College Basketball Conference Tournament Betting Preview - Pac 12 and Mountain West
The countdown to the NCAA Tournament is less than two weeks away. The top teams are preparing for March Madness, and the small conference tournaments are in full swing this week as the most intense and exciting time of the college basketball season has arrived. Conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament produce the most live bet games of the season with wall-to-wall media coverage and memorable moments.
The week before the NCAA Tournament and Selection Sunday on March 12, big conference basketball tournaments tipoff. We'll shoot for covering 8-9 conference tournaments in the days ahead with odds, selective stats and information you can bet on to assist you when wagering at your online sportsbooks. And know that despite all the regulated sportsbooks across the U.S. in nearly 30 states, there are still benefits to wagering offshore.
In Joe Lunardi's Bracketology for ESPN, these conferences will have multiple bids to the 2023 NCAA Tournament. We'll be covering these conferences in the days ahead of major conference tournament action.
Big Ten (9)
Big 12 (7)
Big East (5)
Pac 12 (4)
Mountain West (3)
West Coast (2)
The West Coast Conference tipped off Thursday in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena, and I provided conference tournament odds for most the smaller conference tournaments this week in my college basketball tournament coverage for Forbes. Gonzaga and St. Mary's out of the West Coast Conference will both be playing in the NCAA Tournament, and are the only two teams this week in the smaller college basketball conferences to have a team ranked in the AP Top 25.
There are some key conference games to end the regular season this weekend, including Arizona at UCLA.
2023 NCAA Conference Tournament schedules brackets, scores and automatic bids
Pac 12 and Mountain West
Starting out West and in Las Vegas, the Pac 12 and Mountain West basketball tournaments should bring plenty of fans to the sports and entertainment capital. And for the first time ever, Las Vegas will host an NCAA Tournament game with the West Region in Las Vegas for Sweet Sixteen and a Elite Eight games March 23 and 25. For those not familiar, I live just a few miles from the Las Vegas Strip, Orleans and T-Mobile Arena and Allegiant Stadium in the heart of all the action in Las Vegas.
I broke down the college basketball top defensive teams a few weeks ago, and UCLA ranks best in the Pac-12, and Boise State best in the Mountain West in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency. San Diego State is a close second in the Mountain West.
Pac 12 Tournament - T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
First round: March 8
Quarterfinals: March 19
Semifinals: March 10
Championship: March 11 at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN
The seedings are not yet finalized, and the odds not yet posted. We'll add those as available.
The Pac 12 regular season champion UCLA Bruins will be a No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament. Arizona has the tie-breaker over USC for the No. 2 seed having beaten the USC Trojans a second time on March 2. Arizona State and Oregon will be 4 and 5 seeds, and the odds will reflect those top teams as they become available.
The UCLA Bruins are positioned to potentially be a No. 1 seed in the West Region with a Pac 12 tournament title and some help, but UCLA is currently projected as the No. 2 seed in the West Region, which I plan on attending as media March 23 and 25 in Las Vegas for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight. Arizona, USC and Arizona State (last 4 in) are projected to make the NCAA Tournament.
Pac 12 Tournament Odds to Win (BetOnline)
- UCLA (+105)
- Arizona (+210)
- USC (+725)
- Oregon, Washington State (+1000)
- Arizona State (+1800)
- Utah (+2500)
- Colorado (+4000)
- Stanford (+6600)
- Washington (+10000)
- Oregon State (+30000)
- California (+50000)
Top teams stats (Pac 12 stats only)
KenPom Adjusted Offense - Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Stanford, USC
Scoring Offense - Arizona (77.3 PPG), USC (72.4), Oregon (70.5), Stanford (70.3), UCLA (69.4), ASU (68.9)
FG% Offense - USC (45.9%), Stanford (45.6), Oregon (45.5), Arizona (45.4), UCLA (43.9), ASU (42.1)
3-pt% Offense - Stanford (37.7%), Arizona (35.2), WSU (35.1), USC (34.5), UCLA (34.0)
Rebound margin (all games) - Arizona (7+), Oregon (4+), Utah (4+), UCLA (3+), Stanford (3+)
KenPom Adjusted Defense - UCLA, Colorado, ASU, Utah, USC, Arizona
Scoring Defense - UCLA (58.6 PPG), Utah (64.5), Colorado (64.7), WSU (65.1), USC (65.8)
FG% Defense - USC (39.0%), UCLA (40.3), ASU (41.0), Washington (41.3), Arizona (41.5), Utah (41.5)
3-pt% Defense - Colorado (30.2%), Utah (30.5), Washington (30.7), UCLA (30.8)
Mountain West Tournament - Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas
First round: March 8
Quarterfinals: March 9
Semifinals: March 10
Championship: March 11 at 6 p.m. on CBS
Top seeds - San Diego State (1), Boise State (2), Utah State (3), Nevada (4). On the Bubble for the NCAA Tournament according to current Bracketology are Nevada (in), Boise State (last 4 in) and Utah State (next 4 out)
Mountain West Tournament Odds to Win
- San Diego State (+150)
- Boise State, Utah State (+375)
- Nevada (+600)
- New Mexico (+750)
- UNLV (+1600)
- San Jose State (+3300)
- Colorado State (+6000)
- Fresno State, Wyoming (+15000)
- Air Force (+25000)
Top team stats (Mtn West stats only)
KenPom Adjusted Offense - Utah State, New Mexico, San Diego State, Nevada, Colorado State
Scoring Offense - New Mexico (78.6 PPG), Utah State (74.1), Boise (73.2), Nevada (72.4), SDSU (71.5), UNLV (71.5)
FG% Offense - New Mexico (48.1%), Colorado State (47.9), Boise State (47.0), Utah State (47.0), Nevada (46.2)
3-pt% Offense - New Mexico (39.3%), SDSU (37.9), Utah State (37.3), Boise State (37.2),
Rebounding Margin - San Jose State (+6.9), SDSU (+5.4), Utah State (+3.8), Boise State (+2.0)
KenPom Adjusted Defense - Boise State, San Diego State, Nevada, UNLV
Scoring Defense - SDSU (64.5), Boise State (64.5), Fresno State (67.7), Nevada (69.9), San Jose State (68.8)
FG% Defense - SDSU (42.8%), Boise State (43.2), Utah State (43.3), Nevada (44.7), San Jose State (44.7)
3-pt% Defense - SDSU (29.2%), Boise State (32.0), Air Force (32.5), New Mexico (32.7)
Check back for more updates, odds and information you can bet on as college basketball major conference tournament action tips off.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and insightful analyst. He chips college basketball and additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Read more great insights from FairwayJay and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay