Arizona vs. Oregon Prediction, Game Preview

    Arizona vs. Oregon prediction and game preview. The Wildcats seek a 15th consecutive victory when it visits the Ducks, who will try to earn another huge Pac-12 victory in Eugene.

    February 3, 2017

    Arizona vs. Oregon prediction and game preview. The Wildcats seek a 15th consecutive victory when they visit the Ducks, who will try to earn another huge Pac-12 victory in Eugene.

    Arizona vs. Oregon Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Feb. 4 – 4 p.m. ET
    Where: Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Ore.
    TV Broadcast: ESPN

    Arizona was moving right along with an 11-game winning streak before Allonzo Trier’s suspension for mistakenly using PEDs ended. Now the Wildcats are proving they’re even more dangerous with one of their key players back in the fold.

    Trier is averaging 14.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists off the bench in four games since returning to help Arizona extend its winning streak. He finished with a game-high 18 points in Thursday’s 71-54 rout of Oregon State as no Wildcat played more than 28 minutes in the easy victory. Trier’s play has complemented the performances of standout freshmen Kobi Simmons and Lauri Markkanen as Arizona sits at 21-2 with a 10-0 mark in conference play for the first time since 1997-98.

    But leaving Eugene won’t be easy, as UCLA found out earlier this season. Oregon knocked off the then-No. 3 Bruins, 89-87, on a Dillon Brooks 3-pointer in the final seconds Dec. 28, a victory that was part of a 17-game winning streak for the Ducks. Colorado snapped that run last Saturday, and Oregon again had trouble Thursday before holding off Arizona State for a 71-70 victory. Brooks had 27 points against the Sun Devils – showing he’s well past that flopping incident – and is averaging a team-high 14.2 points per game.

    Brooks has been good against Arizona, too, scoring 43 points in the last two meetings – both Oregon victories.

    Arizona Wins If …

    … Markkanen takes control offensively. Trier is going to get his points, and Simmons is going to see the ball plenty as well. But Markkanen is the key given his versatility to play away from the basket at 7-feet tall and also play down low. Oregon starts a small lineup with Jordan Bell being the tallest at 6-foot-9, and Markkanen can expose that with his inside game. He’s shooting 50 percent from 3-point range and puts the ball on the floor better than most big men in the country. The matchups are set for Makkanen to have a big game, and if he does, the Wildcats should prevail.

    Oregon Wins If …

    … it starts defending better. The Ducks’ last two victories have come by a combined seven points, with a loss to Colorado sandwiched in between. All of those opponents shot better than 40 percent after they held their previous three opponents to worse than that in blowout wins, performances more indicative of the Oregon team that leads the conference in field goal percentage defense at 38.9. Arizona ranks eighth in the Pac-12 in points per game, but it has plenty of offensive weapons that can bust out at any time and also defends well.

    Matchup To Watch

    Brooks vs. Trier

    These two can put on a show, and that’s what should be expected. Trier comes off the bench but plays starters minutes, so these two will be on the floor together plenty. Each start has plenty of help around him – Tyler Dorsey, Dylan Ennis, Chris Boucher and Bell also average in double figures for the Ducks – but the offenses run through them.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Oregon -1.5
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Arizona vs. Oregon Prediction

    This is a tough call. Oregon is very good at home, but Arizona has shown it can win anywhere. Since the Ducks have been struggling a bit lately, I’m going with the Wildcats to get big games from Markkanen, Trier and Simmons in an exciting and close victory.

    Arizona vs. Oregon final score prediction: Arizona 78, Oregon 73

    WATCH: College Basketball Power Rankings – Week 13


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