Arizona clinched its first Pac-12 regular-season title since the 2017-18 season in emphatic fashion, leading by as many as 30 points en route to a 91-71 victory at Southern California on Tuesday.
The Wildcats shot 56 percent in the game for its fourth win against a team ranked in the Top 25 in the Associated Press poll.
The second-ranked Wildcats are in line for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Arizona is second in the NCAA NET rankings, UCLA is 12th and USC fell three spots to No. 30. Those are the only three Pac-12 teams guaranteed to be a part of the March Madness bracket. Washington State and Oregon come in at Nos. 57 and 58 in the NCAA NET rankings.
Arizona (+700) trails only Gonzaga and Kentucky in the odds to win the national championship. Other Pac-12 teams included in the March Madness odds include UCLA (+2500), Southern California (+8000) and Oregon (+10000).
California vs Arizona State
- Date, time, TV: Thursday, 8 p.m. ET
California’s 24-point win on Jan. 2 as a 1½-point home favorite ended a seven-game losing streak against Arizona State. It was also the fourth time in the last five meetings that the Bears covered against the college basketball spreads. Eight of the last nine games in the series finished under the total.
California (12-17, 5-12) snapped a two-game losing streak with Saturday’s 14-point win against Stanford. Cal is 3-2 in the last five games, including a win at Oregon as a 14½-point underdog.
Arizona State (12-16, 8-10) has won five of its last six games and covered in each of those wins. Four of those victories came with the Sun Devils listed as the underdog. Three of Arizona State’s last four games went under the total.
Jordan Shepherd is averaging 25.3 points on 56.3 percent shooting in Cal’s last three wins but is averaging 8.5 points on 28.6 percent shooting in the last two losses.
Arizona State’s Jay Heath is 6 of 11 from 3-point range in his last two games.
Stanford vs Arizona
- Date, time, TV: Thursday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
National player of the year candidate Bennedict Mathurin had 19 points to lead five players in double figures as Arizona cruised past nationally ranked USC on Tuesday.
— Arizona Basketball (@ArizonaMBB) March 2, 2022
Arizona snapped a two-game losing streak to Stanford with the 85-57 road win on Jan. 20 as an 11½-point favorite according to the Las Vegas odds. Before Stanford’s back-to-back wins, Arizona had won 20 straight in the series and covered in 14 of those contests. Four of the last five games in the series went under the total.
Arizona (+175) and UCLA (+600) have the best odds among Pac-12 teams to reach the Final Four, according to the March Madness predictions, and are followed by Southern California (+1800), Oregon (+2800) and Washington (+5000).
Stanford (15-13, 8-10) has dropped three straight games and failed to cover in each of them to fall into a tie for eighth place in the Pac-12 standings. Four of Stanford’s last five games went under the total, including the last three.
Stanford is shooting 25 percent from 3-point range over its last three games.
Arizona leads the Pac-12 in scoring offense (84.4 points per game) and scoring margin (17.8).
Oregon vs Washington
- Date, time, TV: Thursday, 10 p.m. ET
This is a matchup of a pair of teams looking to find their form after some recent struggles.
Oregon (18-11, 11-7) has dropped three of its last four games and seems locked into a Pac-12 quarterfinal matchup with Colorado — with Arizona awaiting the winner in the semifinals. Oregon has covered in just two of its last eight games.
Washington (14-14, 9-9) has dropped five of six. The closest games during that span were a pair of 78-70 finals against Washington State three days apart, with the home team winning each contest.
Oregon has won six games in a row against Washington, including an 84-56 home win as an 11-point favorite on Jan. 23. The Ducks have won the last two meetings by an average of 20 points after back-to-back three-point victories in the series.
Washington’s Terrell Brown Jr., the Pac-12’s leading scorer, has back-to-back 20-point games. Will Richardson, Oregon’s leading scorer, is 3 of 21 from the field in the last two games but had 13 rebounds and 12 assists in those contests.
Oregon State vs Washington State
- Date, time, TV: Thursday, 11 p.m. ET
Washington State has won three of its last four games against Oregon State, including a thrilling 103-97 road game on Feb. 28. Something to consider for those who bet online: It was the eighth time in the last nine games that the contest finished over the total.
Washington State (16-13, 9-9) has won two of its last three games after dropping five games in a row, with three of the losses by three points or less. The Cougars are 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games with the last three all finishing over the total.
Oregon State (3-25, 1-17) has lost 15 games in a row but has covered in three of the last five.
Oregon State’s Jarod Lucas is coming off his fifth 20-point game in his last outing.
Washington State’s Michael Flowers has averaged 28.5 points, five rebounds and five assists in his last two games.