Dylan Andrews, UCLA Bruins, Kerr Kriisa, Arizona Wildcats, Pac-12 Tournament Preview

CBB Review prepares you for every conference tournament leading up to Selection Sunday. Up next: The Pac-12 Tournament.


The Pac-12 had a down year, but they will have a chance to put anywhere from 2-5 bids into the tourney. UCLA ran away with the regular season title, winning by 4 games. They will be the heavy favorites heading into the Pac-12 Tournament, but Arizona, USC, Oregon, and Arizona State will be there to put up a fight.

2023 Pac-12 Awards

Player of the Year: Jaime Jaquez, UCLA

Freshman of the Year: Adem Bona, UCLA

Transfer of the Year: Keion Brooks, Washington

Coach of the Year: Mick Cronin, UCLA

First Team:

  • G: Boogie Ellis, USC (18.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.4 SPG, 39.1 3P%)
  • G: Jaylen Clark, UCLA (13.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, 2.6 SPG)
  • F: Jaime Jaquez, UCLA (17.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.5 SPG)
  • F: Mouhamed Gueye, Washington State (14.5 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.8 APG)
  • F: Azuolas Tubelis, Arizona (19.9 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 57.7 FG%)

Second Team:

  • G: Tyger Campbell, UCLA (12.9 PPG, 4.7 APG, 2.5 RPG, 1.2 SPG)
  • G: Desmond Cambridge, Arizona State (13.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.7 SPG)
  • F: Keion Brooks, Washington (17.8 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.3 BPG)
  • F: Drew Peterson, USC (14.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.1 SPG)
  • C: Branden Carlson, Utah (15.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.5 APG, 2.1 BPG)

Pac-12 Tournament Simulation

*NOTE* All times listed in Eastern time

First Round – Wednesday, Mar. 8

8. Washington (16-15, 8-12) vs. 9. Colorado (16-15, 8-12) – 3 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

These two teams are pretty similar in design, and they even had the same record in the season. Both offenses struggle but have solid defenses. This could be a pretty low-scoring game. I think Colorado is marginally better on both ends of the floor, however, and Tristan da Silva will do enough to get Colorado through.

Joe’s pick: 9. Colorado

5. Washington State (16-15, 11-9) vs. 12. California (3-28, 2-18) – 5:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

Washington State rode a five-game winning streak to close the Pac-12 season, putting them above 500 in conference play. They have had a lot of close games this year, but this will not be one of them as California has been one of the worst power conference teams all season.

Joe’s pick: 5. Washington State

7. Utah (17-14, 10-10) vs. 10. Stanford (13-18, 7-13) – 9 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

Stanford had one of the more disappointing seasons in the Pac-12, but they picked up 2 important wins at the end of the season to get some momentum. Utah started out strong but fell off toward the end. They split their matchups in the season. Utah may be the better team, but I think that Harrison Ingram will be the best player on the floor and show why he is.

Joe’s pick: 10. Stanford

6. Arizona State (20-11, 11-9) vs. 11. Oregon State (11-20, 5-15) – 11:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

Arizona State is right on the bubble, and this is a must-win game for them to keep their post season hopes alive. They flirted with being toward the top tier all season long but had their ups and downs. They will need to rely on their guard play to advance far in the tourney, and that should be no issue as Oregon State has struggled on the perimeter.

Joe’s pick: 6. Arizona State

Quarterfinals – Thursday, Mar. 9

1. UCLA (27-4, 18-2) vs. 9. Colorado – 3 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

UCLA has not only been the far and away best team in the Pac-12, but they have also been one of the best teams in the entire country. They will be playing for a 1 seed in the tourney, and that starts with a win over Colorado. UCLA won both of the in-season matchups, and they should be able to pick up their third win here.

Joe’s pick: 1. UCLA

4. Oregon (16-15, 11-9) vs. 5. Washington State – 5:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

Both of these teams came into the Pac-12 tournament on winning streaks, playing some of their better basketball of the season. This will be a super close game, and it will be a battle of a lot of height. Both teams don’t start anyone shorter than 6’4, and both are headlined by elite big men. Mouhamed Gueye has really impressed me this season, and I think he will be the one that gets Washington State another win.

Joe’s pick: 5. Washington State

2. Arizona (25-6, 14-6) vs. 10. Stanford – 9 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

Arizona ended up with 6 Pac-12 losses, and they completely took themselves out of the running for the regular season Pac-12 title. They have one of the best offenses in the country, but it has been streaky at times, and the defense is not quite there to pick them up. However, they are far more talented than Stanford and this should be another game that is not close.

Joe’s pick: 2. Arizona

3. USC (22-9, 14-6) vs. 6. Arizona State – 11:30 p.m. on ESPN

This game would have huge bubble implications, and there is a chance that it could be the winner gets into the postseason and the loser goes to the NIT. Arizona State just lost by 3 at USC, and they also lost at home earlier in the year. Aside from a game or two, Arizona State has lost the games they were supposed to and won the ones they were supposed to as well. USC has the best guard in the game in Boogie Ellis, and he will be able to score a bunch to carry USC.

Joe’s pick: 3. USC

Semifinals – Friday, Mar. 9

1. UCLA vs. 5. Washington State – 9 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

UCLA routed Washington State by 24 in the second matchup of the season, but only won by one in the first matchup. UCLA is on a double digit winning streak. Jaime Jaquez put up 20+ points in both of their matchups, and I do not think Washington State will find an answer here. The best player in the conference gets the best team in the conference into the championship.

Joe’s pick: 1. UCLA

2. Arizona vs. 3. USC – 11:30 p.m. on ESPN

At this point, USC would have basically clinched an NCAA tourney birth. Arizona I think is really going to have a chip on their shoulder from their regular season performance, and if their shots are falling, they can beat anyone in the country. That is the beauty of March. If someone gets hot, they can really dominate a stretch. That is what Tubelis can do.

Joe’s pick: 2. Arizona

Championship – Saturday, Mar. 10

1. UCLA vs. 2. Arizona – 10:30 p.m. on ESPN

The rematch everyone would want in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game. These are clearly the two best teams in the conference, and they split the two matchups earlier in the season with both teams winning the home games. This game could come down to the wire, and everything tells me UCLA is better, but I really think that Arizona just catches fire over a 3 game stretch. Kerr Kriisa hits a bunch of 3s with minimal turnovers, and Tubelis tries to outshine Jaquez who will have won Player of the Year.

Joe’s pick: 2. Arizona

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