If the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is the juicy rib-eye steak on the annual college basketball menu, the preceding week’s conference tournament action is a seemingly never-ending assortment of delectable appetizers. And a large portion of those appetizers are served in Las Vegas, the annual home to four conference tournaments. The most popular (and usually most competitive) of the bunch is the Pacific-12 Tournament. Contested just off the Strip at T-Mobile Arena—a state-of-the-art venue where fans will find amenities aplenty—this single-elimination basketball bonanza features each of the conference’s dozen schools that represent six states competing in 11 games over four days.

The stakes? Conference bragging rights, a place in history, a shiny trophy and—most importantly—a ticket to next week’s prestigious NCAA Tournament. For the past two years (and three of the last four), perennial powerhouse the University of Arizona was the last team standing. However, with the Wildcats in the midst of a rare mediocre season, this year’s Pac-12 Tournament figures to be as wide open as an unguarded three-point shooter. And you know what that means: One tense, heart-pounding, down-to-the-wire, buzzer-beating battle after another. Yes, March is upon us, so let the madness begin!

T-Mobile Arena, noon March 13-14, 5 p.m. March 15, 8 p.m. March 16, tournament passes starting at $240 plus tax and fee. 888.929.7849 AXS