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Tournament Seeding Predictions for the Pac 12
- Updated: February 20, 2017
Every college hoops fan lives and dies for March. As we grow ever closer to the tournament, anticipation of who is in and who is out grows. The Pac 12 has five teams currently in according to ESPN’S Joe Lunardi. Those five teams are UCLA, Arizona, Oregon, USC, and Cal.
UCLA has had a strong year up to this point, looking like one of the more dominant teams in the country at times. As of right now, Lunardi has them projected as a #4 seed. UCLA has two away games and two home games left in the regular season. That leaves little room to improve seeding. The game that most sticks out as a chance to improve is a game at Arizona. If they could pull a win off there, that would almost definitely improve their seeding, and would certainly count as another quality win. The biggest quality win they have so far this season was early on against Kentucky. If they do in fact beat Arizona, they could potentially raise as high as a 3 seed.
Arizona, on the other hand, is sitting at a #2 seed according to Lunardi’s estimation; currently in first place in the Pac 12. As previously mentioned, the UCLA matchup is huge, but for Arizona, it is to keep their position as a #2. If they lose, they could drop down to a 3 seed or depending on the Pac 12 tournament even a #4. Could Arizona be a #1 seed? It all depends on the teams ahead of them; Gonzaga, Kansas, Villanova, and North Carolina iare fairly solid at #1. If one were to drop a bad loss, it could be opened up for Arizona, or another 2 seed.
Oregon just may be that other #2 seed, but they are left with little chance of a quality win. Their remaining schedule includes matchups against Cal, Stanford, and Oregon State all away from home. It would be hard for them to move anywhere but down. If they can win out, and take the Pac 12 championship, they are firmly in as a #2 seed.
Two other Pac 12 teams aren’t quite guaranteed yet. USC has looked really impressive at times, but never really established themselves as dominant; Lunardi has them at a #10 seed. They play at Arizona next, and if they could pull off a win, and win the three games after that, as well as having a strong showing in the Pac 12 tournament, they could potentially go as high as an #8 seed. They need to be careful against Washington State and Washington. A couple of bad losses could propel them completely out of the tournament.
Cal is also predicted as a #10 seed by Lunardi. With their next game being home against Oregon, they could make a statement to secure their spot in the big dance. Like USC, they need to be careful against Oregon State, Utah, and Colorado. Oregon State is firmly locked in last place in the Pac 12, and if Cal were to lose to them it’d certainly put them out. Utah and Colorado are trying to get hot and sneak their way into the tournament and the only way to do that is by beating Cal and having an even stronger Pac 12 tournament.
Any way you look at it, the Pac 12 will have a strong showing in the tournament. UCLA, Oregon, and Arizona are serious threats to anyone they play and could run deep into the late rounds. The excitement is immensely growing and it will be fun to see how things play out for them.