The second round of the 2019-2020 edition of the Civil War takes place at Matthew Knight Arena tonight. The Ducks are coming off an impressive (yet extremely lucky thanks to many missed Arizona free throws down the late stretch) victory over the then #24 Wildcats. Oregon looks to end the regular season on a strong note with three straight remaining home games left, a place where the Ducks have done perfectly (14-0 at home). U of O also wants vengeance against their biggest rival as they fell to the Beavers in the first meeting in January, 63-53.
N’Faly Dante will be available for the first time since December 18th after missing nine straight games with a knee injury. When the Ducks played in Corvallis earlier this season, both Dante and Francis Okoro were not available so tonight’s matchup with the Beavers is under a lot different circumstances.
1st place in the PAC-12 is still a real possibility but there is no room for error the rest of the way. Oregon is in a three-way tie for second place with #21 Colorado and UCLA while Arizona State is only half a game ahead of the Ducks in the standings.
One of the oldest rivalries in the nation has been under the control of the Beavers recently. Oregon State has won three in a row against the Ducks and four of the last five. The Beavers lead the series over the Ducks currently with a 111-93 record since 1949-1950.
Pritchard hasn’t been at his best in the last two seasons against the Beavers. That would be thanks to their suffocating perimeter defense led by the duo of Tres Tinkle and Ethan Thompson as well as their stifling interior defense with Kylor Kelley (2nd in the nation in blocks with 3.5 per game).
Wins - CSU Northridge, Iowa State, @ Wyoming, UC Santa Barbara, Grambling State, San Jose State, Portland State, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, North Dakota, @ Colorado, #24 Arizona, @ Stanford, #14 Oregon, Utah
Losses - Oklahoma, @ Texas A&M, Utah, Arizona State, @ Washington, @ Washington State, UCLA, USC, @ California, # 16 Colorado, @ #24 Arizona, @ Arizona State
KenPom Ranking - #88
- 71.9 Points Per Game
- 33.2 Rebounds Per Game
- 14.5 Assists Per Game
- 6.2 Steals Per Game
- 5.0 Blocks Per Game
- 68.1 Points Allowed Per Game
- 45.9 Field Goal Percentage
Player to Watch For:
Tres Tinkle, Senior - 18.2 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.9 SPG
The son of OSU’s head coach, Wayne Tinkle, leads the team in points, rebounds, and steals. Tinkle is a versatile scorer who has recorded double figure points for 93 straight games dating back to the 2017-2018 season.
I’m honestly surprised this team isn’t in the running for an NCAA Tournament bid with all the talent on this roster. Tinkle is the leader of this squad and you can’t really be asking more from him with the numbers he has been putting up throughout his career in Corvallis.
Oregon State (15-12, 5-10) @ #14 Oregon (21-7, 10-5): 11:00 PM ET on ESPN2 - Thursday, February 27th
Score Prediction: 71-64, Ducks over Beavers
Bragging rights in the Civil War will be owned by the Ducks once again. Pritchard has struggled in this matchup recently but this is his last time being apart of this rivalry so no chance Payton won’t be having a big-time performance.
*Arden Cravalho is a senior at Gonzaga University... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho