The Runner Sports

Pac-12 Tournament Arizona vs. Oregon: More Than A Title On The Line

The Pac-12 tournament has reached its final stage. After an exciting first few rounds, tonight’s matchup promises to excite. Arizona comes in off a win over a superb UCLA team, while Oregon comes in off 73-65 win over a Cal team fighting for their tournament lives. As if a conference tournament wasn’t enough to play for, the loser of this game will more than likely drop from a 2 to a 3 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Oregon, led by Dillon Brooks, undoubtedly would like to pay Arizona back for an 85-58 walloping earlier this year. Brooks is a huge threat from deep, comes into tonight averaging 16 points a game. He isn’t the only one Arizona needs to worry about, as Tyler Dorsey averages 13 points a game and Chris Boucher, a fierce shot blocker, averages 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds.

Arizona has confidence oozing from every pore, led by the two-headed monster in Allonzo Trier and Lauri Markkanen. Trier, at 16.9 points a game, leads the Wildcats in scoring, but Markkanen a 7-foot three-point threat, is not far behind with 15.8 points a game. The player that doesn’t quite get the credit he deserves is Parker Jackson-Cartwright. Coming off the bench he leads them in assists at 4.3 a game, and his leadership is huge for them in crucial moments.

For Oregon to win tonight they absolutely need to ride Dillon Brooks offensively and get out in transition. The main thing defensively is to get the spacing off Arizona out of whack and funnel everyone into the shot blocker Boucher. Expect a lot of pick and roll action to get Arizona’s Markannen in tough defensive situations and maybe even foul trouble.

Arizona must keep their spacing and control the tempo to their liking. If they can hit early threes, they may be able to pull Oregon’s Boucher out of the paint, which opens up so much more for them. Allonzo Trier needs to walk the fine line of doing enough but not too much; sometimes stars force the issue in big-time games, and that would ruin the chemistry they have flowing so beautifully right now.

Tonight is the night we not only find out who the best team in the Pac-12 is, but one team will be sitting pretty for selection Sunday. This game will be an offensive beauty,  Sean Miller is a mastermind and has all the tools he needs to make another deep tournament run. While Oregon slightly more unknown but none the less, just as prepared to make a push. Unquestionably this game will be one you don’t want to miss.