Call it Oregon's chance to prove it deserves to be on top of the Pac-12 conference. Call it an opportunity for UCLA to get revenge. Call it the biggest college game of the week. Call it whatever you want. What we know for sure is that No. 5 Oregon plays at No. 10 UCLA on Thursday night in what is sure to be an epic showdown.
During the first Oregon-UCLA matchup last December, the Ducks (21-3, 10-1 Pac-12) handed the Bruins (21-3, 8-3) their first conference defeat, courtesy of Dillon Brooks’ last-second three-pointer that gave UO an 89-87 win at home.
Now the Ducks begin the toughest stretch of their season at UCLA with the regular season conference championship on the line. UO plays five of its final seven regular season games on the road with two coming at the Bruins and USC (20-4, 7-4) on Saturday night.
A quick look at Thursday's game:
No. 5 Oregon vs. No. 10 UCLA
Where: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, Calif.
When: 7 p.m., Thursday.
Records: Ducks (21-3, 10-1), Bruins (21-3, 8-3).
Last outings: The Ducks destroyed then-No. 5 Arizona 85-58 at home last Saturday, extending their nation leading home winning streak to 40 games. The Bruins are coming off a beatdown win of their own, defeating Washington 107-66, in Seattle on Saturday.
Coaches: UO's Dana Altman (175-67 at Oregon, 585-310 Division I). UCLA’s Steve Alford (86-43 at UCLA, 549-278 overall).
Key Ducks: G Tyler Dorsey, 6-4, So., (12.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg), G Dylan Ennis, 6-2, Sr., (11.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, .390 3PT%), G Payton Pritchard, 6-2, Fr., (8.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg), F Jordan Bell, 6-9, Jr., (11.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.1 bpg), F Dillon Brooks, 6-7, Jr., (14.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg), F Chris Boucher, 6-10, Sr., (12.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.8 bpg).
Key Bruins: F TJ Leaf, 6-10, Fr., (17.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.7 apg), G Lonzo Ball, 6-6, Fr., (7.8 apg, 15.1 ppg), G Bryce Alford, 6-3 Sr., (16.4 ppg, 2.4 apg), C Thomas Welsh, 7-0, Jr, (8.3 rpg, 10.4 ppg).
Notes: This will be the third meeting between Oregon as UCLA as top-10 opponents. The Bruins won the previous two meetings in 1975 (107-103) and 2007 (69-57).