The Oregon Ducks (12-5, 2-2) face another top-20 opponent in Tucson against the No. 17 Arizona Wildcats (13-4, 3-1). A win against the Wildcats will cap off an impressive road trip should the Ducks come away winners Saturday morning.
Not seen for quite some time the Ducks managed to put together a consistent offensive effort Thursday evening. Despite an early deficit, Oregon never backed down and came away with a win over No. 11 Arizona State at the Wells Fargo Center.
Payton Pritchard and Elijah Brown both scored 18 points and got a significant contribution off the bench from Roman Sorkin. A late run in the second half proved to be the difference as the Ducks fended off the Sun Devils in the closing seconds.
Oregon will surge in the RPI rankings after landing a signature win this season on the road. The ranking can increase further if the Ducks can pull off a sweep of the Arizona schools.
But the Ducks cannot afford to fall again early against a potent Wildcats team at the McKale Center. In the past, Oregon managed to weather the early storm by Arizona and came away with a win. The Ducks wore down the Wildcats with physical play and using an up-tempo offense.
Arizona features a talented first-year student in Deandre Ayton, who currently leads the Wildcats in points per game with 20. He is also the leading shot blocker with 26 with a 7-1 frame and is mobile.
Allonzo Trier, Rawle Alkins, and Dusan Ristic round out the top performers for Arizona who look to be the favorites for the Pac-12 title. Arizona has seen struggles early this season and did not get off to a great start either in conference play.
The Wildcats began the season in the top-10 and started out 3-0. Arizona went on to suffer three-straight losses against NC State, SMU, and Purdue. The team regrouped and won nine consecutive games which were highlighted with wins over then No. 7 Texas A&M and then-No. 3 Arizona State.
Colorado delivered a shocking win over Arizona at home to end the win streak.
Arizona is coming off a shaky 62-53 victory over Oregon State in their second home conference game of the season. Trier scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half to lift the Wildcats over the Beavers.
Oregon and Arizona met only once last season in conference play. The Ducks used a three-point barrage to run away early against the Wildcats in Eugene, 85-58. Arizona would avenge the loss, winning the Pac-12 Tournament Championship over Oregon.
Tipoff begins at 11 a.m. with a telecast on ESPN2.