No. 2 seed Utah (25-3) vs. No. 7 seed Washington State (20-10)

Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament quarterfinals

Thursday, 7 p.m. MST

Michelob Ultra Arena (Las Vegas)

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: 700 AM

Previous matchups: Utah beat Washington State in two meetings earlier this year — the Utes edged the Cougars 71-66 in Pullman, Washington, in late December, then beat them again 73-59 in Salt Lake City in mid-February. 

In their last game: The Utes are coming off a thrilling 84-78 win over then-No. 3 Stanford that clinched now-No. 3 Utah a share of its first regular-season Pac-12 championship in program history.

The Cougars beat No. 10 seed California 61-49 in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament on Wednesday to advance. 

Key players: Pac-12 Player of the Year Alissa Pili is the heartbeat of the Utah attack, as the forward leads the league in points per game (20.6 average) and field goal percentage (59.9%). Fellow All-Pac-12 team honoree Gianna Kneepkens is second in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage (41.6%) and is third in made 3-pointers (62).

Charlisse Leger-Walker is a three-time All-Pac-12 honoree for Washington State, and the guard leads the Cougars by averaging 18 points and 4.4 assists per game.

What’s at stake: The Utes have made a strong case to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and a deep Pac-12 Tournament run or a tournament championship would only solidify that expectation.

The Cougars are looking to make one final statement before Selection Sunday with a solid showing in the Pac-12 Tournament to improve their NCAA hopes. 

Bracketology predictions: Last week, the NCAA women’s basketball committee released its second early reveal of the top 16 for this year’s tournament, and the Utes were a No. 1 seed, along with Stanford.

Entering the Pac-12 Tournament, Utah is projected as a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament by ESPN, CBS Sports and Just Women’s Sports.

CBS Sports has Washington State as a No. 8 seed in the NCAA field, while ESPN and Just Women’s Sports both list the Cougars as a No. 10 seed.