It’s been a great weekend for Arizona basketball. Both the men and the women kicked things off with revenge wins over UCLA and Oregon, respectively. The men followed it up with a win over Top 25 USC. Can the women complete the 4-0 weekend with a win over Oregon State?
When the two teams met in Corvallis three weeks ago, it was anything but easy. A bucket with one second on the clock by Shaina Pellington and the deflection of the final inbound pass by Sam Thomas sealed a two-point victory.
The pressure has been intense for the Beavers since they returned from three weeks off in late December and early January. Including their game against the Wildcats, five of Oregon State’s last seven games have been decided by single digits. Two of those went to overtime and three have been decided by a single possession.
That’s not how things were decided in Tempe on Friday, though. The Beavers went into the fourth quarter leading Arizona State by three. The Sun Devils had a huge final 10 minutes, outscoring Oregon State 23-10 to win by 10.
At 11-6, the Beavers are fighting to get into the NCAA Tournament. To meet the 25-game requirement for tournament selection, the Beavers need to play every one of the eight games left on their schedule. If that fails, they won’t reach the criteria until at least the first game of the Pac-12 Tournament.
Second, the Beavers just need wins.
The Beavers are No. 55 in the NET. If the season ended today, it’s questionable whether they would make the field of 68. ESPN’s Charlie Creme currently has them as the last team in. Would the committee agree when their best win is against UCLA, which is ranked No. 52 by Her Hoop Stats and No. 49 by NET?
Oregon State (11-6, 4-3) @ No. 8 Arizona (16-3, 6-3)
When and where: The game will tip off at McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz. at 12 p.m. MST on Sunday, Feb. 6.
TV: The game will air on Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Arizona, and Pac-12 Oregon.
Stats: In-game stats will be available at Arizona Live Stats.
Oregon State is not ranked in either major poll. The Ducks are No. 55 in the NET and No. 63 in the HHS rankings.
Home and away: The Wildcats are 9-0 at home. The Beavers are 2-3 on the road.
Standings: Oregon State is in fifth place in the Pac-12 with a 4-3 record.
Arizona is third at 6-3 in Pac-12 play.
Projections: Her Hoop Stats gives the Wildcats a 90.3 percent win probability in McKale Center. The model predicts 68 points for Arizona and 53.5 points for Oregon State. It also gives Arizona a significant advantage in both probability and scoring margin on a neutral court or in Corvallis.
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