3 Reasons Why Oregon Is A Great Bet To Win The Pac-12 Tournament
The Ducks are a solid bet to cut down the nets
- It’s been a banner year for the Pac-12, as the league is poised to put as many as seven teams in the NCAA Tournament. With plenty of quality teams, including a few that may need to do a little bit of work to assure themselves of a spot in the Big Dance, the conference tournament should be one of the most intriguing in the country.
- If you’re looking for one team that stands out above the rest, look no further than the Oregon Ducks, who can secure the top seed in the Pac-12 Tournament with a win in their regular-season finale. In addition to likely being the top seed, here are three reasons why the Ducks are a good bet to earn the automatic birth out of the Pac-12. Oregon is the frontrunner to win the Pac-12 Tournament with +120 odds, per FanDuel.
- The Pac-12 is high on bubble teams but short on elite teams that can measure up to the No. 13 Ducks. Oregon has the best player in the conference in Payton Pritchard. In addition to Pritchard, the Ducks are full of talented guards who can measure up to any other backcourt in the Pac-12. Continue reading to get more insight.
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1. Parity Should Work In Their Favor
Even though Oregon earned the top seed in the conference tournament, they didn’t exactly run away with the regular-season title. The league had six teams to win between 10 and 13 conference games. That translates to a conference with a great deal of parity, which should play in Oregon’s favor. For starters, the Ducks will get a bye to the quarterfinals and theoretically have the easiest path to the Pac-12 Tournament finals. Given the parity inside the conference, we’re likely to see a few upsets in the early rounds, which could make Oregon’s path to the tournament title even easier. At the moment, the Ducks are the only team in the Pac-12 that’s ranked in the Top-25, and in a conference that’s full of parity, a team like that is likely to rise to the top in a tournament setting.
2. The Ducks Have The Best Player In The Conference
In any tournament, the team with the best player has a distinct advantage, and in the Pac-12 Tournament, the Ducks will have the best player in Payton Pritchard. He’s the only player in the conference who’s a semi-finalist for the Naismith Award, making him a good bet to win every game they play against other Pac-12 teams, especially on neutral ground. Pritchard is averaging 20.2 points per game, thanks largely to his 41.4% accuracy from the three-point line. He also sets up others when defenses focus too closely on him, averaging 5.6 assists per game. He pulls all of the strings for Oregon and there’s no other player in the Pac-12 who can score at a high clip while also making sure his teammates get involved. If he gets rolling, the Ducks will be very difficult to contain.
3. Their Guard Play Is Elite
In March, guard play usually wins games, and the Oregon backcourt is far more than just Pritchard. Even with Chris Duarte sitting out the Pac-12 Tournament due to injury, Will Richardson and Anthony Mathis are more than capable of scoring, as both are shooting better than 40% from the perimeter. Richardson is only averaging 10.9 points per game on the season but he has at least 13 points in eight of his last 10 games. Meanwhile, Mathis has made 11 of his 18 (61.1%) outside shots over his last three games, helping make up for Duarte’s absence.
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