Preview: Second round of the Pac-12 women's basketball tournament

After numerous blowouts and an upset in round one, big-name teams headline round two

Round one of the Pac-12 tournament saw a number of blowouts and one big upset by the Washington Huskies. 

After the No. 5 Arizona State won versus the No. 12 Colorado Buffaloes in round one, they are slated to go up against the No. 4 UCLA Bruins in round two.

ASU, as well as some of the best teams in the nation will suit up and take the court in round two.

No. 4 UCLA Bruins versus No. 5 Arizona State

The one time these two teams met in January, the Bruins came out on top 61-59 by a Japreece Dean game-winning three-pointer. 

UCLA is coming into its first game of the Pac-12 tournament hot, winning 10 of its last 12 games, including wins versus then No. 17 Utah and then No. 2 Oregon.

The Bruins are led by sophomore forward Michaela Onyenwere who averages 18 points per game, eight rebounds per game, one steal and one block per game. 

The deciding factor over who will win this matchup is on the glass. UCLA averages 17.4 offensive rebounds per game, the best mark in the Pac-12 and the third-best in the nation. ASU gives up just nine offensive rebounds per game, the lowest mark in the conference.

UCLA will gain multiple scoring opportunities on possessions and possibly increasing their scoring, or ASU will hold them to one shot per trip down.

(Winner faces winner of No. 1 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 8 Arizona Wildcats)

No. 1 Oregon Ducks versus No. 8 Arizona Wildcats

While Arizona is home to one of the greatest scorers in the nation in redshirt sophomore guard Aari McDonald, the Wildcats were crushed in both meetings with the Ducks, losing 93-60 and 83-54.

Oregon is led by junior guard Sabrina Ionescu, who many believe could be the first overall pick in this year's upcoming WNBA draft. She is averaging 19.5 points per game and eight assists per game and was recently named the Pac-12 player of the year.

Ionescu has one of the most well-rounded skill-sets in the nation, holding the record for most triple-doubles in NCAA Division I history, across both men's and women's basketball.

Arizona will have to stop Ionescu and the second-best offense in the nation to keep up with the Ducks; Oregon averages 87 points per game. It would have to take great defense from the Wildcats and big games from McDonald and others to pull out an upset win.

(Winner faces winner of No. 4 UCLA Bruins vs. No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devils)

No. 2 Stanford Cardinal versus No. 7 California Golden Bears

The Bay Area rivals split the season series this year, with Cal winning the first matchup 81-80 on a buzzer-beater from Asha Thomas, and Stanford winning the second matchup 75-50.

Stanford is lead by senior forward Alanna Smith who is averaging 19.7 points per game and eight rebounds per game.

The Cardinal is one of the most balanced teams on both ends of the floor in the tournament. The team is top three in the Pac-12 in points per game and least points allowed per game.

However, this game has the most upset potential in favor of Cal. If senior center and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Kristine Anigwe can continue her dominance, Cal can sang their sixth consecutive win.

(Winner faces winner of No. 3 Oregon Beavers vs. No. 11 Washington Huskies)

No. 3 Oregon Beavers versus No. 11 Washington Huskies

After the Huskies pulled off a stunning upset over No. 6 Utah 64-54, they will face an Oregon State team whom they have lost twice to this season. The Beavers won both matchups by double digits, the first 78-67 and the second 86-39.

Redshirt sophomore guard Destiny Slocum and junior guard Mikayla Pivec lead the Beavers, averaging 16.1 points and 14.6 points per game respectively. 

Oregon State currently holds the second-best scoring offense and allows the second-lowest points per game in the Pac-12.

No one expected Washington to beat Utah as convincingly as they did, but they were able to do it with 23 points from sophomore guard Missy Peterson and stingy defense, forcing 22 turnovers. The Huskies will have to replicate that performance to defeat the Beavers.

(Winner faces winner of No. 2 Stanford Cardinal vs. No. 7 California Bears)



Reach the reporter at jhorst2@asu.edu and follow @HorseySeven on Twitter.

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