Who will win the Pac-12 Tournament and get the automatic bid into the NCAA men’s basketball tournament that comes with it?
Here’s our game-by-game prediction for the tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which runs from Wednesday through Saturday. All times MST.
Wednesday, March 8 Pac-12 Tournament games
Washington beat Colorado twice this season, by 10 at home and by three on the road. Both teams went 16-15 overall and 8-12 in Pac-12 play. This game will be close, but we think Keion Brooks Jr. and the Huskies will get the best of the Buffaloes again.
Prediction: Washington 71, Colorado 68
The Cougars went 16-15 overall and 11-9 in Pac-12 play, while the Golden Bears were an abysmal 3-28 overall and 2-18 in conference play. Washington State has won six straight games and won both games against Cal in the regular season and we don’t see any reason why they won’t win a third.
Prediction: Washington State 62, Cal 55
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The Utes went 17-14 overall and 10-10 in conference play this season. Stanford went 13-18 overall and 7-13 in the Pac-12, but did win two of its last three games while Utah dropped five in a row. The teams split the regular season with both teams winning on the road. We like the upset here, barely.
Prediction: Stanford 80, Utah 79
The Sun Devils went 20-11 overall and 11-9 in conference play and beat Oregon State twice in the regular season. Oregon State went 11-20 overall and 1-10 in conference play. This game could be close, but Desmond Cambridge Jr. and the Sun Devils will hold off a late Beavers’ rally to advance.
Prediction: Arizona State 70, Oregon State 66
Sea:Pac-12 Tournament odds: UCLA, Arizona favored for conference basketball title in Las Vegas
Thursday, March 9 Pac-12 Tournament games
We’ve predicted that Washington will be the team here against UCLA, but it doesn’t really matter if it’s Washington or Colorado. UCLA is just too good for both teams and will cruise into the Pac-12 semifinals.
Prediction: UCLA 80, Washington 67
We picked Washington State to beat California to make this quarterfinal game and we’re picking Washington State to beat Oregon in this game too after the Cougars beat Oregon 68-65 on Feb. 19. The Cougars could make some noise in this tourney.
Prediction: Washington State 69, Oregon 65
We picked Stanford to make this game against Arizona in a rematch of one of the most interesting games of the season in the conference, an 88-79 Stanford win over Arizona at Stanford on Feb. 11. If Stanford is in fact Arizona’s opponent here, the Wildcats will have plenty of motivation after that loss.
Prediction: Arizona 85, Stanford 73
We picked ASU to make this game against USC. Can the Sun Devils upset USC? These teams played on March 4 in a 68-65 USC win in Los Angeles. Something tells us this game could be really close again. But we’ve got to go with the Trojans to win this one. They have just been playing better down the stretch.
Prediction: USC 73, Arizona State 68
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Friday, March 10 Pac-12 Tournament games
If our predictions are right, this first conference semifinal game will pit UCLA against Washington State. We’d love to witness an upset, but we just can’t see it in this game. UCLA might be the Pac-12’s best hope for a national title in a very long time.
Prediction: UCLA 75, Washington State 64
We’ve predicted this matchup to be Arizona against USC in what could be a classic Pac-12 tournament game with both teams eager to improve their NCAA Tournament standing. Arizona beat USC both times during the regular season and we don’t see a reason for that to change if they face off in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Prediction: Arizona 88, USC 82
Saturday, March 11 Pac-12 Tournament Final
We’ve got this game as No. 2 Arizona vs. But. 1 UCLA in what could be an epic Pac-12 championship. These teams split their regular season contests with both teams winning at home. We could see this game going either way, but we have to give the edge to the Bruins, who seem to be peaking at the right time.
Prediction: UCLA 80, Arizona 77
Reach Jeremy Cluff at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Pac-12 Tournament picks, predictions for the Las Vegas conference tourney