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March Madness Update: Will Pac-12 Be A One-Bid League?

The Pac-12 is certainly not saving the best for last as it is looking like Arizona is the only team guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Tournament when it comes to the March Madness odds.

Washington State is playing itself into the conversation while some underachieving teams might need to win the conference tournament to get into the field of 68.

March Madness Update: Will Pac-12 Be A One-Bid League?
Jaden Bradley #0 of the Arizona Wildcats | Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

The final season of the Pac-12 as a Power-5 conference has three weeks left. Next season, Cal and Stanford are headed to the ACC, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah will join the revamped Big 12 while Oregon, Southern California, UCLA and Washington leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten. That leaves Oregon State and Washington State as the two teams without a seat in the conference realignment world.

When looking at the college basketball futures odds, Arizona tops the Pac-12 with +1200 odds to win the NCAAM title. Washington State has yet to win over those who bet online with +20000 championship odds even though the Cougars could move into first place in the Pac-12 with a win over Arizona on Thursday.

Here’s a look at the NCAA tournament hopes for the Pac-12 teams.

Keep on reading for more on the games to watch for the remainder of this week’s Pac-12 schedule.

Big Dance Bound: Arizona and…

It is not really a question of whether Arizona will make it into the NCAA Tournament but whether the Wildcats will be a No. 1 seed when it comes to the NCAA Basketball odds.

A weak Pac-12 could hurt the Wildcats when it comes to the selection of the tournament field. Arizona would certainly be a No. 1 seed by winning out.

The Wildcats are third in the NCAA NET rankings, trailing only Houston and Purdue.

Other than Thursday’s matchup with Washington State, none of the games for the remainder of the regular season will do much to help the resume for the Wildcats.

On the Bubble

Could the Pac-12 actually be a one-bid league?

If Arizona wins the Pac-12 tournament, that could certainly be the case.

There are four times as many Mountain West teams as Pac-12 squads in the top 30 in the NCAA NET rankings.

Washington State might change that with a win over Arizona on Thursday.

The Cougars are currently 32nd in the NCAA NET rankings so keep that in mind when considering March Madness predictions. A 4-3 record in Quad 1 games is a problem, as is the fact that Washington State will finish the regular season with just eight Quad 1 contests.

The Cougars could still earn an at-large bid even if they don’t win the Pac-12 title. However, if they stumble down the stretch, they could also find themselves as one of the teams to beat in the NIT.

Colorado’s 1-5 record in Quad 1 games is not going to wow the NCAA selection committee when it comes time to put together the March Madness bracket. Wins over Utah and Oregon could help. However, Colorado is just 8-7 in the worst of the Power-5 conferences this season.

Utah is 49th in the NCAA NET rankings and that puts the Utes very much in bubble territory. The recent home win over UCLA will help but the 3-5 record versus Quad 1 teams is concerning.

Barring a run in the conference tournament, Utah is probably going to have to make a late move up the Pac-12 standings as the Utes are currently tied for sixth in the conference standings.

Wait ‘Til Next Year

There are plenty of Pac-12 teams in the position of needing to win the conference tourney to be a part of the March Madness field.

Oregon is 5-7 in Quad 1 and Quad 2 games and even though the Ducks could hit the 20-win mark in the regular season, the body of work is not good enough for Oregon to secure an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Oregon has lost both of its games to ranked teams, losing a neutral-site game to SEC-leading Alabama 99-91 and falling at home to Arizona 87-78 last month. There is a rematch with Arizona on March 2.

Washington is about as mediocre as it gets with a 14-12 outright record, a 1-5 mark versus Quad 1 teams, and 4-6 record against Quad 2 foes. That last number will be a problem. It doesn’t help that the Huskies are three games under .500 in the Pac-12 standings.

Some might have gotten excited about UCLA’s recent six-game winning streak. However, the Bruins are sitting between Vermont and Santa Clara in the NCAA NET rankings. UCLA has defied the NCAA odds before by getting hot in the postseason so keep that in mind.

Not only is UCLA 0-6 in Quad 1 games but a head-scratching 1-2 in Quad 3 contests.

Stanford, UCLA, and USC are all between 103 and 108 in the NCAA NET rankings. That is still better than the numbers for Cal, Arizona State, and Oregon State.



Questions Of The Day

Which Pac-12 team has the best record against the spread this season?

Arizona is 17-8 against the Las Vegas NCAAB odds. No other team is more than two games over .500 against the spread this season.

Who has the best odds of winning March Madness among Pac-12 teams?

Arizona was tied for second with +1000 championship odds when the season began and those odds have moved to +1200. That is still the best mark among Pac-12 teams.

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