Pac-12 Tournament: Oregon vs. Colorado quarterfinal preview
LAS VEGAS – The 2015 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament opened on Wednesday in Sin City with a quality quartet of games that kept fans entertrained all day long.
How 'bout doing it all over again?
The MGM Grand Garden Arena will host four more contests on Thursday, as the quarterfinals will pit the conference's remaining eight teams against one another for a shot to advance to the semifinals. Fans can receive free access to Pac-12 Networks' broadcasts of Thursday's first three games (12 p.m. PT, 2:30 p.m. PT, and 6 p.m. PT) on Pac-12.com or the Pac-12 Now app, while the 8:30 p.m. PT tip-off will be shown on ESPN.
Here are key storylines for Thursday's third quarterfinal:
(2) Oregon vs. (10) Colorado
Time: 6 p.m. PT
Outlook: The Oregon Ducks caught a lot of people by surprise this season, securing the No. 2 seed for the Pac-12 Tournament despite having an inexperienced group of youngsters leading the charge. Meanwhile, Colorado has battled injury issues all season long, but are a popular darkhorse pick to shake up the Pac-12 Tourament with a healthy roster.
The Buffs featured a balanced scoring attack in Wednesday's 78-71 win over Oregon State, led by Josh Scott's impressive 16-point, 14-rebound double-double. But the last time these two teams met on Feb. 18, Colorado couldn't keep pace with the Ducks in a 73-60 Oregon win in Eugene.
"It's going to be a great challenge," CU coach Tad Boyle said of the Oregon matchup. "But we've got to take advantage of the mismatches that we have, and it should be a heck of a game. I've got a lot of respect for their program and their players. But I have a lot of respect for ours, too."
Pac-12 Player of the Year Joseph Young dropped 23 points in that Feb. 18 matchup against Colorado, and it will be entertaining to see him battle against fellow guard Askia Booker. Young led all scorers in Pac-12 regular season play with 19.8 points per game, propelling the conference's second-best scoring offense (76.0 ppg) only behind Arizona (76.6).
Both of these teams love to run in transition and push the tempo, so don't be surprised if this one ends up in a shootout.