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Pac-12 Tournament First Round preview for March 10th

We go over all the action at today’s Pac-12 Tournament, including game times, odds, and more.

Stanford Cardinals forward Brandon Angel shoots during the second half against the Southern California Trojans at Galen Center. Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights will cede their home for the week, as the Pac-12 returns to Sin City for the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament. The event kicks off with the first round Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET. live at T-Mobile Arena in The Park on the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard.

None of the top contenders will play on the first day of action, but there’s at least one key game with NCAA bubble implications. We’ll go over the games with the betting odds below.

No. 8 Arizona State vs. No. 9 Washington State: 4:00 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Point Spread: Arizona State -1
Point Total: 144

It’s been a disappointing year for the Sun Devils, who were a Top 25 team earlier this season, but with a win today are still likely cannon fodder for Oregon tomorrow. A loss to UTEP on December 16th preceded a COVID-19 pause followed by five-straight Pac-12 losses. These two teams just played in Pullman on February 27th, with ASU winning 77-74 in OT. But since, the Sun Devils lost to Utah 98-59 to cap the regular season. Sheesh.

Expect a bit more defensive effort from both teams following some rest today.

The pick: Under 144

No. 7 Utah vs. No. 10 Washington: 7:00 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Point Spread: Utah -7.5
Point Total: 143.5

The Utes dropped four in a row in February that sealed their presence on Wednesday, but finished strong with wins over USC and Arizona State at home sandwiching a loss to plucky Oregon State. Something you can say about Washington is they for sure played basketball this year. A 5-20 record included 4-16 in the Pac-12, and the Huskies allow opponents to rebound 35.1 of their misses, which is bottom 10 in Division I.

The pick: Utah -7.5

No. 6 Stanford vs. No. 11 Cal: 10:00 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Point Spread: Stanford -6
Point Total: 132

Let us stipulate that Cal is an abomination who has won once in their last 12 games. They play slow, can’t shoot (32.5% from three-point range), and can’t guard (opponents eFG is 53.8%). But they tend not to get blown out, even having lost to their rivals 70-55 at home and 76-70 on the road the first week in February.

But Stanford is like Dante in Clerks in that they’re not even supposed to be here today. Losing four straight Pac-12 games to close the season got them off the bubble and into Spring Break planning, and they got firebombed 79-42 by USC a week ago today. Pets.com stock is trending better than the Cardinal right now, and rivals win sometimes.

The pick: Cal +6

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