Arizona Basketball: One last road-trip through the Oregon Trail

TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 21: Allonzo Trier
TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 21: Allonzo Trier /

The Arizona Wildcats travel up North again to face a pair of teams desperate for a signature win to keep postseason hopes alive.

Arizona Basketball must take care of business against the Oregon State Beavers and the Oregon Ducks. After sweeping rival ASU last Thursday with a score of 77-70, Arizona Basketball continues their grueling 3-game road-trip this week to the Oregon schools.  The win puts No. 14 Arizona (11-3, 21-6 overall) with some valuable breathing room in the conference standings owning a 1.5-game advantage over the UCLA Bruins.

The Wildcats look to build upon their win streak of 2 games, as well as distance themselves from the rest of the conference heading into the last few weeks of the regular season.  They first travel to Corvallis to face an Oregon State Beaver team that has struggled recently with losses to both of the Los Angeles schools.

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Oregon State:

While the Beavers (5-9, 13-13 overall) sit toward the bottom of the Pac 12 at No 10. They are not a team Sean Miller and company shouldn’t overlook.  The last time Arizona faced OSU, they won by single digits.  The Beavers held the Wildcats to 41% shooting and under 30% from distance.  Like most other teams, Oregon State will look to slow the pace down with zone defense and methodical possessions.  Arizona shouldn’t overlook the Beavers, who will be ready to take on the ranked ‘Cats.

What to Look For:

Tres Tinkle is OSU’s best player and was the only reason Oregon State was able to keep the game close.  He had 18 points and made 4-6 from 3 point range.  It is up to the Wildcat’s wing defenders to close out on him and limit his scoring opportunities.  The Wildcats have had a difficult time defending shots from distance, so defending Tinkle will be key.  If Arizona can close off the three-point line, their talent and length will be too much for the Beavers.  Look for Deandre Ayton and Dusan Ristic to impose their will once again.

How to watch: Arizona at Oregon State, 7:00 pm MST on FS1


Oregon is having troubles of their own, with two consecutive losses.  They are tied with ASU for 7th best in the league.  While the postseason remains an uncertainty for the Ducks, they are still a capable opponent.  The Wildcats needed a late run to earn the victory in the first matchup in which they won 90-83. The Ducks are always a challenge in Matthew Knight Arena, and both the team and the fans will be ready for Arizona.

What to look for – Oregon – The Brown’s:

Elijah Brown and Troy Brown (unrelated) are dynamic scorers for the Ducks and can heat up at any time.  Elijah shot 60% on 6-10 shooting from 3 in the Tucson game.  Once again, it is up to the Wildcats wings to be active on the perimeter.  Oregon Coach Dana Altman loves spreading the ball around, so this will be a good test for the ‘Cats defensive effort down the stretch.  Rawle Alkins and Allonzo Trier should have big roles in this game.  Arizona needs to be in attack mode on both ends.

How to watch: Arizona at Oregon, 8:15 pm MST on ESPN

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While Arizona should win these games, they still have their work cut out for themselves.  They can’t afford to slip up again in this critical segment of the season.  The last two games against USC and ASU have been some of their better games as of late.  They need to have a balanced offensive attack and be poised defensively.  Sweeping through the Oregon Trail should all but lock up yet another Pac 12 Crown for Miller’s crew.