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Pac-12 Tournament predictions

Who will take home the trophy?

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament Arizona State vs Oregon Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 Tournament begins on Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and runs through Saturday.

Will the Arizona Wildcats repeat as tournament champions? Or will someone else take home the trophy this year?

Here are our predictions, be sure to leave yours in the comment section below. The bracket can be found below, as well.

Ryan Kelapire — Arizona over Utah, 81-73

Ken Pomeroy called the Pac-12 Tournament the “most wide open of all” and I agree, because I won’t be shocked no matter who wins it (aside from Cal and Washington State) since anything can happen on a neutral court in a one-game sample.

But I also think Arizona is the best team in the conference by a pretty wide margin, so I am picking the Wildcats to win the Pac-12 Tournament against a hot Utah team that has won six of its last seven games heading into the postseason.

How confident am I with this pick? Not very. I wouldn’t be surprised if Arizona loses to ASU or Colorado on Thursday, to be honest.

Christopher Boan — Oregon over Arizona, 78-76

I really want to pick the Wildcats to win it all for the second year in a row, but I just can’t see their enigmatic defense stringing together three excellent games in as many days.

The Ducks, despite their obvious flaws this season (such as their lack of size), are rolling right now, and always give Arizona fits.

I expect Arizona to roll past CU or ASU, then do just enough to survive a semifinal clash with UCLA, but not have enough defensive consistency to keep Oregon from burying them from deep.

I’m interested in seeing how the three-point contest between Payton Pritchard and Allonzo Trier will play out, with Pritchard shooting 41.9% from three, while Trier shoots 40.4% from deep.

I expect the two to exchange blows all night long, with Pritchard (or Elijah Brown) saving the day for Oregon in the game’s waning seconds.

Matt Sheeley — Arizona over Utah, 81-76

The Wildcats will fend off rivals Arizona State and UCLA on back-to-back days to make their way to the Pac-12 Championship Game against a Utah team making a last ditch effort toward a spot in the NCAA Tournament with wins over Oregon and Washington on Thursday and Friday.

In the final, I think Utah will run out of options against Arizona’s big men. In their two meetings this season, Arizona outrebounded Utah by a combined 30 boards. Deandre Ayton averaged 19.5 points and 11 rebounds while Dusan Ristic hung 17 points and eight boards. Expect more of the same on Saturday if these two teams do in fact meet with a Pac-12 title on the line.

Jason Bartel — UCLA over USC, 85-82

Here’s the thing about college basketball this year: it’s been totally unpredictable.

Therefore, I’m not taking one-seed Arizona to win it all in Vegas for the second straight year. I don’t even think Sean Miller will take out Steve Alford for a second straight year. I’ll even go as far as saying that Alford might actually take a last second timeout just for fun.

UCLA and USC will secure their spots in the NCAA Tournament with this weekend’s performances, and it will keep ASU out of the Big Dance. I do think there will be some interesting results since the Pac-12 is a large cluster of garbage this year, but we’ll get some decent games on Friday and Saturday.

I also predict several visits to PBR Rockbar.

Alec Sills-Trausch — Arizona over Washington, 75-64

The redemption tour begins. Honestly, trying to predict basketball games this season is ridiculous so why not go out on a limb and say the Huskies get hot and beat USC and Utah. Regardless, I think Arizona is in a place where they feel relief but also have their backs against the wall and feel like everyone is out to get them. I expect them to use that to play fast (well as fast as Miller will allow them) and hard.

Also, if you see Jason at PBR Rockbar, please make him ride the bull and get a video. I’ll put it on my social media if you send it to me.