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Image for Andrew Norton Andrew Norton - Updated January 26, 2023

NCAA Pac-12 Tournament Predictions, Betting Odds & Favorites to Win 2023

  • Once again, the Pac-12 Tournament will be held in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena. 
  • The Arizona Wildcats are the reigning Pac-12 Tournament Champions.
  • The 2023 Pac-12 Tournament takes place between March 8th, 2023 and March 11th, 2023.

Arizona will hope to continue its Pac-12 Tournament dominance when March rolls around. The Wildcats are reigning champions and have won four of the past seven tournaments against solid competition that includes USC, UCLA, Oregon, and others. 

Per usual, the winner of this tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, so there will be plenty of motivation for all teams involved to grab a win, as only a few teams from this conference are projected to make March Madness.

Pac 12 Predictions

Favorites to Win the 2023 Pac-12 Tournament

Arizona Wildcats

As far as frontcourts go, the Arizona Wildcats have one of the best, if not the best, in the entire country. The combination of versatile 6-foot-11 forward Azuolas Tubelis and powerful 7-foot big man Oumar Ballo is lethal and nearly impossible to guard. Those two are highly efficient from the floor and out-rebound virtually every other team’s frontcourt by a significant margin. 

Further, the Wildcats have a solid combination of backcourt talent, led by Kerr Kriisa, Courtney Ramey, Pelle Larsson, and Cedric Henderson Jr. Henderson and Kriisa are capable three-point shooters, but Ramey is the consistent marksman that Arizona leans on for scoring from deep.

Unfortunately, Arizona can run into some issues if either of them gets into foul trouble, as only one other forward averages over five minutes per game. Few starting lineups boast the talent level that Arizona has, but bench depth is concerning enough to cause hesitation. Outside of Cedric Henderson Jr and Pelle Larsson, whichever doesn’t start for Arizona, it has very little bench impact. 

Arizona has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation before dropping an outlier game to the Utah Utes. The Wildcats struggled a bit in conference play in early January, but the Pac-12 is tough this season, and they still have ample talent to win the tournament.

UCLA Bruins

Despite losing Johnny Juzang to graduation, the UCLA Bruins have stayed relevant due to bringing in a strong recruiting class and returning several players from the Final Four team a few seasons ago, including Tyger Campbell, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Jaylen Clark, and David Singleton. Those four upperclassmen make up the heart of UCLA’s extremely experienced squad; you can bet this team knows how to win close games, especially when March rolls around.

The Bruins boast an elite defense due to their switchability, intensity, experience, and how well-coached they are with head coach Mick Cronin on the sideline. Cronin is one of the best coaches in college basketball, with a winning percentage of nearly 69%. Since beginning his tenure with the Bruins, he has been even better, winning 72% of his basketball games. If nothing else, his teams will play defense, which is a premium come March.

The biggest issue facing UCLA is its lack of size and frontcourt presence. While Adem Bona is an impressive 6-foot-10 freshman big man, he lacks the experience that the rest of the team has. Bona has put up solid numbers in his freshman campaign, but foul trouble often is a concern. When Bona is forced to sit due to foul trouble, Cronin turns to senior Kenneth Nwuba, who is much more of a glue guy than a legitimate threat in the frontcourt. 

If UCLA keeps Bona out of foul trouble and shoots well from the floor, there are few, if any, teams that can beat it. However, that can be a tough “ask,” especially when the Bruins go up against a team like Arizona that holds one of the premier frontcourts in the country.

USC Trojans

The Pac-12 is definitely a top-heavy conference this year; however, there is always the possibility that a team like USC gets hot late in the season and runs through the conference tournament. Much like UCLA, the Trojans are a guard-heavy team that leans quite a bit on their backcourt to produce scoring. 

The backcourt features two strong scorers, Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis, a dynamic duo of sorts. If they are hitting shots, then USC is likely rolling whoever it is playing. Peterson, in particular, is quite an interesting basketball player; he can score, rebound, and pass at a high level at 6-foot-9, a rarity at any level. Meanwhile, Boogie Ellis can flat out score the ball, and is the Trojans’ best threat from deep. 

The Trojans’ most glaring issue is their three-point shooting, which is somewhat atrocious. Besides Ellis and Peterson, USC does not have anyone else it can rely on to hit an outside shot, an absolute necessity in March. While USC does have the upside to rattle off a few wins in conference tournament play, shooting could ultimately be its undoing.

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When Will the 2023 Pac-12 Conference Tournament Be?

The 2023 Pac-12 Conference Tournament starts on Wednesday, March 8th, and ends on Saturday, March 11th, when the championship game will be played.

Where Will the 2023 Pac-12 Tournament Take Place?

Once again, the 2023 Pac-12 Tournament will be held in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena, the usual location.

Which Team Won the 2022 Pac-12 Tournament?

The Arizona Wildcats, led by eventual top-ten pick Benn Mathurin, won the 2022 Pac-12 Tournament. Arizona is again one of the favorites to win the conference tournament this season.

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Andrew Norton

48 Articles

Andrew has always been an avid sports fan and followed his hoop dreams all the way to college. He’s well-versed in everything betting with multiple years of experience and is qualitatively and quantitatively knowledgeable in sports statistics and analytics.

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