UCLA Bruins at Oregon Ducks – NCAAM March 3

UCLA (17-6, 13-4) at Oregon (17-5, 12-4)

  • Time: 6PM PST | 8PM CST | 9PM EST
  • Location: Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, OR
  • TV: ESPN2

Opening Tip

First place in the Pac-12 is at stake with the Bruins and Duck tied in the loss column with four each. USC is one game behind with five losses and can figure in the championship picture as well.

UCLA had a four-game winning streak end with a loss to Colorado on Saturday, so the work scenario for the Bruins is easy – beat Oregon and USC and the Pac-12 regular season title is theirs. The Bruins are still without key contributors in Jalen Hill and Chris Smith, who are still out.

Meanwhile, the Ducks have been on fire of late in winning eight out of their last nine games. The Ducks have the same plight as the Bruins – beat UCLA and then Oregon State on Sunday and they are Pac-12 champions. It’s senior night for the Ducks as seven players will play their last game in Eugene. The development of chemistry despite injuries is the reason why Oregon is peaking late in the season.

Vs. The Spread

UCLA:

  • The Bruins are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games
  • UCLA is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. the Ducks
  • The Bruins are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games

Oregon:

  • The OVER has been the play in Oregon’s last 5 games vs the Bruins
  • The Ducks are 18-2 SU in their last 20 home games
  • UO is 5-1 SU in it’s last 6 home games vs. UCLA

Last Time Out

UCLA dropped a 70-61 decision at Colorado on Saturday. The Bruins were in good position when Johnny Juzang and Tyger Campbell had back-to-backs scores to give UCLA a 57-55 lead with 8:11 to play. At that point, the Buffaloes took the game over as they outscored the Bruins 15-4 down the stretch and forced UCLA into six turnovers. Juzang led UCLA with 25 points.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
UCLA +4.5 (-112) +165 O 135.5 (-110)
Oregon -4.5 (-108) -190 U 135.5 (-110)

Advantage, UCLA

UCLA Bruins LogoBoth teams value possession length, but UCLA is a team that uses it to their advantage with what has become a defensive mantra that is the signature of the program. Offensively, Johnny Juzang has been the go-to guy for the Bruins of late. He has averaged 22.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in his last two games while making 14-of-25 field goals in the same period of time. The matchup with Oregon’s L.J. Figueroa potentially checking Juzang will be a big factor either way.

Key Bruins Stat:

UCLA is second in the Pac-12 as the Bruins make 37 percent of their three-point shots on the season and that stat is at 38.8 percent in Pac-12 play. Juzang (36%) and Jacquez (38.6%) are at the forefront of the long-ball game, but don’t sleep on Jules Bernard and David Singleton to spot up and let go from distance as well. Bernard has seven in his last three games and Singleton is 30-of-66 on the season. Oregon’s defense has been tight on the three-ball in allowing just 7.6 per game.

X-Factor:

The Bruins’ depth can be tested in this match up as coach Mick Cronin has received solid minutes from Mac Etienne since he became a member of the rotation at USC where he played 27 minutes on Feb. 6. Although his minutes have diminished, Etienne is still averaging 3.8 boards per game and has made nine of his 14 shots.

Advantage, Oregon

Oregon Ducks LogoWill Richardson and Chris Duarte could control this game on the perimeter. UCLA is not a high-yield turnover team as the Bruins only force 11 per game. Duarte has averaged 17.8 points per game and shot 52.6 parent from the field in his last five games while L.J. Figueroa and Eugene Omoruyi have averaged 15.2 points per game in that span. The Ducks have also averaged 8.8 triples per game as the Bruins will be challenged by and eclectic Oregon offense that has come together over the course of this tough season.

Key Ducks Stat:

Oregon has become known as a second half of the season team in Dana Altman’s 10-year tenure. The Ducks boast a Pac-12 best 69-28 mark and as of late the Ducks’ offensive efficiency has been seen in taking care of the ball as they have average only 7.3 turnovers in their last three games.

X-Factor:

Flip to the defensive end and you see why the Ducks are trending upward. They lead the league in steals a 7.7 per game as Duarte leads with 38. This will be an interesting storyline as UCLA guard Tyger Campbell has a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and will be a challenge for the Ducks’ defensively. In addition, Oregon has held it’s last three opponents to below 40 percent from the field.

Winner: Oregon (-4.5) 72, UCLA 66

The Bets
Oregon Ducks -4.5
-108
Oregon Ducks
-190
OVER 135.5
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.