Washington (18-14) vs. Oregon (23-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 14, 11:38 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: MGM Grand Garden Arena (16,800) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Washington 11-7, Oregon 12-6. Away Record: Washington 5-6, Oregon 6-5. Neutral Record: Washington 2-1, Oregon 0-1. Conference Record: Washington 9-9, Oregon 12-6. Series Record: Washington leads, 187-107.
GAMES NOTES: With the final spot in the semifinals up for grabs the sixth-seed Washington Huskies will face the third-seed Oregon Ducks in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The winner here will take on either Utah or California in Friday's semifinal round.
Desmond Simmons' jumper with just over a minute to play was enough to give Washington a hard-fought, 64-62, win over intrastate rival Washington State in the first round. With the win the Huskies have now won four of their last five games to improve to 18-14 overall. The Huskies split their 18 league bouts this season and had just one win against one of the top four seeds.
The Ducks really let the regular-season title slip away with back-to-back losses to Colorado and Utah on the road to close out the season. Pac-12 Coach of the Year Dana Altman still led his Ducks to a strong season with the team 23-8 overall, while earning a spot in the national rankings in the final eight weeks of the regular season.
Oregon posted wins in both of the meetings this season including a convincing 65-52 win last time out on Washington's home floor. The Huskies still own the edge in the all-time series, 187-107.
Simmons' jumper was the last field goal of the contest between the Huskies and Cougars as each team missed a 3-point attempt in the final minute. Scott Suggs hit four shots from beyond the arc and had 19 points in the win while Abdul Gaddy had 11 assists and nearly recorded a double-double with nine points.
Normally the Huskies are paced on the offensive end at least, by C.J. Wilcox (16.8 ppg). The 6-foot-5 guard was held in check on Wednesday as he had just eight points on 3-of-13 shooting for his fourth game out of double figures in the last eight. Wilcox had just one game with less than 10 points in the other 24 contests on the season. Suggs (12.0 ppg) has been dangerous from 3-point range all season while Gaddy (10.9 ppg, 4.3 apg) has been strong in running the offense as one of the best distributors in the conference. Aziz N'Diaye (9.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg) is a sturdy performer in the frontcourt with his ability to crash the boards and finish around the rim.
By virtue of its top four seeding, Oregon was able to skip the first round and thus has not seen game action since the regular-season finale. The Ducks have hopefully had time to put that game out of their memory as they were handed a 72-62 loss by Utah in a game in which they allowed the Utes to shoot 56.6 percent from the field.
Leading scorer E.J. Singler (11.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.9 rpg) broke out of an offensive funk in the loss to Utah as he scored 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting. The versatile forward had failed to score in double figures in three of the previous four games and has in general had a drop in production this season as he is scoring more than two points per game and shooting seven percentage points fewer than he did a year ago. Carlos Emory (11.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg) has been great in his role as a sparkplug off the bench while Arsalan Kazemi (9.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg) has been a standout after transferring from Rice.
Oregon has had a few days to recharge the batteries and try to bounce back from a rough end to the regular season. That type of rest could reinvigorate the Ducks, especially Dominic Artis (9.5 ppg) who hasn't looked the same in the three games since he returned from injury.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 68, Washington 61
03/14 10:32:40 ET