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Oregon Basketball

Preview & Gamer: Oregon MBB vs ASU

February 20, 2020
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14th-ranked Oregon heads to Tempe on Thursday to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils. The game is at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Oregon comes into this matchup 20-6 overall, 9-4 in conference play. The Ducks haven’t been great on the road, with a 4-4 Pac- 12 record.

Arizona State is 17-8 overall, 8-4 in conference. They’re 10-2 at home, and currently on a five-game winning streak. The Sun Devils have positioned themselves to make March Madness.

This game is big for the Ducks for a few reasons.

First, it’s another chance to gain a Quadrant 1 victory, their seventh, which would tie them for the fourth most in all of college basketball. It also would bolster a résumé that would be tied for the most top-25 victories with five.

Conversely, if they lose to the Sun Devils it almost certainly means they would have to beat Arizona on Saturday to have any chance at winning the Pac-12 regular season title. They would also have to beat the Wildcats if they want to get a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Arizona State's hot streak includes wins over Stanford, USC and UCLA. It has lifted them from the bottom half of the standings into serious championship contention.

A win Thursday would make Saturday's showdown in Tucson less of a must-win. And if the Ducks can knock off both teams, they could climb back into the top 10.

A weekend split keeps most of Oregon's Pac-12 and NCAA hopes alive. Being swept could cost the Ducks a bye in Las Vegas and make for more difficult match-ups in the postseason.

Oregon should be getting Chandler Lawson back into the lineup; he left the Utah game early after getting poked in the eye. There's also a chance that N’Faly Dante could return from his knee injury.

“He practiced a little bit yesterday,” Dana Altman said, “but not sure if he’ll be ready to go or not. We’ll see.”

The return of the talented 7-footer could be the boost Oregon needs to make yet another late-season push.

 
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