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Pac-12 March Madness Report: Utah Making Move

Utes Can Climb into Second Place

UCLA is starting to separate from the other contenders in the Pac-12 race and now the Bruins face two teams with losing records this week. The game that should draw the most attention should be Thursday’s matchup between Utah and Arizona.

UCLA is fifth in the NCAA NET Rankings with a 4-4 record in Quad 1 games, possibly keeping the Bruins from earning a No. 1 seed in the March Madness bracket. Arizona is 11th and is 11-3 in Quad 1 and Quad 2 contests. The next Pac-12 team is Oregon at No. 48 with Utah coming in at No. 51.

Jaylen Clark #0 of the UCLA Bruins
Jaylen Clark #0 of the UCLA Bruins - Rich Schultz/Getty Images/afp

UCLA (-800) is the favorite in the odds to win the Pac-12 title according to the college basketball betting lines. Arizona is priced at +400 with USC well back at +8000.

UCLA moved up three spots to No. 4 in both the Associated Press and coaches’ polls while Arizona dropped four positions to No. 8. No other Pac-12 team is receiving votes in either of the national rankings.

According to the college basketball playoff odds, UCLA (+1200) is fourth and Arizona (+1400) tied for fifth in the odds to win the national championship. USC and Oregon are both priced at +15000 with Utah coming in at +20000.

Here’s a look at the best games this week in the Pac-12.

Let’s check the latest college basketball news, stats, injury reports, and college basketball lines. We’ve got plenty of NCAA basketball picks for you to consider.

Game of The Week

Utah vs Arizona

  • Date, time (TV): Thursday, Feb. 16, 10:00 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)

The game features two of the top three scorers in the conference.

Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis leads the Pac-12 in scoring (20.3 points) and rebounding (9.3).

Utah’s Branden Carlson puts up 16.5 points per contest.

The game has a little more meaning for the visiting Utes (17-9, 10-5) as a win would be crucial for Utah’s hope to be in consideration for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. Arizona (22-4, 11-4) will look to rebound from a disappointing effort in a loss to Stanford. Utah (17-9, 10-5) will be without No. 2 scorer Gabe Madsen.

Arizona’s Courtney Ramey recently scored his 1,500th career point.

Utah has covered in six of the last eight games with five of those games finishing over the total.

The Utes on the road to face Arizona State on Saturday as the teams vie for position in the top half of the Pac-12 standings.

Other Games to Watch

Oregon vs Washington

  • Date, time (TV): Wednesday, Feb. 15, 11:00 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Jermaine Couisnard has 32 points in his last two games to give Oregon another offensive option as the Ducks are just two games out of second place in the conference standings.

Washington (13-13, 5-10) has lost its last four games, the last three by single digits.

Leading scorer Keion Brooks had his run of consecutive 20-point games snapped at four as he was held to eight points in a loss to Washington State on Saturday.

Oregon (15-11, 9-6) is just 3-4 on the road. Ten of Washington’s wins have come at home.

Washington snapped a six-game losing streak to Oregon with a 78-67 win in March. Each of the last three games has been decided by double digits.

Oregon faces Washington State on Sunday in the final game of the weekend.

Colorado vs Arizona State

  • Date, time (TV): Thursday, Feb. 16, 8:00 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)

Colorado (14-12, 6-9) is looking for its second road win at the season. Winning at Arizona State will be no easy task.

The teams are second and third in the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds per game so the matchup inside could be fun to watch. The teams are fourth and fifth in defensive efficiency as well.

Arizona State (18-8, 9-6) barely escaped from Boulder with a one-point win in December and looks to take care of things early on in the rematch.

Four of the last five games between the teams finished under the Las Vegas odds total.

Colorado heads to Arizona on Saturday to take on the nationally ranked Wildcats. The teams have split regular-season games in each of the last two years.

Stanford vs UCLA

Forward Jaiden Delaire #11 of the Stanford Cardinal
Forward Jaiden Delaire #11 of the Stanford Cardinal | Noble/getty images/afp
  • Date, time (TV): Thursday, Feb. 16, 11:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Stanford is coming off an upset of Arizona State to pick up its first win against a ranked opponent this season. Can the Cardinal make it two in a row?

Michael O’Connell is coming off a 22-point effort against Arizona after being held to single digits in 10 of his previous 12 games for Stanford 11-14, 5-9).

UCLA (21-4, 12-2) is the only Pac-12 team still perfect at home. It helps that No. 2 scorer Jaylen Clark is averaging 3.4 more points at Pauley Pavilion than he does on the road.

The Bruins are 15-10 against the college basketball betting lines, the best mark in the Pac-12.

UCLA won by 14 points when the teams met in December and looks to sweep the season series for the second year in a row.

Stanford has won at Pauley Pavilion as recently as 2020. Stanford goes after its third straight against USC when the teams play on Saturday.

Oregon State vs Washington State

  • Date, time (TV): Thursday, Feb. 16, 11:00 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Neither team has been getting the job on the defensive end. Oregon State is one of three Pac-12 teams with a negative defensive efficiency mark and Washington State is barely in the positive category.

On the offensive side of things, TJ Bamba is averaging 19.5 points over the last two games for Washington State (11-15, 6-9). Freshman Jordan Pope has scored in double digits in seven straight games for Oregon State (10-16, 4-11).

Something to consider for those who bet online: Eight of the last 10 games between the Beavers and Cougars finished over the total.

Washington State has taken four of the last five meetings after Oregon State had won the previous four games.

The Beavers face Washington on Saturday looking to win back-to-back games against the Huskies for the first time since 2015 and 2016.

California vs USC

  • Date, time (TV): Thursday, Feb. 16, 11:00 p.m. ET (FS1)

Southern California dropped games to Oregon and Oregon State last week. A home game against the last-place Bears might be just what USC needs to get going again. There is very little margin for error for USC when it comes to putting together a resume worthy of at-large consideration in the March Madness bracket.

Reese Dixon-Waters and Joshua Morgan have missed each of the last three games for the Trojans (17-8, 9-5). Freshman Vincent Iwuchukwu had season-highs of 19 points and seven rebounds against Oregon State.

Cal is still looking for its first road win. Not having leading scorer Devin Askew for the rest of the season will make things even harder for the Bears (3-22, 2-12).

USC is going after its 10th win in a row against the Bears, with six of those games being decided by double figures.

Six straight games in the series finished over the total before the first meeting of this season was won by the Trojans 66-51.

It doesn’t get easier for the Bears with a game at Pac-12-leading UCLA on Saturday night.

UCLA has won the last 10 games against Cal with the last five decided by an average of 13.2 points.

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