[Moderated by Matt Jones]
It is now Week 2 of the KSR Championship Week Challenge. I know, that doesn’t really make sense, but it does make sense to check back here each and every day and make your picks so that you can have the best chance at earning $1,000. For complete contest details, click here. For previous tournament previews, click here.
The PAC 12 is by far the weakest conference of the major 6 BCS leagues, so why should you care about the PAC 12? Well, the league’s weakness is exactly why the tournament is so important. The conference tournament is crucial to all 12 teams. Although California and Washington were included in Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology, Cal and Washington are only projected as 10th and 11th seeds, respectively. There is no team that has firmly punched their ticket to the big dance, and even the two probable teams have work to do if they’d like to earn a single digit seed and feel comfortable on Selection Sunday. With all 12 teams having something to fight for, the PAC 12 Tournament could be as fun as watching many of the mid-major league championships. Each team is truly fighting for their NCAA lives, and there is no clear cut favorite.
As evenly matched as the PAC 12 field is, you can’t really go wrong by picking any of the top 4 seeds with first round bye’s (Washington, California, Oregon, and Arizona). With only 2 conference games separating the #1 seed from the #4 seed, the tournament is really up for grabs for anyone’s taking. You should also take a close look at Colorado, UCLA, and Stanford, who are all safe picks to win their first round games.
Washington was the regular season champ of the PAC 12, as well as the defending champ of last year’s tourney, which makes them a slight favorite, if I have to name one. Sophomores Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox were key parts of last year’s PAC
12 10 Championship run, and this year they’re joined by diaper dandy leading scorer, Tony Wroten. With only one game separating UW from the #2 and 3 seeds, however, you can’t be overly confident at all by picking the Huskies.
For me, the team to watch is UCLA. The Bruins have as much talent as anyone, but it will be interesting to see if UCLA can come together and put the negativity surrounding their program behind them in the wake of the S.I. article, “Not the UCLA Way”. The Bruins will have the benefit of playing in their home city, and it’s hard to imagine the Bruins not being highly motivated after everything that has come out about their program. I’d also take a strong look at Arizona. Dating back to his days at Xavier, Sean Miller’s teams always start to turn it up this time of year.
Stay away from picking USC, Utah, and Arizona State, unless you want to do me a favor and give me less correct votes to count. Counting up the over 1,000 votes for Murray State in the OVC Tournament was not fun. Luckily, there won’t be that many votes for any one team this time around, but the variety of picks for the PAC 12 Tournament could likely be a major factor in the overall competition.
My Pick: Arizona, but it really is a crap shoot.
Follow me on Twitter @wilmhoffKSR for PAC 12 Tournament updates, as well as everything related to UK sports brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
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