NIT Semifinals Predictions: Oregon Ducks vs Washington Huskies
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
by Mike Stewart
It’s been a down year for the Pac-12, but the conference is assured of a team in the NIT semifinals with No. 3 seed Oregon Ducks visiting top-seeded Washington Huskies for the chance to play in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
The rivals split the season series, with both winning at home. The Huskies cruised to a 76-60 win Dec. 31, and Oregon returned the favor 82-57 on Feb. 9. Washington leads the series 186-105, and the Huskies were openly rooting for a third game with the Ducks after routing Northwestern by 21 points Friday.
The Ducks complied by scoring a season-high 108 in their 11-point win over No. 7 seed Iowa on Sunday.
Oregon Duck (24-9): The Ducks have averaged 102 points in their first two NIT games, but they’ve also allowed 86.5. Look for another high-scoring game against Washington, which averages 75.4 points. The Ducks had five players in double figures for the second consecutive game against Iowa, and E.J. Singler led the way with 25 points. Singler, who recently became the 13th player in school history to attain 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds, averaged 16.5 points and 8.5 boards in two games against Washington this season. The Ducks finished third in the Pac-12, and they’re 13-4 in their last 17 games.
Washington Huskies (23-10): Despite winning the Pac-12 regular season title, the Huskies were denied an NCAA tournament bid after being upset by Oregon State in the quarterfinals of the conference tourney. Washington opened the NIT with an uninspiring win over Texas-Arlington before drubbing Northwestern. Terrence Ross scored a career-high 32 points in the second-round win and tied his career high with six 3-pointers. Tony Wroten, the Pac-12 freshman of the year, averages 16 points and 3.9 assists. Along with his teammates, he’s eager to face Oregon for the third time. “We're going to come out pumped and ready,” Wroten said. “They pretty much embarrassed us last time, in Eugene, so it’ll be about revenge.”
1. Oregon’s 108 points against Iowa were its most since beating UC Riverside, 108-67, on Dec. 28, 2002.
2. Washington is 17-2 at home, with its only losses coming to South Dakota State and California.
3. Oregon’s Devoe Joseph has scored in double figures in 19 straight games, and the Ducks are 20-7 with him in the lineup.
NCAA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Duck 79, Huskies 77.
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