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Pac-12 Tournament 2018: Bracket, TV Schedule, Dates and Predictions

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 4, 2018

TEMPE, AZ - FEBRUARY 15: Rawle Alkins #1 and Dusan Ristic #14 react with teammate Deandre Ayton #13 of the Arizona Wildcats after a basket during the second half of the college basketball game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Wells Fargo Arena on February 15, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. The Wildcats beat the Sun Devils 77-70. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Chris Coduto/Getty Images

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.

               

Bracket

Pac-12 Conference @pac12

The 2018 #Pac12Hoops Tournament bracket is set! https://t.co/4RkHivGmIP Experience the energy next week at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, tickets available at https://t.co/GLpCYL01GC! https://t.co/4u7e1IHkNN

            

Pac-12 Tournament Schedule

All times ET.

Wednesday

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)

               

Thursday

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)

                      

Friday

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)

                

Saturday

Winner of semifinal No. 1 vs. winner of semifinal No. 2 (10 p.m, FS1) 

                   

Predictions

1st-Round Predictions

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

            

Quarterfinals Predictions

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

            

Semifinals Predictions

No. 1 Arizona def. No. 4 UCLA

No. 3 Utah def. No. 2 USC

            

Final Prediction

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.

TUCSON, AZ - MARCH 03:  The Arizona Wildcats pose together after defeating the California Golden Bears 66-54 to win the PAC-12 Championship at McKale Center on March 3, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 03:  Jonah Mathews #2 of the USC Trojans guards Aaron Holiday #3 of the UCLA Bruins in the game at Pauley Pavilion on February 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

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.

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