March 15, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott addresses the media in a press conference before the semifinal round of the Pac 12 tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 Tournament Semifinals, The End is Near


If you read my Pac-12 Preview and Predictions article from a few days ago, you’ll notice that a lot of those predictions are indeed wrong. If didn’t read it and for some reason want to, you can still can here. #7 Oregon seemed to be the hot pick in the Pac-12 Tournament and well, they got shown up by #2 UCLA. #3 Arizona State just isn’t familiar with winning in any tournaments and found a way to embarrass themselves against Stanford, losing by 21. And in a game thought be a toss up, #5 Colorado pulled away from #4 California in the final minute, despite leading for most of the game.

So now we’re in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament, where we have #5 Colorado and #1 Arizona set to face off. Arizona dominated #8 Utah all game long, holding them to just 25% from the field and allowing 13 points in the first half, which lead to an easy victory. And as mentioned above, if we follow the seed order, Colorado pulled off the upset. Arizona’s last two game against Colorado looked very similar to their latest win over Utah. In Tucson, the Cats held a 15 point lead at the half over the Buffs and didn’t let up. And now, it’s seems fitting to poke fun at our favorite Colorado forward, Xavier Johnson. According to Johnson, the Buffs would blow out the Cats in Boulder, at least 20 points and I guess it was warranted after he score more than 1/3 of Colorado’s points when they played in Tucson. When the Cats took a business trip to Boulder, Xavier Johnson was half right. It was a blow out and it was a 20+ point win, 27 to be exact. However it was in favor of the Cats, where Xavier Johnson finished 1-10, scoring just 5 points. So this time, maybe Xavier Johnson will show up, allowing the Buffs to inch closer to a single digit loss. Colorado will surely want to redeem themselves and avoid losing three times to Arizona, as beating a team three times is pretty difficult, unless it’s Utah. So we’ll see if Arizona can complete their second 3-game sweep of the season.

On the other side of the bracket, #2 UCLA will take on #6 Stanford. UCLA pretty much took control of the second half against Oregon and didn’t look back, and the same could be said about Stanford against Arizona State. Stanford matches up really well against Arizona State, and has always given them trouble in recent years. Not to discredit the win, but Stanford might have wanted Arizona State simply due to the matchup advantage. Yes, UCLA split the series with Stanford this season and yes, UCLA has some embarrassing Pac-12 losses, but UCLA should be expected to come away with it. It’s hard to gauge the blowout wins UCLA and Stanford pulled off but the win over Oregon, and a much better Pac-12 record puts UCLA ahead ever so slightly. But don’t be surprised if Stanford upsets UCLA as they are fighting for a bid in the NCAA Tournament.

This would lead to a Pac-12 Tournament Championship Game that pits the top two seeds, UCLA and Arizona. We won’t discuss what happened the last time these two teams faced off. But he did touch the ball.

Tags: Arizona Wildcats Colorado Buffaloes Stanford Cardinal UCLA Bruins