No. 9 Arizona Basketball looks to avoid sweep in Oregon

Jan 21, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; The Oregon Ducks come back to the court after a time out
Jan 21, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; The Oregon Ducks come back to the court after a time out / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

EUGENE, OR – After falling to Oregon State on Thursday, No. 9 Arizona Basketball (14-5, 5-3) looks to snap its six-game losing streak in Eugene against Oregon (14-5, 6-2).

Well, No. 9 Arizona Basketball may be at a crossroads in their 2023-24 season. If the Wildcats hope to win the Pac-12 Regular Season Championship, their opportunities are dwindling as they take on first-place Oregon in Eugene on Saturday afternoon.

Returning to the hardwood (an ugly and awful one at that), the Wildcats find themselves in a bit of a "must-win" position after yet another abysmal performance to bottom-dwelling Oregon State on Thursday evening. And coming into this one, the Wildcats are somehow considered the slight favorites.

However, Matthew Knight Arena is a place that has not been friendly to Arizona in recent history, as the Wildcats have not won in Eugene since 2015. Couple that, with Arizona's recent woes, and this one is going to take a heck of a performance from the Cats if they are to win.

Hopefully, we will see our Wildcats return a bit to form from the team we saw in November/early December, and not the team that has been severely struggling over the last 5-6 weeks. If Arizona plays to the best of its potential, it can beat Oregon, but again, EVERYONE needs to play better.

Getting to know the details about Arizona Basketball’s opponent, the Oregon Ducks.

Team: Oregon Ducks

Conference: Pac-12 Conference

Current Record: 14–5 (6–2)

Head Coach: Dana Altman. Now in his 35th season as a head coach (14th with Oregon), Coach Altman has put together a fantastic career and is currently 335–145 (161–85) with the Ducks with seven NCAA Tournament appearances, three Sweet 16 Finishes, two Elite Eight appearances, and a Final Four in 2016-17. 

Before arriving in Eugene, Dana was head coach at Marshall (1989-90), Kansas State (1990-94), and Creighton (1994-2010). Overall, he is 745–388 as a head coach with several postseason tournament bids.

2022-23 Record: Finishing the 2022-23 season with a 21–15 (12–8) record, the Ducks ended their year finishing in 4th in the Pac-12 and just narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament. Oregon would go to the NIT where they were eliminated by Wisconsin in the quarterfinals.

So, as Arizona Basketball takes on Oregon, here is how you can watch and follow our Wildcats!

Arizona Basketball vs Oregon Information and Details:

Date: Saturday, January 27, 2024

Time: 3:30 P.M. MST / 2:30 P.M. PST

Television: Fox

Location: Matthew Knight Arena – Eugene, OR (12,364)

Spread: -4.0 Arizona. (Don’t forget to sign up with Caesars Sportsbook or DraftKings to enhance your overall betting experience)

Overall Series Record: 53-36 Arizona. Overall, this is a series that the Wildcats lead in; however, it has been dominated by Oregon as of late as the Ducks have won 11 of the last 15 matchups. Oregon also has not lost at home to Arizona since 2015 (winning six straight).

Last Meeting: Meeting twice last season, Oregon got the win in Eugene in January; however, Arizona returned the favor in Tucson by beating the Ducks 91-76 in McKale last February. 

Arizona Basketball Game Preview:

Arizona looked awful on Thursday night. Despite holding onto an eight-point at halftime lead against the lowly Beavers, the Wildcat's defense once again failed them as they let Oregon State shoot a whopping 12-20 (60 percent) from three and 27-48 (56.3 percent) from the field.

Credit to Oregon State for making big shots; however, the Wildcats' defense has been nothing short of pathetic over the past few weeks, and its inability to close out on shooters and defend the perimeter has allowed this team to put up some real stinkers of late.

And coming into this one, Oregon is going to be a tough challenge defensively for the Wildcats.

As a group, the Ducks are averaging 78.3 points per game by shooting a respectable 47.2 percent from the field, including an impressive 37.6 percent from three (uh oh!).

Largely led by senior guard Jermaine Couisnard, the Indiana native is averaging 14.6 points per game. Additionally, highly-touted freshman Jackson Shelstad has been worth the hype so far, helping lead Oregon to a first-place standing in the Pac-12 with 12.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.

Beyond them, the Ducks have a lot of fire power that includes big men N'Faly Dante, and Nathan Bittle, as well as fellow, highly-touted freshman and former Arizona recruiting target, Kwame Evans Jr.

Overall, this team has a lot of offensive weapons, and defensively Arizona is going to have a tough job containing this talented Oregon roster.

Hopefully, the Wildcats will be ready to go in this one; however, getting a win here won't be easy, and playing Oregon amid the teams' current struggles couldn't come at a worse time. Tip-off for Saturday's game against Oregon is at 3:30 P.M. Tucson time, and the game will be broadcast on Fox.

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