After pulling of the upset of the UCLA Bruins in L.A., the Oregon Ducks look to keep their hopes alive as they face a high powered offense in the Washington Huskies.
Both of these teams met up previously with the
Ducks coming out on the winning end, 81-76. The game came down to a free
throw shooting contest and forward E.J. Singler knocked down 4 free throws in
the final 25 seconds to seal the deal for the Ducks. Oregon won the battle at
the line, outscoring the Washington Huskies 19-5 and it was just enough to get past them.
In their last game, the Oregon Ducks pulled off the upset of
the UCLA Bruins, 76-59. It was a real "feather" in the Ducks cap as
the Bruins were seeded number 2 in the Pac 10 tournament. E.J. Singler scored a
career high 24 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Ducks as the Bruins were
incapable of cutting into Oregon's lead. UCLA shot just 35.2% from the field.
In the Huskies last performance, they just barely
hung on to beat the Washington State Cougars, 89-87. Klay Thompson scored a
tournament record 43 points for the Cougars but the Washington came through in
the end as Thompson missed a crucial free throw and 3 pointer in the final
minute of the game. Isaiah Thomas led the Huskies with 21 points and 11
NCAA Basketball odds makers have installed the Huskies as a 9 point favorite in this game. Can
the Ducks pull off another upset and make it to the finals?
Forward E.J. Singler has proven to be the duck in
charge in the post season. Singler has averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds on
the season. In the post season, Singler has carried the rest of the team on his
wings, averaging 23 points and 6 rebounds.
In the previous meeting with
Washington, Singler had a strong performance with 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 4
assists. This isn't a team of superstars and Singler isn't necessarily a great
player but the Ducks have to go with the hot hand and Singler has come through when
it's counted against the number 2 team in the conference. Look for Singler to
come up big again.
Washington is a scoring machine and this will provide
Singler with more scoring opportunities.
The Ducks leading source of offense, Joevan Catron
has been having subpar performances lately. Catron averages 14.9 points and 6.1
rebounds per game but has "tailed" off lately. Catron has scored in
double figures in only 1 out of his last 5 games. That one game was a big 28
point performance at Arizona but nevertheless he needs to regain his old form.
Oregon has been getting it's offense from other places. Malcom Armstead who
averages 8.4 points per game on the season has been coming up big lately. In
his last 5 games, Armstead has averaged 13 points, 6 assists, and 4.6 rebounds
Guard Garrett Sim has also been consistent, scoring in double figures
in 5 out of his last 6 games and is the second leading free throw shooter on
the team at 83.3%. Washington's offense is too strong and for the Oregon to
have a chance, Catron has to come up big in this game and the Ducks need to
stay confident coming off of such a big win.
Offense, Offense, and More Offense
This is what defines the Washington Huskies
basketball team. Washington ranks 3rd in the nation in points (84.2), 13th in
rebounding (39.1), 7th in assists (17.3), and 21st in field goal % (47.3). In
their last game, every starter scored in double figures.
They don't have an
awful defense. The defense allows 70.9 points for a point difference of +13.3
per game and they cracked the top 100 in field goal % allowing just 41.8%. If
the game went according to the stats, Washington would crush Oregon and be
eating "ducksoup" at 11:30 pm est Friday but sometimes games are
about certain styles of play and Oregon has beaten Washington this season and
has a lot of momentum going into this game..
English Muffin Combination
I'm referring to Washington's two top players,
forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning of England and 5 foot 9 guard Isaiah Thomas.( For
any of you that don't know, Thomas is a brand of English muffins). All joking
aside, these are two very lethal players that lead an offensive powerhouse in
Washington. Amaning averages 16 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Amaning has
scored in double figures in 10 out of his last 11 games and shot 10 of 16 for
21 points in his last game against Oregon.
Thomas leads the team with 16.7
points, 5.8 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game. Thomas had a decent game
against Oregon in their last meeting with 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists
but in an earlier meeting this season, he had a great game with 20 points, 9
assists, and 6 rebounds. The Huskies were beaten in their most recent meeting
and look for Thomas and Amaning to have good games to lead a strong offense.
Free Throw Shooting
This may play a big role in this game. The free
throw shooting was the deciding factor in the Huskies last game in which they
lost to the Ducks. Washington is shooting just 66.6% from the line while
Oregon's top 5 scorers shoot 70% or better from the line.
Outcome of the Game
Washington is a 9 point favorite at the sportsbooks and with their
high powered offense, could even be more of a favorite. Oregon has proven that
they can beat the Huskies even though they're the inferior team. Look for this
game to stay close. Oregon is riding a major high after beating UCLA and making
it to the semifinals. Take Oregon to cover.
Free Pick - Oregon +9