Cal Basketball: Pac-12 Picks -- Conference Tourney a Fresh Start for All

Cal tries to keep it going against a Colorado team with talent and momentum

The Pac-12 tournament begins Wednesday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the event gives everyone the chance to start anew.

Here at Cal Bears Maven, some of us are proud of our regular-season performance.

Will regular-season champ Washington regain its mojo after a poor recent showing?

Can preseason favorite Oregon fulfill that promise after winning its final four regular-season games?

Can Cal continue to blossom after transforming a 16-game losing skid into a three-game winning streak?

Can Jake make a dent in the seven-game lead I built during the regular season?

Last week: Jeff 8-2, Jake 7-3

Season: Jeff 77-30, Jake 70-37


No. 9 Arizona (17-14, 8-10) vs. No. 8 USC (15-16, 8-10), noon (Pac-12 Networks)

Jake: These teams only played once and USC won big. But the Trojans have played poorly lately and Kevin Porter Jr. (ankle) is questionable. Pick: Arizona

Jeff: Both of these teams have under-performed but I still like a squad with Bennie Boatwright and Nick Rakocevic over one whose coach appeared to be saying so long to the McKale faithful last weekend. Pick: USC

No. 12 Cal (8-22, 3-15) vs. No. 5 Colorado (19-11, 10-8), 2:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)

Jake: Both teams are playing much better than when the Buffaloes beat Cal by nine back in late January. The Bears will keep it close, but . . . Pick: Colorado

Jeff: It’s tempting to go with a Cal team that will have virtually no pressure in this one. But Colorado also is hot . . . and has been for much longer. Buffs have won three in a row and eight of 10 and they have a pair of prime-time players in first-team All-Pac-12 picks McKinley Wright IV and Tyler Bey. Pick: Colorado

No. 10 Stanford (15-15, 8-10) vs. No. 7 UCLA (16-15, 9-9), 6 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)

Jake: These teams split during the regular season, but Stanford’s Daejon Davis did not play in the Cardinal loss. Davis (foot) is questionable for Wednesday, but we’re betting he’ll play. Pick: Stanford

Jeff: This game . . . ugh. If we knew Daejon Davis would be heathy, I’d go with Stanford. When the Cardinal routed the Bruins 104-80 back on Feb. 16, Davis had 12 points and 11 assists. Stanford has won once in five games since. Pick: UCLA

No. 11 Washington State (11-20, 4-14) vs. No. 6 Oregon (19-12, 10-8), 8:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)

Jake: Oregon is the hottest team in the conference with four straight wins. The Cougars have lost five in a row. The Ducks may be the tournament favorite. Pick: Oregon

Jeff: The Ducks have won four in a row and beaten WSU twice this season by a combined margin of 31 points. The Cougars have dropped five in a row and that soon will be six. Pick: Oregon