Oregon Ducks Dillon Brooks Named Erving Award Finalist

3 conference championship matchups that we really want to see this week

Cal was also second in Pac-12 games in rebounding (38.2). Fultz has operated mostly off the radar for a Washington team that's 2-16 in the league - and he is not expected to play in Wednesday night's Pac-12 Tournament opener because of a knee injury, meaning his college career is nearly certainly done.

In the final AP Top 25 ranking of the season, OR finds themselves entrenched in the No. 5 spot.

If Leaf is good to go on Thursday against the victor of Washington-USC, it is possible he will not be at 100%, but getting back into rhythm will be important and will help him as the Bruins try to win three games in a row to capture the Pac-12 Tournament Championship.

The Bruins dispatched the Huskies by an average of 36.5 points in their two meetings and enjoyed a 32-point romp over the Trojans last month.

Despite having only three losses for the year the Bruins finished third in the Pac-12 this year behind Arizona and OR because, all three losses were in conference play.

The next hypothetical on the table is whether the Pac-12 champion could join Gonzaga to give the West two No. 1 seeds. He is averaging 16.0 PPG, 2.9 APG, 2.7 RPG and 1.2 SPG in 2016-17.

Dillon Brooks is all smiles on the bench against the Beavers on Saturday afternoon. By way of their 85-58 thrashing of the Wildcats back in February, the Ducks earned the tiebreaker and will have the top seed in the Pac-12 tournament. Key players with injuries, a potential starter medically retiring and arguably the team's best scorer busted for performance-enhancing drugs, was not the Arizona season anyone expected.

Yet, it has been his incredible late-game heroics that have stoked the fire.

As a result, O'Neill said OR is his pick to win the Pac-12 Tournament.

Driven by the prolific shooting of freshman Lauri Markkanen - who averaged 15.8 points and 3.7 three-pointers per game on 42.8% shooting from deep - the Wildcats finished in the top 25 of the nation in three-point shooting percentage.

Four players are averaging at least 10.1 points per game, they are: Rabb (14.3), Bird (14.2), Moore (12.3) and Grant Mullins (10.1) per game. It was the school's first outright conference title in over 20 years.

When it comes to NCAA selection process, the Hotline aims to cover as many contingencies as possible, which is the reason I addressed (last week) the seemed-remote-at-the-time possibility of the Pac-12 getting just three teams into the NCAAs. "Oregon, Arizona and UCLA have proven that they are worthy for that discussion point". The other four were Joseph Young, Luke Ridnour, Terrell Brandon and Ron Lee.

The first weekend is all about four-team "pods", each of which are led by a 1-4 seed that usually gets to play close to home. He was apart of the Naismith watch, as well. It is on a three-game winning streak, including a 30-point rout last week of Cal.

Oregon Ducks junior standout Dillon Brooks has been selected as one of five finalists for the 2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Wednesday. We saw that one coming.

"I think the (Pac-12) tournament becomes a huge decider", says Pac-12 Networks analyst Kevin O'Neill, the former UA and USC head coach.

The potential match-up with UCLA or Arizona is a little concerning to or, especially when considering that both teams are strong in the area that or lacks the most: future lottery picks.

Top seed OR, which shared the regular-season conference championship with Arizona, has the path of least resistance to the final. They lost their tiebreaker to OR after losing by 27 points, 85-58, in Eugene earlier this season. Tres Tinkle leads in points with 8.3 and in steals with 2.2 per game.

"I think whoever wins the (Pac-12) tournament will be a 1 or a 2 in the West depending on how Gonzaga does", Altman said Monday in Eugene before the No. 5-ranked Ducks (27-4) headed south to Las Vegas for their Thursday quarterfinal game against the victor of Wednesday's first-round game between No. 8 Arizona State and No. 9 Stanford. He was in the driver seat since the season tipped off. Oregon's Payton Pritchard was trapped within a monster freshman class in the Pac-12.

The Pac-12 is just beginning to heat up.

So it sets up for a really crucial week in Las Vegas.



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