Meeting for the second time on the season, the Oregon Ducks and Utah Utes meet up in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament. Despite losing freshman lottery pick Bol Bol early on, the Ducks were able to pick up a win on Utah’s home court in the only meeting between the two programs so far.
Although Oregon has been missing Bol and was fairly inconsistent heading into the Pac-12 tournament, they’ve now rattled off five wins in a row and are coming off a blowout against conference doormat Washington State. With efficient nights coming from nearly every single Duck that saw the floor, Oregon looked more like the team that was a preseason top 25.
Although Utah only has a 17-13 record on the year, they came into their own during conference play as the play of star senior Sedrick Barefield has steadily improved since entering Pac-12 play. Utah dropped some inexcusable games early in the year, but also boast plenty of quality Pac-12 wins making them one of the more intriguing teams in the tournament.
Oregon Ducks vs Utah Utes Betting Line & Odds
(All Lines/Odds Courtesy of Oddsshark)
- Oregon Ducks (20-12) vs Utah Utes (17-13)
- Wednesday, March 14th at 11:30 pm ET
- Point Spread: Oregon Ducks (-4.5)
- Point Total: (137)
Oregon vs Utah Prediction & Pick
Oregon has a lot of momentum after the blowout win and their starters were able to get a ton of rest up 30 against the Cougars. However, Utah is a team that embraces a firefight and if Oregon starts lighting it up from the field again, expect Barefield to start going to work and keeping Utah close.
Oregon is aggressive on the boards but lacks true size down low after Bol went down. Much of this game should come down to the performance of another Utah senior, Jayce Johnson, who is a true seven-footer. Typically seeing limited minutes (around 20 per game), Johnson is extremely effective around the rim and should provide a major mismatch for Utah to exploit. Donnie Tillman will also play a big role off the bench in working to shut down the Oregon bench that gashed Washington State.
If Utah is able to exploit that mismatch is an entirely different question. Oregon is an aggressive defensive team and loves to jump passing lanes and pester the ball-handler. Despite lacking size, they do a solid job of helping out down low and Johnson will likely need to make smart reads when the help comes in for Utah to take advantage of Oregon’s defensive rotations.
Look for Utah to start off their Pac-12 tournament bid with a quality revenge win over Oregon and send a message to the rest of the wide open Pac-12 that they are legitimate contenders. Despite being the higher seed, Oregon is regarded as one of the most talented teams in the Pac-12 and oddsmakers clearly respect that. Having said that, the Utes are the more experienced squad and understand they likely need to win the Pac-12 in order to earn their way into the NCAA Tournament.
Pick: Utah Utes (+180)