, but some would consider them in the Big Dance already because of their nonconference resume.
In order to avoid any doubt, the Sun Devils have to beat Colorado and then find a way to knock off Arizona in the quarterfinals.
If that doesn't happen, and one of the other Pac-12 bubble teams makes a run to the semifinals or the final of the conference tournament, it could spell trouble for the Sun Devils.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.