The 2017 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament presented by New York Life is set to tip off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 8. One week out from the tournament is about when the idea of taking a spontaneous Vegas trip starts tickling your brain; by the time the regular season wraps up on Saturday, it will have fully taken hold. You might as well face it now: You’re going to end up in Vegas for the tournament.
And why shouldn’t you go? With Arizona, UCLA and Oregon all poised to make a run at the National Championship, this year’s Pac-12 tournament should be the best of all the major conferences and a thrilling warm up for the big dance later this month. With eight of the conference’s 12 teams at .500 or better, the other schools have a shot to pull off the tournament upset and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
So yeah, college hoops fans will want to be in Vegas next week. The question is, where should they stay? The good people running the tournament have set up special hotel offers for fans visiting from out of town, so click here to find the best hotel deals and read on for lodging tips for the fans of every team.
Oregon State Fans: Excalibur
We’re not going to sugarcoat this: It’s going to take some magic for the 5-25 Beavers to win the Pac-12 Tournament this year. Fortunately, there’s more than a little bit of magic on the strip, particularly at the classic Vegas resort Excalibur. After all, an Oregon State Pac-12 tournament victory would be the basketball equivalent of pulling the sword from the stone.
Washington and Washington State Fans: Monte Carlo
It’s very likely that the two schools from the Evergreen State will end up as the 11 and 10 seeds in the tournament, which means they will need some luck to go all the way. Named after the famed European municipality, the Monte Carlo is an ideal resort to pick up a bit of the good fortune these teams will need to come out on top.
Stanford, Colorado, Arizona State and USC Fans: Mandalay Bay
All of these teams will be playing on the first two sessions of the tournament on Wed. March 8, and as lower-seeded teams, some of these schools will be eliminated on the opening day. So if you’re traveling to Vegas to cheer them on, you’ll want to stay somewhere with plenty to offer once your team is out. With shopping, shows, beach clubs, tons of restaurants and amazing nightlife, Mandalay Bay is the perfect escape as you dream ahead to a better season next year.
Utah and Cal Fans: The Mirage
The top four teams in the conference skip the opening day and take on the winners of the first two sessions. Utah and Cal are currently in the Pac-12's fifth and fourth spots, respectively, and, wouldn’t you know it, they're scheduled to play each other on March 2. With a win, Utah could leapfrog Cal to earn the No. 4 seed in the tournament, earning them an extra day of rest. The loser will have to play on the opening day of the tournament, making their chances of winning it all just a mirage (see what we did there?).
UCLA Fans: New York New York
Although UCLA currently has the conference’s best overall record at 26-3, they’re likely the tournament’s No. 3 seed by virtue of their 13-3 conference record (Arizona and Oregon are both 15-2 in conference play with one game remaining). If UCLA doesn’t pull off the tournament win, there’s a good chance they have a long trip in store for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Buffalo is one of the sites for the first two rounds, with the East Regional taking place in New York, New York. It may not be UCLA, but one of the Pac-12 schools could end up playing there, so their fans might as well get an early start by staying at the namesake hotel.
Oregon and Arizona Fans: MGM Grand
Barring a massive upset, one of these two teams is almost certain to play in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship game, scheduled for Sat. March 11. With all of the success these teams have had this season, their fans deserve to treat themselves while in Vegas, and there’s no better place to do that than the iconic MGM Grand. The Grand has some of the best entertainment on the strip, so fans might as well skip the first round and catch a show instead. Should the Ducks or Wildcats win the tournament, few resorts will make you feel more spoiled than the MGM Grand. And as we all know, to the victor goes the spoils.