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NCAA Men’s Basketball Pac-12 Tournament Betting Preview: Arizona Owns Best Odds to Win Third Straight Championship

The Wildcats are projected to win a third consecutive conference tournament title in the final season of the Pac-12.

If the final season of Pac-12 football was a poetic sendoff for the conference of champions, the last men’s basketball campaign has had less than a storybook ending. As it stands, only three Pac-12 teams are projected to earn a spot in the field of 68 and depending how the tournament unfolds this week in Las Vegas, there’s a chance only two teams will hear their names called come Sunday.

The Arizona Wildcats are legitimate national championship contenders and the odds-on favorites to pull off a three-peat in the last iteration of the conference tournament, but the cupboard is sparse after Tommy Lloyd’s team. Washington State has earned itself a spot and the Colorado Buffaloes are on the bubble. The UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans can typically be counted on to go dancing, but not this year — both programs have losing records.

See below for the bracket, write-ups on the top contenders and profiles for each Pac-12 team.

(Rankings updated through March 12, odds via FanDuel.)

No. 1 Arizona Wildcats (24–7, 15–5 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 20–11
KenPom Ranking: 6
NET Rating: 4
Odds to win Pac-12: -150

The Wildcats won their second Pac-12 regular season title in three years and are heavily favored to capture their third straight conference tournament championship in the league’s final season. Arizona hit some bumps along the way, though, most recently a 78–65 loss to USC. The Wildcats were also swept by Washington State, their toughest competition this week in Las Vegas, and were upset by Stanford and Oregon State, the two worst teams in the Pac-12. Still, only two teams in the nation average more points than Arizona, which played an extremely difficult non-conference schedule. The Wildcats will face the winner of Washington and USC in the second round — they beat the Huskies in their lone meeting and split with the Trojans.

Washington State Cougars forward Isaac Jones (13) blocks a shot from Arizona Wildcats guard Caleb Love (2) during the second half at McKale Center.

Washington State swept the season series with Arizona, which enters asa the Pac-12’s top seed.

No. 2 Washington State Cougars (23–8, 14–6 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 16–15
KenPom Ranking: 45
NET Rating: 45
Odds to win Pac-12: +700

The Cougars almost caught Arizona for the top spot in the Pac-12, but a 74–68 loss to Washington in the season finale resigned them to the second seed and a second-round matchup with either Cal or Stanford. Washington State split with the Golden Bears and swept the Cardinal, winning both meetings by double digits. After a 4–4 start in conference play, the Cougars won 10 of their next 12, including a marquee win in Tucson over the Wildcats. This is Washington State’s best season since 2007-08 and the program is projected to end a 15-year NCAA Tournament drought.

No. 3 Colorado Buffaloes (22–9, 13–7 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 15–16
KenPom Ranking: 27
NET Rating: 27
Odds to win Pac-12: +480

The Buffs did all they could down the stretch to make their case for the committee. Following a stretch of four losses in five games, they won their last six, including a 73–57 victory over Oregon State on Saturday. Colorado is short on marquee wins — 1–3 against Arizona and Washington State and 2–5 in Quad 1 games — so a run in Vegas would do the team well. The Buffs face the winner of Utah-Arizona State, two teams they split their season series with, winning at home and losing on the road in both instances.

No. 4 Oregon Ducks (20–11, 12–8 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 14–17
KenPom Ranking: 69
NET Rating: 68
Odds to win Pac-12: +1100

Following a 5–0 start in conference play, the Ducks went just 7–8 the rest of the way and lost three of their last five overall. Oregon did, however, close the regular season on a high note with a 66–65 win over Utah. That hot start helped the Ducks earn a bye to the second round, where they’ll play UCLA or Oregon State. Oregon split with the Bruins and swept the Beavers.

No. 5 UCLA Bruins (15–16, 10–10 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 13–16–2
KenPom Ranking: 102
NET Rating: 115
Odds to win Pac-12: +4000

The Bruins finally stopped the bleeding in the season finale against Arizona State, which they defeated 59–47. But before that, they had lost five straight and are now in danger of their first losing season since 2015-16. UCLA’s round 1 opponent is Oregon State, a team it beat 69–62 and 71–63 this season. Barring an improbable run, the Bruins will miss the Big Dance for the first time under Mick Cronin.

No. 6 Utah Utes (18–13, 9–11 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 15–16
KenPom Ranking: 51
NET Rating: 52
Odds to win Pac-12: +1700

The Utes never got into a rhythm in Pac-12 play and went 7–11 once the calendar flipped to January after an 11–2 start that included wins over BYU and Washington State. Utah lost its last two games to Oregon and Oregon State to set up a first-round matchup with Arizona State. The Sun Devils swept the Utes, winning 82–70 in Tempe and 85–77 in Salt Lake City.

No. 7 Washington Huskies (17–14, 9–11 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 17–14
KenPom Ranking: 59
NET Rating: 67
Odds to win Pac-12: +3000

No. 8 Cal Golden Bears (13–18, 9–11 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 15–14–2
KenPom Ranking: 118
NET Rating: 123
Odds to win Pac-12: +10000

No. 9 Arizona State Sun Devils (14–17, 8–12 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 14–17
KenPom Ranking: 121
NET Rating: 125
Odds to win Pac-12: +15000

No. 10 USC Trojans (14–17, 8–12 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 15–16
KenPom Ranking: 83
NET Rating: 91
Odds to win Pac-12: +2200

No. 11 Stanford Cardinal (13–17, 8–12 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 14–15–1
KenPom Ranking: 105
NET Rating: 113
Odds to win Pac-12: +6000

No. 12 Oregon State Beavers (13–18, 5–15 Pac-12)

Against the Spread Record: 16–13–1
KenPom Ranking: 156
NET Rating: 161
Odds to win Pac-12: +25000

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