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The Daily Wildcat

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Staff Picks: Arizona’s chances in the Pac-12 Tournament

Men’s Basketball

Winner:

UCLA

Conference tournaments are so much about who’s hot at the right time, and few teams have more momentum than the Bruins right now. Despite their off-the-court issues, the Bruins are winners of three of their last four games. UCLA has the all the ingredients needed to make a run and steal the conference tournament.

Arizona’s finish:

Out in the first

If the Wildcats were playing anyone but the Bruins, I think they could make a run at the championship. But UCLA gives Arizona serious problems on both ends of the floor and I expect the Wildcats to fall in a close one to the eventual Pac-12 Tournament champions.

Tournament MVP:

Lazeric Jones, UCLA

UCLA’s leading scorer will have a tough time with Kyle Fogg, who limited Jones to two points on 1-of-12 shooting in their last meeting, but he’s coming in averaging 19.0 per game in his last two contests. He’s scored 18 or more in three of his last four and will most likely be the most productive Bruin, which should earn him the hardware.

– Mike Schmitz

Winner:

Washington

The Washington Huskies are so stacked in nearly every category that it will be a tall order for a team to knock them out of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament. The Huskies come up big in big games, and that’s why they’ll have the tournament title to go along with the regular season Pac-12 title.

Arizona’s finish:

Loses in semifinals

The Wildcats have a tough task to make it through the first game in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament, let alone to get to the Big Dance. They’ll slip by UCLA in a game that goes down to the last possession, but Washington will be too much for Arizona’s seven-man rotation to overcome.

Tournament MVP:

Tony Wroten, Washington

When the Huskies win it all, they’ll have Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Tony Wroten to thank. The freshman is leading the Huskies in scoring and will be instrumental for Washington during his first trip conference tournament. He has the ability to change the game and will do just that for the Huskies’ NCAA Tournament hopes, too.

– Nicole Dimtsios

Women’s Basketball

Winner:

Stanford

The Cardinal are 28-1 and a perfect 18-0 in conference play this season, and I don’t see any reason for that to change. Senior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike was just named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year for the second time in three years and leads the conference in scoring with 21.6 points per game.

Arizona’s finish:

Out in the first

After failing to gain the momentum they so desperately sought at the end of the season, the Wildcats’ game against UCLA will be a tough one. If by some miracle Arizona can get past UCLA in the first round, the season will almost certainly end in the second round when Arizona has to play Stanford.

Tournament MVP:

Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Stanford

The aforementioned Ogwumike has been tearing up the Pac-12 Conference all season long, and there’s no reason for her to stop now. Stanford is a step above the rest of the teams in this conference, and Ogwumike will prove that until she wins MVP after cutting down the nets and hoisting the Pac-12 championship trophy.

– Cameron Moon

Winner:

Stanford

As T-Pain would say, all they do is win. Literally. The Cardinal is 17-0 in the Pac-12, 27-1 overall and is ranked No. 2 in the country. Stanford is ranked fifth in the nation in scoring, ninth in assists, eighth in field goal percentage, sixth in rebounding margin, fourth in scoring margin and sixth in turnovers. Enough said.

Arizona’s finish:

Out in the first

The UA’s first opponent, UCLA, is one of just three teams the Wildcats beat in Pac-12 play this season. If the Wildcats can beat the Bruins again, which I don’t think they will, then they would have to face Stanford in the second round. Translation: Arizona will win a maximum of one game, which still likely won’t happen.

Tournament MVP:

Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Stanford

Nnemkadi and her sister Chiney form one of the nation’s most potent low-post duos. Nnemkadi is the more talented and accomplished of the two, however, as evidenced by her winning the media’s Pac-12 Player of the Year award, coupled with a conference-leading 21.6 points per game.

– Zack Rosenblatt

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