Nick Bartlett’s Pac-12 Prophecies for the NCAA Tournament

Posted on March 16, 2021


  By Nick Bartlett, SportsPac12

Hey, if you listen to my weekly podcast—better known as The Nick Bartlett Show—you know I tend to say what I think, and I don’t waste a lot of time worrying about what other people think about my takes.

These “prophecies” and my takes on how I think the Pac-12 men’s teams will do in the NCAA Tournament are just that. So, if you agree, disagree, or just think I’m clueless, that’s fine with me.

Either way, you’re still my friend, and I’m happy to have a conversation with you about my basketball opinions—or anything else. (Have you ever noticed how relaxing it is to eat breakfast by an open window when it rains?)

Hit me up on Twitter @WordsByBartlett and @SportsPac12.


USC

Prophecy: Round of 32

usc logoThe Trojans are an extremely talented team that hasn’t quite found their squad identity this season.

Sure, they have one of the tallest rosters in the country, but that doesn’t help when the offense is completely out of rhythm. Unless the Trojans drastically change their offensive game plan and give Evan Mobley more touches in the post, this team will not make it past the first weekend.

In the opening contest, I think they scratch out a win against either Drake or Wichita State due to an overwhelming athletic disparity. However, in the Second Round, they will likely face Kansas who’ll handle them comfortably.

Hell, even if Eastern Washington upsets KU, the Eagles have a chance to knock off USC because well… EWU actually plays team basketball.


Oregon

Prophecy: Sweet 16

The Ducks are the Pac-12’s best chance of making the Final Four this season, but unfortunately, I haven’t drank enough Modelos (with lime) today to make that bold prediction.

With that being stated, I do think it is possible they make a deep run. The loss to the Beavers was the best thing that could’ve happened to Oregon prior to the NCAA’s. Morpheus has been awakened.

The combination of Chris Duarte, Eugene Omoruyi, and LJ Figueroa is a lethal trio who’ll smash any mid-major in their path. Keeping this in mind, UO will cruise to victory in the opener against VCU, setting up a probable matchup against Iowa.

The Hawkeyes may be a top 10 team, but Duarte is the best player on the floor in this contest. Yes, better than Luka Garza, which is why I believe the Ducks will squeak out a victory, propelling them to the sweet 16.

Unfortunately for UO, they’ll probably see the Jayhawks, who’ll end their season. I actually picked Oregon to win this contest initially, but I did my best to put aside my probable Pac-12 bias and rock-chalked KU into the elite eight.

Either way DO NOT SLEEP ON OREGON!!! This team could make the final four.


UCLA

Prophecy: Round of 68

Much like Oregon, UCLA’s loss to the Beavers was probably the best thing that could’ve happened to the Bruins. Unlike the Ducks, however, UCLA lacks star power, and drew an extremely tough First Round matchup against Michigan State.

I literally thought that the Bruins were going to be a lock to at least win one game, but Tom Izzo is no joke. While UCLA plays an excellent brand of team basketball, Izzo will likely be able to scheme against a squad that doesn’t have a star player.

Michigan State has already played formidable foes such as Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, and Illinois this year, all of which probably have more complete rosters than the Bruins (considering the Chris Smith injury).

The good news for UCLA is that, if they can escape the Izzo’s, they will likely be able to knock off BYU in the next matchup.

Mick Cronin is a fantastic coach, but this is asking too much.


Colorado

Prophecy: Round of 32

So if UCLA was Oregon, and Oregon was Colorado, and Colorado was John Elway. OK, where am I going with this?

Opposite of UCLA, I was going to pick the Buffs to lose in the First Round until they got the extremely lucky draw of Georgetown. The Hoyas essentially pulled out an Oregon State-like run in the Big East Tournament, which is the only reason why they’re in the Big Dance.

The Buffs really disappointed me by losing to OSU in the Pac-12 title game. They don’t get the same pass as UCLA and Oregon because they were playing for a CHAMPIONSHIP and they still couldn’t get it done.

McKinley Wright is phenomenal, and I’d expect him to dominate the opener against GU, leading Colorado to a comfortably close victory.

In the 2nd round, Florida State is going to MalleyWap the Buffs, unless Jeriah Horne drops like 20 points. Ehh, screw that. Even if he does, FSU will win going away.


Oregon State

Prophecy:Dare to dream

OOOOOOOOOOOOO SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!

Look, they’re probably gonna lose the opener, and lose by a lot, but hey anything’s possible, right?

Go Beavs!




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