OREGON DUCKS (25-8)
vs. UCLA BRUINS (25-8)
Pac-12 Conference Tournament - Championship Game
MGM Grand – Las Vegas, NV
Tip-off: Saturday, 11:00 p.m. ET
Line: Oregon -2, Total: 137.5
Two teams with identical records will play in Saturday's Pac-12 Championship game in Las Vegas when No. 21 UCLA takes on Oregon.
The Ducks survived a scare in their tournament opener on Thursday, outlasting Washington 80-77 in overtime, but they cruised to a semifinal win over Utah on Friday by 19 points, holding the Utes to 45 points on 29% shooting. The Bruins have played two close games, outlasting Arizona State 80-75 in the quarterfinals and coming back from 11 points down in the second half to edge Arizona 66-64. However, this win came at a steep price, as Jordan Adams, who scored 18 of his 24 points after halftime, broke his foot on the Wildcats final shot attempt and is done for the season. Although UCLA is 11-6 SU (9-8 ATS) versus Oregon since 2005, the Ducks are 5-2 (SU and ATS) in the past seven meetings including three straight victories. These teams met just once during the regular season, a 76-67 Oregon road win at Pauley Pavilion.
Which school will capture the Pac-12 crown on Saturday night? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts are a collective 75% ATS (21-7-1) in the past two days and are 65% ATS (53-28-2) in the past seven days, with StatFox Gary going 71% ATS (10-4), StatFox Brian posting a 68% ATS mark (15-7-1), StatFox Dave also at 68% ATS (13-6) and StatFox Scott winning 58% ATS (15-11-1) since March 9. Gary has a 66% ATS record (21-11) since Feb. 27 to improve to 56% ATS (108-86-4) for college basketball Best Bets this season. Dave's 6-0 ATS run in the past two days moves him to 62% ATS (24-15) since Feb. 28, and 53% ATS (170-154-5) for the season.
Oregon is a solid offensive team with 71.5 PPG, but the club doesn't shoot particularly well from anywhere (44.6% FG, 31.8% threes, 70.9% FT). SF E.J. Singler (11.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG) is the only regular player shooting above 35% from three-point range this season (36.2%), knocking down 7-of-11 threes in his past three games as part of a 17.0 PPG scoring average in this stretch. Foul trouble limited him to just nine points in the Jan. 19 win over UCLA. C Tony Woods (9.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG) was the hero in that earlier meeting with the Bruins, pumping in a game-high 18 points on 8-of-9 FG. He also came up big in Thursday's win over Washington with 19 points and eight boards, but was held to just three points in Friday's victory. Freshman PG Dominic Artis (8.9 PPG, 3.5 APG) scored 14 points against UCLA on Jan. 19, but has averaged a mere 4.5 PPG in six games since then. But he's done a great job of taking care of the basketball with 11 assists and just three turnovers combined over the past three contests. SG Damyean Dotson (10.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG) and PF Arsalan Kazemi (9.2 PPG, 9.5 RPG) also scored in double-figures in the January win at UCLA, tallying 11 and 12 points, respectively. Dotson has had a nice Pac-12 Tournament so far (15.5 PPG, 5-of-11 threes) and Kazemi came up big against Washington (14 pts, 9 reb) before a mere two points in 23 minutes on Friday.
UCLA's offense has been held to 67.0 PPG in the past four contests, well below its 74.9 PPG average for the season (28th in D-I). The Bruins are very deep with seven players logging more than 20 MPG, which is how they will be able to withstand the loss of injured swingman Jordan Adams (15.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG). The leading point-getter is SG Shabazz Muhammad (17.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG) who has scored in double-figures in all but one of his games this season, and has 13.5 PPG and 7.5 RPG in the two tourney games. Oregon limited him to 10 points (4-of-9 FG) and six rebounds in their earlier meeting this season. PF Travis Wear (11.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG) has dominated the Ducks in his career though, scoring 17 points in both meetings and making a combined 15-of-23 FG (65%). Wear has been strong in Las Vegas too with 13.0 PPG and 5.5 RPG in the two victories. Freshman SF Kyle Anderson (9.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG) entered Friday's game with only 13 points in his previous three games combined, but was able to score 10 points (5-of-11 FG) with four rebounds and a hefty five steals in the win over Arizona. The Ducks had a hard time containing Anderson in their earlier meeting, as he scored 10 points with 11 rebounds and six assists. Speaking of assists, PG Larry Drew II (7.4 PPG) ranks fourth in the nation with 7.5 APG and is one of three players in the country with at least 5.0 APG and an Ast/TO ratio above 3.0. For the season, Drew has 247 assists and just 76 turnovers (3.25 ratio). He had eight points and eight assists against Oregon in January, and scored 20 points in Thursday's win over Arizona State before getting shut out (0-for-5 FG) on Friday.