Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament Stats And Facts

Mar 9, 2022, 6:10 PM
Pac-12 Tournament Logo...
The Pac-12 logo on the court the first round game of the men's Pac-12 Tournament between the Oregon State Beavers and the Utah Utes on March 11, 2020, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament is underway at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with all 12 teams receiving a clean slate to start the postseason.

It gives the lower seeds another opportunity to salvage their season, while the higher seeds are looking to lock up the Pac-12 Tournament title.

With the Runnin’ Utes as an 11-seed, they will look to make some noise in Las Vegas. Here are some stats and facts of the Pac-12 tournament since the conference expanded to 12 teams in 2011.

Pac-12 Tournament First Round Upsets

With any college basketball tournament, fans look for the upsets. It’s not just the NCAA Tournament, that also goes for conference tournaments.

In the 2021 tournament, only 11 teams participated. Arizona did not compete in the Pac-12 Tournament due to a self-imposed postseason ban. So the 5-seed/12-seed matchup was played nine times in the history of the Pac-12. The 12-seed has won the first round matchup just once and that was back in 2015 when USC knocked off Arizona State 67-64. USC lost to UCLA in the quarterfinals by 26 points.

The margin of victory in the matchup is 80 points.

The 11-seed has only beat the 6-seed twice in 10 tries. The first time was in 2020 when Washington State beat Colorado 82-68. We will never know how far the Cougars would go in the tournament because the coronavirus shut down the sports world the next day. The second time was last season when California beat Stanford 76-58. Cal would lose to 3-seed Colorado by three points in the quarterfinals.

In 10 matchups between the 6-11 seeds, the margin of victory is 42 points. Three of those games were decided by two points, including one game going to overtime.

In the 7-seed/10-seed matchup, half of them were upsets. The first one was in 2013 when Utah beat USC 69-66. The Runnin’ Utes knocked off 2-seed Cal 79-69 in OT before falling to 3-seed Oregon 64-45 in the semifinals. Back in 2015, Colorado defeated Oregon State 78-71. They fell to 2-seed Oregon 93-85 in the quarterfinals. The third time the upset happened in the Pac-12 Tournament was in 2018 when Oregon State beat Washington 69-66 in overtime. The Beavers lost to 2-seed USC 61-48 in the next round.

In 2020, Cal beat Stanford 63-51. They wouldn’t play a quarterfinal game with COVID-19 shutting down the rest of the tournament. The last time the 10-seed won in the first round clash in the Pac-12 Tournament was in 2021 when Utah beat Washington 98-95. Utah lost to 2-seed USC 91-85 in double overtime.

Finally, the 8-seed vs. 9-seed, even though it’s not much of an upset. Including 9-seed Stanford’s win over Arizona State in 2022, the 9-seed has won the first round matchup two times, both were in the first two Pac-12 Tournaments. The first one was in 2012 when Oregon State beat Washington State 69-64. OSU beat 1-seed Washington 86-84 in the quarterfinals before falling to 4-seed Arizona 72-61 in the semifinals. The other time was in 2013 when Arizona State beat Stanford 89-88 in overtime. ASU lost to 1-seed UCLA 80-75 in the quarterfinals.

Championship Game History

If you fill out a Pac-12 Tournament bracket, you might not want to put the No. 1-seed as the tournament champion. Since the conference expanded in 2011, the 1-seed has won the tournament title just three times. The 1-seed has reached the title game seven times.

The lowest seed to win the Pac-12 Tournament is a 6-seed when Colorado beat 4-seed Arizona 53-51 in 2012 and in 2019 when Oregon knocked off 1-seed Washington 68-48. Oregon has reached the final five times and Arizona made an appearance in the championship game four times.

Since the 2012 Pac-12 Tournament, only Stanford, California, Washington State and Arizona State have not reached the championship game.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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