Pac-12 Preview: Arizona, Arizona State visit the Beaver state to take on Oregon, Oregon State

NCAA BASKETBALL: APR 05 Div I Women’s Championship - Final Four - Oregon v Baylor Satou Sabally has come on strong to help the Oregon Ducks win eight straight. | Photo by Mary Holt/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the teams’ last meetings, the No. 12 Arizona Wildcats dropped games to both the No. 3 Oregon Ducks and the No. 9 Oregon State Beavers in Tucson. The No. 19 Arizona State Sun Devils, meanwhile, took down the Ducks and the Beavers in Tempe. Can the Sun Devils pull off a sweep in Oregon?

The No. 3 Oregon Ducks, No. 9 Oregon State Beavers, No. 12 Arizona Wildcats and No. 19 Arizona State Sun Devils represent four of the top six teams in the Pac-12, and all four teams face off against each other this weekend. This is the second time the schools have met. In January, the Sun Devils upset both the Beavers and the Ducks while the Wildcats suffered losses to the Oregon schools.

Since losing to Arizona State, the Ducks have won their last eight games, most recently against the No. 4 UConn Huskies in a 74-56 blowout. Arizona, meanwhile, has won its last five contests, including a 92-66 drubbing of the No. 10 UCLA Bruins, who are just one game ahead of the Wildcats in the Pac-12 standings.

Oregon faces Arizona first. In the teams’ first matchup, the Wildcats were plus-four on the score sheet outside of the second quarter, where they were minus-11. The Ducks enjoyed success in the paint, outscoring the Wildcats 36-18. The Ducks were rewarded with an 18-of-23 performance from the free-throw line.

Aari McDonald, for the Wildcats, is the engine that keeps the Arizona offense moving forward. McDonald leads the Pac-12 in scoring with 20.8 points per contest and has averaged 24 points in the Wildcats’ last four games. Forwards Cate Reese and Sam Thomas are potential threats from beyond the arc, which could stretch their opponents’ defense.

The trio of Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard have been trouble for teams all year. During the Ducks’ eight-game winning streak, the trio averaged over 50 points combined. Sabally, especially, has shined, scoring in double figures in nine straight games after failing to reach 10 points in three of the first nine games in which she played.

The Oregon State Beavers have won their last two games after dropping four of their five prior matchups. Mikayla Pivec and Destiny Slocum are threats to reach 20 points each time they step onto the court. Slocum has been in a bit of a slump, averaging just 9.6 points in the Beavers’ last three games after building a 15.3 scoring average for the season. Freshman forward Taylor Jones can score, and she is one of the best frontcourt defenders in the conference.

The Arizona State Sun Devils are coming off a disappointing 70-61 loss against the Bruins. The Sun Devils’ scoring load is spread evenly because they do not possess a single highly-skilled scorer. Yet, what they lack in offensive prowess, they make up for in stout defense, which the Sun Devils will have to rely on to contend against the Oregon teams.

Game information

No. 3 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 12 Arizona Wildcats

When: Friday, Feb. 7, at 9 p.m. ET

Where: Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, OR

How to watch/listen: Pac-12 Network, Oregon Audio

No. 9 Oregon State vs. No. 19 Arizona State Sun Devils

When: Friday, Feb. 7, at 11 p.m. ET

Where: Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR

How to watch/listen: Pac-12 Network Oregon, Oregon State TuneIn

No. 9 Oregon State vs. No. 12 Arizona Wildcats

When: Sunday, Feb. 9, at 3 p.m. ET

Where: Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR

How to watch/listen: Pac-12 Network, Oregon State TuneIn

No. 3 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 19 Arizona State Sun Devils

When: Sunday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. ET

Where: Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, OR

How to watch/listen: Pac-12 Network, Oregon TuneIn