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Pac-12 Tournament Opening Odds Favor Oregon at +125, Followed by Arizona and Colorado

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in College Basketball

Updated Apr 9, 2020 · 3:46 PM PDT

Pac 12 tournament
The Pac-12 Tourney returns to the T-Mobile arena in Vegas.
  • The 2020 Pac-12 Tournament starts on Wednesday, March 11th and concludes on March 14th in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena
  • Oregon won the regular season title and is favored to win the conference tourney for the second-straight year at +125, followed by Arizona at +300 and Colorado at +400
  • See the full field odds and best bet to earn the Pac-12’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid below

The Pac-12 Tournament is always one of the most entertaining conference tourneys every March because they typically play out like a microcosm of the ultra-competitive conference’s regular season – i.e. unpredictable.

The Oregon Ducks (24-7, 13-5 Pac-12) are the favorites to cut down the nets at T-Mobile Arena for the second straight year on Saturday at +125, while Arizona and Colorado are also in the mix at +300 and +400, respectively.

2020 Pac-12 Tournament Odds

Team Odds
Oregon +125
Arizona +300
Colorado +400
UCLA +900
Arizona State +1000
USC +1000
Stanford +1600
California +8000
Oregon State +8000
Utah +8000
Washington State +8000
Washington +10000

Odds taken March 8.

If there’s one college hoops tourney that’s nearly impossible to pick, it’s this one. The Pac-12 is famously cannibalistic in the revenue sports, which makes predicting a winner in Sin City practically a fool’s errand. Nevertheless, we’ll analyze a few angles and try our best!

The Ducks were ranked as high as No. 4 in the country this season and very much in the thick of the National Championship odds. As we enter conference tourney time, they’re off the tracker. That doesn’t mean Oregon can’t make a deep run in this year’s Big Dance though. Dana Altman teams have proven they belong. The same goes for Sean Miller teams at Arizona. And what about UCLA’s incredible turnaround over the last month?

Pac-12 Tournament Bracket

The Pac-12 Tournament once again takes on Sin City in Vegas.

What Happens in Vegas…

… is Oregon transforms. For some reason, the Ducks love playing on the Strip. Ever since the Pac-12 Tournament moved to Las Vegas in 2013, UO has played in the tourney title game five of the seven years it’s been played there. That includes last season’s improbable run as a No. 6 seed.

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Payton Pritchard was the tourney’s breakout star in 2019, winning MVP honors. The win propelled Oregon all the way to the Sweet Sixteen, where the Ducks lost 53-49 to eventual national champ Virginia. Can this year’s club repeat? Altman’s club has won six of its last seven, including an 80-67 win over Stanford to capture the program’s third regular season title in the last five years.

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Pritchard is the probable Conference Player of the Year. And if he gets help – like he did Saturday from Anthony Mathis – Oregon is the pick to win the tourney again.

Upset Bruin?

If Oregon falters (the Ducks did lose three of five in February before righting the ship to win their last four), watch out for UCLA. If not for a three-pointer by USC’s Jonah Mathews with 1 second remaining Saturday, the Bruins would have been able to claim a share of the regular season title for the first time since 2013.

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Dagger 3s aside, what Mick Cronin has done with this program in his first year since the departure of Shareef O’Neal has been impressive. Cronin called out numerous players following a bad loss to Stanford on Jan. 15.

The Bruins went 11-3 since that home loss and are now on most bracketologists’ lists of “Last Four In.” A win in Vegas should lock up an NCAA Tournament bid. Three wins would earn an automatic bid, and along with it, earn similar momentum the Ducks enjoyed last year.

Everyone Else

One of the reasons why it’s nearly impossible to pick a winner in this tourney is because it seems like every program beat at least every program at least once. That wasn’t the case – but when your conference champ has five losses, the conference runner-up has six losses and every other team has at least seven losses – well, you get the picture.

Even though KenPom has teams like Arizona (No. 20), Colorado (No. 32) and Stanford (No. 38) rated fairly high, I’m not buying any of them. Each of those squads have faltered during the 2019-20 season in “Show Me” games. The Wildcats were swept by the Ducks in nearly identical fashion, then went out and lost the regular season finale – at home – to the last-place Huskies. Not the way to close things out.

Meanwhile, Colorado was in the thick of the conference race – then lost four straight to close out the regular season slate.

And Stanford played great during its non-conference schedule – but ever since blowing a 21-point second-half lead to USC Jan. 18, Jerod Haase’s team just hasn’t been the same.

Which brings up those Trojans. If there’s one team that could rock the apple cart, it’s Southern California. As Mathews said after the 54-53 win over crosstown rival UCLA Saturday,  “Going into the tourney we have supreme confidence,  We’re going to be hard to beat on a neutral floor.”

He might be right. Andy Enfield’s team has tons of talent – and at +1000 – might be worth a longshot wager.

But in a topsy-turvy regular season, I like the Ducks to hold serve and repeat as tourney champs.

Pick: Oregon +125

SBD’s NCAA conference tournament coverage:

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