Must-watch player: Deandre Ayton
Arguably the nation’s best player, Ayton, is a 7-1, 250-pound freshman and a problem for any team Arizona faces. He put up consecutive 32-point games in the Pac-12 tournament, proving again his sheer dominance.
Must-watch matchup: Nevada vs. Texas
The Wolf Pack is shaky on defense but productive on offense. The Longhorns, led by former tournament coaching darling Shaka Smart, was hot early this season, and lukewarm for much of the rest. It’s the perfect stew for an upset if Texas is up for it.
Calling it now: Arizona
Virginia is the top seed in the South, and deservedly so. The Wildcats’ program is embroiled in an NCAA controversy right now, but that could fuel it in the run to come out of the region over Virginia.
Rana L. Cash