Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Arizona State Coach Bobby Hurley Says Three Pac-12 Teams Can Make a Final Four Run
A Pac-12 team hasn’t advanced to the Final Four since UCLA in 2008, but this year three teams from that league could make a deep run.
Arizona, which won the Pac-12 Tournament championship over Oregon, is the No. 2 seed in the West, UCLA is the 3 in the South and Oregon the 3 in the Midwest.
“I’ve been impressed with all three of those teams,” Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley said on The 4 Quarters Podcast. “I think any one of those three can make a deep run, a Final Four run. If I had to choose one, I’d probably choose Arizona just because of how they defend and the balance that they have on their team.
“They have really talented guard play, young guards, experienced guards. Kadeem Allen is a very under-rated guard. Allonzo Trier is back and playing well. And then they have a solid inside game. They have good size. They can score in the paint, their big guys can score away from the basket. And Sean Miller’s a very good defensive coach. Those guys play extremely hard.”
Led by freshman point guard Lonzo Ball, UCLA is in the South Region, which could be the “Bracket of Death” along with No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Kentucky and No. 10 Wichita State.
“I’m super impressed with their offensive capabilities and if they get on a roll, in terms of how they play offense, there’s not a team that’s as explosive as they are,” Hurley said.
Meantime, Oregon lost big man Chris Boucher to an ACL injury but still features one of the most dangerous players in the tournament in forward Dillon Brooks.
Hurley will be in Sacramento where Oregon is playing No. 14 Iona, but mainly to watch No. 11 Rhode Island face No. 6 Creighton. Dan Hurley, Bobby’s younger brother, coaches Rhody. The two brothers share a tight bond, as I wrote in this piece.
This will be Hurley’s first time back in Sacramento in a basketball-related capacity since his NBA playing days with the Kings.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.