Submitted by Wayne Allyn Root on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 4:14 PM
Wayne Root: Biggest Week Yet in Pac 12 Basketball!
The Pac 12 begins what is shaping up as its most important weekly schedule of the whole season Wednesday night when surprising contender visits respected Utah. It ends Saturday with the rematch of USC and Arizona, two of the three best teams in the league.
In between...Oregon (the other power) has two tough road games in Northern California...Washington has to deal with Colorado at altitude...and UCLA tries to climb back into the race with a statement upset at Arizona. Here's a quick look at the highlights, with current Pac 12 records in parenthesis...
Pac 12 Schedule This Week
Wednesday: Washington (7-4) at Utah (6-5) on ESPN2
Thursday: Oregon (9-2) at California (5-5) on ESPN2
Friday: UCLA (4-6) at Arizona (7-4) on ESPN
Saturday: Washington at Colorado (6-5) on Pac 12 Network
Saturday: Oregon at Stanford (4-6) on Pac 12 Network
Sunday: USC (7-3) at Arizona on Fox Sports 1
It's great that there are so many good teams in the Pac 12 this season. But, there's going to be a lot of debate about how many teams really deserve to get into the NCAA Tournament next month. ESPN and the mainstream media are a lot higher on the league than the respected computers are. If everybody keeps beating each other up...how will anyone know who really deserves a bid and who doesn't?
Oregon is projected to be a #4 seed
Arizona is projected to be a #5 seed
USC is projected to be a #5 seed
Utah is projected to be a #8 seed
California is projected to be a #9 seed
Colorado is projected to be a #10 seed
UCLA is projected to be a #11 seed
Washington is projected to be a #12 seed
UCLA is just out, on the wrong side of the bubble
Joe Lunardi's updates go up every Monday...so those are from a couple of days ago. Hey...that makes the matchups more exciting, doesn't it?! Let's re-run the schedule, this time with the seedings...
Pac 12 Schedule This Week (with current Bracketology seedings)
Wednesday: Washington (#12) at Utah (#8) on ESPN2
Thursday: Oregon (#4) at California (#9) on ESPN2
Friday: UCLA (bubble) at Arizona (#5) on ESPN
Saturday: Washington (#12) at Colorado (#10) on Pac 12 Network
Saturday: Oregon (#4) at Stanford (out) on Pac 12 Network
Sunday: USC (#5) at Arizona (#5) on Fox Sports 1
Now we see the drama. Washington has no margin for error over a brutal weekend. Oregon's top spot is precarious, while USC and Arizona are knocking on the door. UCLA is on the wrong side of the bubble with a chance to atone. And, this is all happening within a complex structure where the whole league may be overrated! Would Colorado be in the discussion without a strong home court? Is this just a 3-team league with a bunch of pretenders?
I personally would like to see USC make a deep run as reward for their recent resurgence. It's tough to win in the shadow of UCLA. USC just swept the Bruins, and have a chance to sweep Arizona if they can score a road upset Sunday. But, I can't say that watching Pac 12 basketball this year has particularly impressed me. There are flashes of greatness. Any league can say that. If WAYNE ALLYN ROOT were seeding the brackets, I wouldn't have that many P12 teams in.
What about picking pointspread winners? Fun challenge! Normally I like picking motivated underdogs. But, a few of these teams are home-heavy in terms of their quality of play. Certainly a team like Colorado is best at home as a cheap favorite against a visitor not comfortable at altitude. Your best shot is to study results on a team-by-team basis and try to determine their character. I'll only bet on road dogs who have established they can get results as road dogs. I'll only bet on home dogs against iffy road favorites. You really need to pick your spots in the Pac 12 this season.
I'll be doing that through the weekend. We'll have to see where the game-day numbers come up (Utah opened at -8, and has been bet up to -11 in Wednesday's game vs. Washington. That tells you how little the market things of the Huskies Dance hopes!). It's likely I'll have at least one pick in the Pac 12 between now and Sunday night. But, there are great matchups all over the schedule and my clients only get the best!
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Thanks again to everyone who won with me in the Super Bowl on the Denver Broncos and Under. The Broncos were a PINNACLE play which was literally never in doubt. They had riding time the whole way...and Cam Newton was only getting more demoralized as the game went on. More PINNACLES are on the way as we ride down THE ROAD TO MARCH MADNESS.
I'm the only man in the handicapping industry with a star on the Walk of Fame. You just saw why in the Super Bowl. Let's keep the money rolling in through February and March. It's time for you to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!