Which Pac-12 team is the best bet in the Final Four? Odds, Sweet trends for 16 and up
The Pac-12 was created as a surprise for the first weekend of the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament by putting four teams in the Sweet 16 team.
Will that story be forgotten by the end of the second weekend? That is in doubt for a conference that has been trying to win its first national championship since 1997.
Pac-12 is the only team in the Elite Eight certified. USC No. 6 and Oregon No. 7 will meet in the East Region semifinals on Sunday. During the day, a couple of double-digit seeds remain on the field. Oregon State No. 12 joins Loyola-Chicago No. 8 on Saturday in the Midwest Region semifinals, and UCLA No. 11 has Alabama No. 2 in the Western Region semifinals on Sunday.
Will that lead to progress to the Quarterfinals? Sporting News analyzes the trends in the Pac-12 tournament and favors each team that remains in the tournament:
In the movie Pac-12 Sweet 16
The Pac-12 has four teams in Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001. Arizona lost the national championship that season.
Since 1990, the conference has placed four teams in the Sweet 16 team four times. That happened on the back in 1997, when the Wildcats won the national championship and again in 1998.
Success was drastically reduced in the 2010s. The Pac-12 had a decline in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight teams, and Oregon was the only team to make it to the 2017 Final Four race.
|Decade||16. SWEET||ELITE 8||FOUR END||RUNNER UP||TITLE|
In the 2018 and 2019 championships, Oregon was the only team to make the Sweet 16 race. Pac-12 is 20-31 in the Sweet 16 matches since 1990, and 9-11 in the Elite Eight matches in the same stretch. UCLA and Arizona have combined seven of those Final Four appearances. Stanford and Oregon have one.
Pac-12 in 2021
The four Pac-12 teams in this year’s tournament averaged 75 points or more in the Great Dance game. Oregon (95.0) drove with the best offensive outing of the weekend. USC (78.5), UCLA (75.3) and Oregon State (75.0) were also the first high-scoring weekend teams.
Of those four teams, Oregon State was the only team that didn’t shoot at least 45 percent from the field. Beavers failed at 44.9 percent. Ducks (55.9 percent) and Trojans (53.5 percent) were hot, and the Bruins had 47 percent in three games.
If that hot shot continues in the second round, Pac-12 schools will have a chance to advance to the Final Four.
Pac-12 Final Four probability
Here’s a look at each Pac-12 Final Four options, via Fanduel.com:
USC has Evan Mobley as the best player of the four teams in the 7-yard center, averaging 13.5 points and 12 rebounds in the first two games. The Trojans beat the Ducks 72-58 on Feb. 22, but the line is a 1-point draw at the moment. The Trojans haven’t played against Gonzaga since 1992 and haven’t been to the Quarterfinals since 1954, a lot of history has to be overcome, but it could be the best shot that Andy Enfield’s talent has put together. It remains the best bet of the four teams.
The ducks are healthy, and that shows up in the attack. Oregon remains the most followed team in the Pac-12 tournament since 2016 with four Sweet 16 appearances. He may be better equipped to play with Gonzaga in Elite Eight. The team reunited in 2019, and the Bulldogs won 73-72. Oregon needs to get to the Elite Eight first, and that won’t be easy against USC. The Ducks have the best run of the four teams, with Dana Altman.
Guards Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez have averaged 40 points per game in the tournament, and the Bruins have an offense aimed at a guard that can challenge Alabama in Alabama Sweet 16, however, and they have a hard-to-match presence within the presence of Herb Jones. Even if UCLA is upset, it will have to do it again in a tough matchup against Florida State or Michigan. That’s asking a lot of the first four teams.
Oregon State (+1100)
The only teams with a longer chance of reaching the Final Four are Creighton (+1500) and Oral Roberts (+3000). The Beavers have the least amount of chalk in their region, however, and have won eight of their last nine games. This includes victories against USC, Oregon and UCLA. Oregon State is a much better free-kick team than Loyola, and that emerges if you squeeze in late. It is the best investment considering the potential return.