Men's College Basketball Prediction: Oregon Ducks vs Utah Utes
Thursday, February 02, 2012
by Joe Rodriguez
Two games separate the top seven teams in the Pac-12, and each of the top four have five conference road games remaining.
Oregon committed 23 turnovers in a 76-71 loss at home to Oregon State last Sunday, while Utah has lost six of its last seven games. The rebuilding Utes are 5-5 at home, including 2-2 in conference games.
Oregon Ducks (15-6): The Utes lead the all-time series over the Ducks, 8-7. The teams last met in 2008, with Utah winning 95-81 at home. Garrett Sim, who scored a career-high 28 points in the game as a freshman, averages 12.2 points while shooting 45.6 percent from 3-point range. Oregon is 11-4 since guard Devoe Joseph became eligible on Dec. 10. The senior has scored in double digits in seven straight games, averaging 17.7 points during that stretch. Oregon ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in both scoring offense (69.7 points) and rebounding margin (plus-2.1) through nine conference games.
Utah Utes (5-16): It's been a dismal season for the Utes, but junior guard Chris Hines has stepped up during league play. Hines is averaging 11 points through nine Pac-12 games, and he scored a career-high 21 points on the road at Stanford. The Utes are coming off a 62-45 loss at Southern Cal, a game coach Larry Krystkowiak called a "major setback" to the team's development. Center Jason Washburn leads the Utes with 10.4 points and 6.1 rebounds, and he could have the edge against Oregon's shallow frontcourt.
1. Oregon is 10-1 in games decided by fewer than 10 points.
2. Utah is averaging 55.9 points, compared to Oregon’s 69.3.
3. Oregon is 12-2 when leading at halftime.
BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Ducks 69, Utes 56.
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