The Oregon Ducks and Arizona State Sun Devils square-off in the second, and final, game of Wednesday Pac-10 Tournament opening round at Staples Center, playing for the right to face UCLA in the quarterfinals. The Oregon Ducks hold the higher seed, finishing seventh in the Pac-10 standings this season, but you wouldn't know it looking at the head-to-head matchups. Arizona State struggled through the Pac-10 schedule, winning just four times, two of which came against the Ducks.
Oregon saw a resurgence under new head coach Dana Altman in what was expected to be a down year, with many predicting the Ducks to finish at the bottom of the conference. Altman brought a hard-nosed style to Eugene that's paid immediate dividends in the form of wins, and though Oregon finished the regular season on the skids, fans are excited for the future.
On paper, the Ducks and Sun Devils are just about even, with each posting similar offensive and defensive efficiency ratings. Oregon holds a slight edge on the offensive end, with both teams in a dead heat defensively, each holding opponents under one point per possession. The Ducks shooting has been dreadful at times, as well, with Oregon posting an eFG% of 47.3, among the worst in the nation.
For Oregon, it's all about the inside presence, with sixth-year senior Joevan Catron emerging as the biggest offensive threat this season. Catron uses the most possessions, draws fouls and has an excellent free throw rate in addition to being Oregon's best rebounder. Trent Lockett and Ty Abbott are the cornerstones of the Arizona State offense, with Lockett using the most possessions on the team.
Tune in to FSN at 8:30 p.m. as the Ducks and Sun Devils duke it out in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament.
No. 8 Stanford Cardinal vs. No. 9 Oregon State Beavers, 6 p.m. FSN
No. 7 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devils, 8:30 p.m., FSN
No. 4 USC Trojans vs. No. 5 California Golden Bears, noon, FSN
No. 1 Arizona Wildcats vs. Stanford/Oregon State, 2:30, FSN
No. 2 UCLA Bruins vs. Oregon/Arizona State, 6 p.m., FSN
No. 3 Washington Huskies vs. No. 6 Washington State Cougs, 8:30 p.m., FSN
For more on the tournament, including the latest news and bracket updates, check out the rest of our 2011 Pac-10 tournament StoryStream.