PORTLAND, Ore. — It’s been a tough men’s basketball season for the Pac-12. The conference has been mired in mediocrity leading to a lackluster regular season.
There is only one team widely considered a lock to make the 68-team NCAA Tournament. That is regular season champion Washington, who showed signs of vulnerability at the end of the season.
Arizona State is widely considered a bubble team, meaning they’re not a lock but don’t necessarily need to win the Pac-12 tournament to make the NCAA Tournament. A win or two for the Sun Devils in the Pac-12 tournament may be enough to impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
That leaves only one path to the NCAA Tournament for the other 10 teams in the conference, including Oregon and Oregon State. That is to win the conference tournament. The winner of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas this week gets an automatic bid to the Big Dance.
Many have turned to sixth-seeded Oregon as a potential surprise champion, including oddsmakers in Las Vegas. CBS Sports reports Caesars Palace gives the Ducks the second-best chance to win the Pac-12 tournament, only behind Washington.
It’s been a sudden and unexpected late season turnaround for the Ducks. Oregon’s season appeared to be doomed with the season-ending injury to freshman phenom Bol Bol. After a loss to UCLA on Feb. 23, Oregon was 15-12 overall, and 10th in the Pac-12 with a 6-8 conference record. But since then, the Ducks have reeled off four straight wins, including convincing victories over Washington and Arizona State.
That’s left Ducks fans with renewed hope that a once lost season could turn into a March Madness miracle.
But there will be many other teams with the same spoiler mindset in Vegas. That includes Oregon State, who finished fourth in the Pac-12 in the regular season. The Beavers have the fourth-best chance to win the Pac-12 tournament, according to Caesars Palace.
Oregon will face No. 11 seed Washington State in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Network. The winner will face No. 3 seed Utah in the quarterfinals at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday. That game will be televised on ESPN.
Oregon State will face No. 5 seed Colorado in the quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. That game will be televised on Pac-12 Network.
Every team’s odds below:
- Washington: 5-2
- Oregon: 4-1
- Arizona State: 5-1
- Oregon State: 6-1
- Colorado: 6-1
- Utah: 8-1
- Arizona: 15-1 (eliminated in first round)
- USC: 20-1
- UCLA: 20-1
- Stanford: 30-1
- Cal: 100-1 (eliminated in first round)
- Washington State: 100-1