Day One of the Pac-12 Tournament went more or less as expected. The quality of basketball displayed wasn’t the best, but the teams that everyone foresaw winning and securing dates for Day Two of the tournament did what they needed to do. Thursday’s outings should be far more entertaining, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if at least two squads pulled off upsets when it was all said and done.
Here are Day Two’s showdowns:
No. 1 Washington vs. No. 9 Oregon State
12:00 p.m. PT on FSN
Most expected the Beavers to fall to the Cougars on Wednesday, but Oregon State found it within themselves to buckle down and earn a hard-fought 69-64 win. Devon Collier came up with a huge 19 point, six rebound and one assist effort in that one, and the Beavers will need a similar performance from him versus a Washington unit that’s already beaten them twice before this year. Even if Jared Cunningham doesn’t go one-of-eight from the field again on Thursday, it’s hard to envision this bunch being able to take down the No. 1 seed in this tournament. Washington is -4 in this one.
No. 4 Arizona vs. No. 5 UCLA
2:30 p.m. PT on FSN
UCLA didn’t look great against USC on Wednesday, but given the quality of play we’ve seen from the Trojans this year – looking great clearly wasn’t a necessity. The Bruins eventually won the game 55-40 (despite the fact that it was a one point game at halftime), and they did so on the strength of Travis Wear and Lazeric Jones who put up 12 points and eight rebounds and 15 points, respectively. Thursday’s showdown between Arizona and UCLA will probably be the best game of the day. This pair split their season series, with the Bruins winning a battle in early January (by eight) and the Wildcats winning in late February (by two). UCLA has an obvious size advantage, but Arizona is quicker and not as prone to cold streaks. This is a tossup in every sense. UCLA is listed -3, but this one could go either way.
No. 2 Cal vs. No. 7 Stanford
6:00 p.m. PT on FSN
Stanford destroyed Arizona State in an 85-65 romp on Thursday, as most pretty much expected they would. Don’t forget, this pair’s only prior meeting this year played out largely in the same fashion – a 20-point plus smackdown that was never even a real game. (Stanford was up 20 at halftime). Chasson Randle scored 30 points in the massacre and Aaron Bright (the hero last time) pitched in 11 of his own. While Cal is obviously no Arizona State, a Stanford win in this one would not be crazy at all. These two teams split the series, but it was the last matchup on March 4 which wound up ensuring that Cal ended its year on a two-game losing streak. Despite that fun fact, though, Cal remains the favorite in this one and is listed at -4.
No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 6 Colorado
8:30 p.m. PT on FSN
As expected, Colorado had very little trouble dispatching Utah in Wednesday’s final game of the night. What was a surprisingly close two-point outing at halftime quickly turned into a romp in the second half, a romp which Colorado would go on to win 53-41. Andre Roberson led the way for the winning squad with 20 points, and Carlos Brown pitched in 15 of his own. Oregon and Colorado split their season series, but the Ducks’ defeat came on a fluke one-point loss in early February. All things considered, Oregon is probably the Pac-12’s most legitimate team (and on the bubble), so it’s hard to see them falling in this one. Oregon is listed at -3.5 to win Thursday’s showdown.
(All odds via Bovada)