Oregon vs. Cal could decide the rest of the Ducks season originally appeared on nbcsportsnorthwest.com
Oregon basketball is in must-win territory, and we're for real this time.
The Ducks have gone from Pac-12 preseason favorites to five games out of first place in the conference…and we're nearly to the midpoint of the college basketball season.
That's not good. Not to mention, Oregon is coming off one of its worst losses in Dana Altman history, a 73-51 dismantling in Colorado that left everyone, including junior guard Payton Pritchard, disappointed in the team's regression.
"Right now we just need to get wins," Pritchard said. "I mean I think almost every game is now a must-win. We have to prepare for it at least. Our margin for error is now very low."
Enter, the Cal Bears. Cal is in last place in the Pac-12 and has yet to get its first conference win of the season. The Bears are coming off a heartbreaking 84-81 loss to the Cardinal, who the Ducks will face next. Oregon cannot afford to lose to Cal if they want even the slightest chance of an NCAA at-large bid next month.
Let's preview Oregon vs. Cal.
Records: Oregon (13-9, 4-5), California (5-16, 0-9)
Record Watch: If Oregon wins on Wednesday, Coach Dana Altman will enter the NCAA's top 30 in all-time Division I coaching victories.
Richardson on the move: In Thursday's win over Utah, freshman Will Richardson recorded a season-high 19 points while adding five rebounds, and a season-high three blocks for the Ducks.
The Block King reigns: Kenny Wooten passed Blair Rasmussen for third on UO's career blocks list with three blocks vs. Utah. The sophomore forward now has 122 blocks overall, following a 92-block season in 2018.
Bears to watch: Justice Sueing is coming off back-to-back 20 points games, while Connor Vanover recorded a personal-best 15 points against Stanford. Darius McNeill has 17 steals and 19 3-pointers on the year.
How and where to watch
Time: Wednesday, February 6 at 6:45 p.m. PT
Where: Matthew Knight Arena