The Arizona Wildcats look to complete the sweep of the Oregon schools Saturday, when they host the Oregon Ducks at noon MST on ESPN2.
The last time Oregon (12-5, 2-2 Pac-12) ventured into McKale Center, it was the 2015-16 season and the Ducks snapped UA’s 49-game home winning streak.
KenPom gives Arizona (13-4, 3-1 Pac-12) a 79 percent chance of winning Saturday’s rematch, with a projected score of 79-71. The Wildcats are nine-point favorites, per ESPN, and our score predictions are below.
Make sure to leave your predictions in the comment section.
Christopher Boan — Arizona wins 72-70
Arizona has had its fair share of issues with Dana Altman’s team, losing three of its last four against the Ducks, including last year’s 85-58 hammering in Eugene. That loss was the second-worst in Miller’s tenure in Tucson, which adds fuel to the fire, I’m sure.
That said, most of Oregon’s team from last year has either moved on to the greener pastures of the NBA.
Allonzo Trier didn’t seem too fazed about the Ducks last night, saying the following postgame:
“[Oregon’s] been the one team that’s had some success coming in here, and they have a lot of confidence when they come in here, so we’ll definitely be prepared for a battle Saturday. Oregon’s always gonna be a good team. Great coach, so we’ll be ready for that challenge.”
It’s fair to say that the Ducks, fresh off a pretty damn good sized 76-72 upset of ASU on Thursday, will present its fair share of issues, but not enough for Arizona to fall on its home floor.
Jason Bartel — Arizona wins 75-63
After picking the Cats to beat Oregon State by 30, I’ll back this one off a little bit.
Still don’t think there’s a team in the conference that can come into McKale and actually beat Arizona this year though.
Ryan Kelapire — Arizona wins 81-77
Unlike Jason, I do think there is one Pac-12 team that can beat Arizona in McKale this year, and that’s Oregon — mainly because Altman has had Miller’s number in the past.
But Oregon also isn’t that talented this year — at least compared to the last two, three years — so I think the Wildcats will fend them off Saturday. I think Oregon will win in Eugene, though.
Steve Apter — Arizona wins 78-70
Oregon could really use 2018 commit Bol Bol in Saturday’s matchup with Arizona, as their tallest starter is 6-foot-9 freshman Kenny Wooten. Look for Arizona to capitalize on their advantage in the front court, and lean on Dusan Ristic and Deandre Ayton for some points in the paint and to draw in a typically stingy Dana Altman defense to create more open looks for jump shooters.
Payton Pritchard should be in line for his best game against Arizona — in two games against the Cats last season, being checked mostly by the departed Kadeem Allen, Pritchard scored a total of 4 points on 1 of 6 shooting.
This season, Pritchard has more than doubled his scoring average from 7.4 to 15.2 points per contest and should find his matchup with PJC more favorable. Oregon’s most talented player is top-100 recruit Troy Brown. He should creep into the nation’s leaderboard in steals per game and, prior to his last two duds, had scored in double figures in nine straight.
Oregon jumps out to an early lead and takes a slight advantage into halftime, but turnovers and points in the paint do them in.
Matt Sheeley — Arizona wins 78-73
It’s hard to envision the Wildcats dropping a game in McKale Center this season and that’s why I see Arizona pulling out a close one against the Ducks.
Oregon has been a thorn in Arizona’s side the last few years but I think the talent discrepancy between these two will be too much for the Ducks to contend with.
While the raw numbers show that Oregon and Arizona both average around 81-82 points per game, the Ducks’ offense has slowed down since entering Pac-12 play and if Arizona can bring the defensive effort they showed on Thursday night where they held the Beavers to 53 points, they should move to 4-1 in conference play.
Alec Sills-Trausch — Arizona wins 62-56
Apparently using reasoning and logic to predict an Arizona game is JUST TOO HARD right now so I feel UA wins but honestly, I have no idea.
This team scored less than 30 points in a half vs. Oregon State and I thought it’d be a rout the entire game. WRONG! So for this game, I’ll continue expecting the offensive struggles and the scoring stays low but the Wildcats don’t lose at home so they will somehow win. #McKaleMagic
Rob Leano — Arizona wins 72-62
Arizona has been struggling a bit offensively lately with a lack of effort (after observing the Oregon State game). It was once again a tale-of-two-halves team that I’ve been used to seeing from the last couple years.
We’re going to see that again for this Saturday matinee, but Arizona will still win, because you know... Arizona doesn't just lose a game at McKale like that.