This week in Pac-12 men's basketball
MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA AWAITS... The Pac-12 descends upon Las Vegas this week for the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Thursday, March 11 - Saturday, March 14 ... ARIZONA, which captured its third Pac-12 regular season title in five years, enters the Tournament as the top seed ... The Wildcats and the No. 4 seed UCLA Bruins have each won a league-best four conference tournament crowns, while No. 2 seed OREGON and No. 11 seed WASHINGTON have won three each ... Five different schools have won the Pac-12 postseason title over the last six years ... Conference honors have been announced and Oregon’s Joseph Young was tabbed the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Arizona’s Stanley Johnson the Freshman of the Year, Oregon State’s Gary Payton II the Defensive Player of the Year, Washington State’s Josh Hawkinson the Most Improved Player of the Year, and Oregon’s Dana Altman the Coach of the Year. (Complete list of honors is on page 4)
ARIZONA won its third Pac-12 regular season title in five years, and its 14th overall. The Wildcats currently do not have a player ranked among the top 10 in the Pac-12 in scoring as freshman Stanley Johnson is ranked 13th (13.9 ppg). That’s rare for the outright champion not to have its leading scorer ranked among the league’s top 10. It’s occurred just three times In the previous 36 seasons (starting with the first Pac-10 season in 1978-79) - 2003 (Arizona), 1999 (Stanford) and 1991 (Arizona) ... While Stanford had no scorers among the top 10 in 2000, it did share the title with Arizona, which had three players among the top 10. Likewise in 1990 when Arizona and Oregon State shared the title. Arizona had no scorers among the top 10, but Oregon State did have one.
The Pac-12 currently has three teams allowing under 60 points per game - UTAH (56.6 ppg), OREGON STATE (58.5 ppg) and ARIZONA (58.9 ppg). Should that hold up through the end of the season, it would mark the first time in the shot clock era (started with the 1985-86 season) that three league teams held opponents under 60 points per game. That last time it occurred was during the 1983-84 season when Oregon State (55.8 ppg), Washington (58.7 ppg) and California (58.7 ppg) accomplished the feat.
UPCOMING PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Wednesday-Saturday, March 11-14, 2015
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
Wed., Mar. 11
Game 1 - No. 8 CALIFORNIA vs. No. 9 WASHINGTON STATE, 12:10 p.m. PT, P12N
Game 2 - No. 5 ARIZONA STATE vs. No. 12 USC, approx. 2:40 p.m. PT, P12N
Game 3 - No. 7 OREGON STATE vs. No. 10 COLORADO, 6:10 p.m. PT, P12N
Game 4 - No. 6 STANFORD vs. No. 11 WASHINGTON, approx. 8:40 p.m. PT, P12N
Thurs., Mar. 12
Game 5 - No. 8/9 vs. No. 1 ARIZONA, 12:10 p.m. PT, P12N
Game 6 - No. 5/12 vs. No. 4 UCLA, approx. 2:40 p.m. PT, P12N
Game 7 - No. 7/10 vs. No. 2 OREGON, 6:10 p.m. PT, P12N
Game 8 - No. 6/11 vs. No. 3 UTAH, approx. 8:40 p.m. PT, ESPN
Fri., Mar. 13
Semifinal 1, 6:10 p.m. PT, P12N
Semifinal 2, approx. 8:45 p.m. PT, ESPN
Sat., Mar. 14
Championship Game, 8:05 p.m. PT, ESPN