Utah beats Stanford, shares Pac-12 championship with Cardinal

The 2023 Pac-12 basketball regular season is over. It was a tremendous race made more complicated by the USC Trojans, whose upset of Stanford loomed large in the full course of events. Stanford led Utah by one game, then Utah tied the Cardinal. Stanford regained a one-game lead, but Utah had a chance to gain a share of the Pac-12 championship with a win over the Trees on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

The Utes fought through foul trouble to score an 84-78 win over the Cardinal, registering the crowning achievement in program history.

Both Utah and Stanford finished 15-3 in the Pac-12. They are both in contention for No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.

The winner of the Pac-12 Tournament — if it is Utah or Stanford — probably will be a No. 1 seed. The non-winner will likely be a 2 seed. Most experts will probably predict a Stanford-Utah Pac-12 final on March 5 in Las Vegas. That’s what the tournament bracket makes possible.

Former USC Trojan Alissa Pili, by helping Utah to the Pac-12 title, nailed down 2023 Pac-12 Player of the Year in women’s basketball. So many different Pac-12 schools have made the Women’s Final Four in the past 10 years: Cal made the Final Four under current USC head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. Washington made the Final Four. Oregon State did. Oregon did. Arizona did. Stanford, of course, has been a regular at the Final Four. Utah will try to become the newest Pac-12 women’s basketball program to reach the sport’s ultimate showcase.

The Pac-12 Tournament begins Wednesday, March 1, in Las Vegas. Stanford and Utah will both begin their tournament on Thursday, March 2, in the quarterfinals.

USC faces Oregon State in the first round on Wednesday at approximately 8:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire