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Sun Devils and Utes score upset victories on the conference tournament's opening night, while Colorado likely punched its ticket to the dance.
The Pac-12 conference tournament began Wednesday with four first-round matchups. Wednesday's winners advance to Thursday's quarterfinal against one of the league's top four teams. All games are being played at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the first year in a three-year contract with the casino.
The tournament tipped off with No. 8 Stanford losing, 89-88, in overtime against No. 9 Arizona State. The Sun Devils, which had lost four straight games entering the tournament, was led by 34 points from Jahii Carson, a record scoring performance by a freshman in the Pac-12 tournament. Carrick Felix added 19 points and 12 boards, while Evan Gordon contributed 16 points off the bench. Stanford got 27 points from Aaron Bright and 23 points from Dwight Powell, but may find themselves on the outside of the NCAA tournament looking in after the loss. Arizona State advances to face UCLA at 3 ET Thursday.
The tournament's No. 5 seed, Colorado, is widely considered a near-lock for the NCAA tourney. The Buffs further solidified their case with a 74-68 win over No. 12 Oregon State. Three Buffaloes were in double figures: Spencer Dinwiddie had 20 points, Xavier Johnson got 16 points and eight boards, and Andre Roberson contributed 12 points and seven rebounds. Oregon State was led by 20 points from Roberto Nelson. Colorado advances to play No. 4 seed Arizona Thursday at 5:30 ET. Oregon State's season comes to a close.
Utah, which won the tournament's No. 10 seed by going 5-13 in the conference regular season, stunned USC, 69-66, on a 22-point performance by Jarred DuBois. Jordan Loveridge added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Utes, which had lost to USC by 17 at home in their only previous meeting this year. Center Omar Oraby led the Trojans with 18 points and 10 rebounds in defeat. Utah now faces No. 2 seed Cal Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.
The night's final game featured No. 6 Washington and in-state rival, No. 11 Washington State. The victor gets Oregon in Thursday's late contest.
The full tournament bracket is available at the Pac-12's official website.
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