#555 University of Colorado Boulder Buffaloesvs.#556 University of Oregon Ducks
Written by Benjamin Hayes
Colorado Buffaloes (16-11 SU, 9-16-1 ATS, 10-16 O/U) at No. 8 Oregon Ducks (23-4 SU, 16-10 ATS, 10-16 O/U)
When and Where: Saturday, Feb. 18, Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Or., 3pmET
Line: Oregon -11
Don’t look now but Colorado has won three straight and six of seven games. Unfortunately, with an RPI of 106, they have a long ways to go to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament. That’s because they 6-8 in the Pac-12, tied with Arizona State for seventh place. Wins over Washington, Washington State, Oregon State and Stanford are not enough to impress the committee. But on Jan. 28, they did upset Oregon at home, 74-65. Another win over the No. 8 Ducks on the road on Saturday would be a huge boost to Colorado’s resume’. Oregon has won four of their last five games, including a 79-61 home win over Utah on Thursday.
In their last three wins, the margin of victory for Colorado has been by an average of 18.3 points per game. In Thursday’s 60-52 win over Oregon State, the Buffs led by 11 points with seven minutes left before the Beavers went on a 12-2 run to cut the lead to one. They later tied the game on a 3-pointer by Jaquori McLaughlin, before the Buffs came back with a basket from Derrick White and a three-pointer from Xavier Johnson in the final 1:18. White had a strong game with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Johnson added 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting with four rebounds. Colorado shot 41.5 percent from the floor, while holding the Beavers to 38 percent shooting. The Buffs also forced 18 turnovers from Oregon State.
White leads the Buffs in scoring with 17.1 points per game, 4.2 assists per game and 1.3 steals. Johnson adds 14.8 points per game and shoots 51.2 percent from the field (44.4% 3pt). On the season, Colorado averages 75.7 points per game on 44.8 percent shooting (35% 3pt). They allow 71 points per game on 42 percent shooting (34.% 3pt).
No. 8 Oregon should be in first place in the Pac-12 or at least tied with Arizona with a 13-1 record. Instead, they are 12-2 after blowing a double-digit second-half lead at UCLA on Jan. 9 (82-79). They bounced back last Saturday to beat USC by 11 (81-70) from Pasadena and beat up on Utah at home on Thursday (79-61). The Ducks jumped out to a 41-25 first-half lead against a pretty good Utah team (17-9, 9-6 Pac-12) and held on for the 18-point win from Eugene. At one point in the second half, Oregon led by 25 at 74-49. Junior forward Dillon Brooks scored 20 points to lead five players in double figures. Junior forward Jordan Bell added 17 points, while sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey poured in 16. The Ducks shot 53.4 percent from the field and held Utah to just 38.2 percent shooting from the field. Oregon now has the nation’s longest active home winning streak at 41 games in a row.
Oregon averages 79 points per game on 47.9 percent shooting (37.6% 3pt). They allow just 64.3 points per game (33rd) on 39.4 percent shooting (30.2% 3pt). Brooks (6-7, 225) leads the Ducks in scoring with 15.1 points per game, 3.0 assists per game on 51.4 percent shooting (41.5% 3pt). Dorsey adds 13.2 points on 44.3 percent shooting (39.4% 3pt).
College Basketball Trends:
This is a revenge game for Oregon. They are so tough to beat at home and they’ve been tough against Colorado over the years, especially at home. Brooks and company will stomp the Buffaloes, getting revenge for that first loss.
The first game of this series did go under from Colorado. But Oregon has so many weapons, it’s nearly impossible to stop the because you just can’t go into a game trying to stop Brooks. Colorado is playing their best basketball of the season and they are not intimidated by the Ducks. This will be a much higher-scoring game than the first meeting.
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Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!