The post-season is finally here and for the first time in conference history, the Pac-12 Women’s Tournament is headed to Las Vegas, Nevada.
After a 14-4 Pac-12 conference record, the Oregon State Beavers have landed the No. 3 seed in this bracket-style tournament while more importantly obtaining a first-round bye. Meaning the Beavers will have max three games in as many as three days in this four-day tournament.
The Beavers will play the winner of No. 6 Utah vs. No. 11 Washington, this game to be played on Thursday at 8:30 PM (PT). In their one and only meeting against Utah this season, Oregon State won 71-63 in Corvallis on Feb. 3. A big time win at home over a good Utah squad, but this is neutral territory and both teams are different in the span of a month. Against the Huskies, Oregon State went 2-0 this season beating Washington by 11 points in the first contest and then a 47-point dismantling in round two holding the Huskies to just 39 points.
Let’s play the hypothetical game here for a minute. Say the Beavers get that quarterfinal victory and advance to the semifinals. They will most likely run into No. 2 Stanford (15-3), who had a one-game lead over the Beavers at the end of regular season conference play. This is definitely an intriguing matchup and one, that as a basketball fan, hope it happens. In their first meeting back on Feb. 8th, Destiny Slocum put the team on her back finishing with 23 points. This team has grown from that moment and has seen better all-around production from Mikayla Pivec, Katie McWilliams as well as Aleah Goodman, who is a threat off the bench (Pac-12 Sixth Woman award winner this season).
Safe to say it will be a much different game if that situation presents itself.
Regardless of who the Beavers play, they will need to come out focused and ready to go because the lights of Vegas can be distracting and the neutral site is nothing to overlook.
Oregon State holds the final quarterfinals spot at 8:30 PM (PT) Friday evening in Las Vegas, Nevada.