Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. MST on the Pac-12 Network.
KenPom projects Arizona will win 68-63 with a 68 percent win probability. Here is what we think will happen. Be sure to leave your predictions in the comment section below.
Brian J. Pedersen — Arizona wins 68-65
Arizona goes from playing an Oregon team that gave the Wildcats fits on offense to the team leading the Pac-12 in field goal defense. Not ideal. Neither is the fact that Oregon State is far more efficient with the ball than the Ducks were, which means taking care of the ball and taking good shots becomes even more important. How Arizona bounces back from that ugly Thursday night game could make or break the season, which is at a crossroads with the upcoming 3-game road trip on the horizon. There haven’t been consecutive losses at McKale Center since 2010 and Arizona hasn’t been swept at home in Pac-12 play since 2008, two things that will come close to happening but the Wildcats somehow scrape by.
Christopher Boan — Arizona wins 64-62
Well, I picked Arizona to win an ugly one against Oregon and came up short, so I’ll double-down on my bullshit, simply because I can’t remember the last time Sean Miller lost consecutive home games. Oregon State took ASU to the wire last night, though that was mostly due to the Sun Devils’ terrible free throw shooting. I expect the Beavers’ zone defense to give Arizona fits, but for Brandon Randolph to rebound from his dismal 2 for 9 shooting performance, propelling the Wildcats to victory.
Zant Reyez — Oregon State wins 66-63
The Beavers are a pesky team. I think they hang around long enough to steal a win in the final minutes. The ‘Cats getting swept at home will be a reality check for fans about this team.
Ezra Amacher — Arizona wins 63-59
This is a game that is going to come down to long possessions and shot selection. Oregon State will bring out the zone, forcing Arizona into plenty of contested looks. The Wildcats will need a better effort from Brandon Randolph to evade a historic home sweep by the Oregon schools.
I’m really excited to see OSU’s Tres Tinkle in what may be his best showcase before the Pac-12 Tournament in March. Tinkle is going to have the green light, and if he gets on a roll from deep then Arizona could find itself down early.
I think the Wildcats pull it out in the final minutes but not before the Beavers give Arizona quite a scare.
Ronnie Stoffle — Oregon State wins 66-62
Thursday was brutal and Saturday might not be much better. The zone woes will continue in this game and taking the bait for horrible shots won’t be the way to break it.
If UA can’t limit turnovers or shoot better than 37% (and 27% from 3), you’ll wish you did something else with these two hours on your beloved Saturday.
I expect the Wildcats to continue with a strong defensive presence and it seems unlikely that the Brandons will combine for 15 points again. However, Wayne Tinkle’s defense is always a pain for UA and the offensive game of law firm Tinkle, Thompson and Thompson (coined by Adam Green) could be too much to handle. It upsets me to say but I expect the Beavers to win this game.
Ryan Kelapire — Arizona wins 72-67
While Arizona has won 12 of the last 13 meetings against Oregon State, the Beavers have been tough for the Wildcats to put away in recent years.
I expect this game to be no different and it will be OSU’s best chance to win its first game since McKale since 2009-10.
I am most interested to see how the Wildcats defend Tres Tinkle. At 6-foot-8, he could be too big of a cover for someone like Dylan Smith or Brandon Randolph, but also too quick for someone like Ryan Luther or Ira Lee to handle.
I am also interested to see how much OSU shot-blocking extraordinaire Kylor Kelley can affect this game. Arizona has not been a good perimeter shooting team all season, and if Kelley can do a good job defending the paint as he usually does, Oregon State has a real shot to win a defensive battle.
That said, I am taking the Wildcats. I just can’t buy into the idea of Arizona being swept at home. Like Brian said, it does seem like this could be a make-or-break game for Arizona, since the next three games are on the road at USC, UCLA and Arizona State.