Utes Hope To Snap 6-Game Road Losing Streak Against No. 17 Oregon

Feb 15, 2020, 7:16 PM | Updated: 10:16 pm
Utah Utes forward Timmy Allen (1) reacts after a foul call as Utah and Oregon play in an NCAA baske...
Utah Utes forward Timmy Allen (1) reacts after a foul call as Utah and Oregon play in an NCAA basketball game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. Oregon won 69-64. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Utes men’s basketball team is in need of a road win after losing their last six games away from the Jon M. Huntsman Center. In order to do that on Sunday, the Utes will need to get an upset win over No. 17 Oregon.

Utah is currently 14-10 overall and 5-7 in Pac-12 play. Their two-game winning streak came to an end on Thursday with a 70-51 loss to Oregon State. The Utes are tied with the Beavers and Washington State for 8th in the standings but due to the tiebreaker, Utah is 10th in the Pac-12 standings.

Oregon is 19-6 overall and 8-4 in league play. They snapped a two-game losing streak with a 68-60 win over No. 16 Colorado at home on Thursday evening. The Ducks are tied with Colorado for first place in the Pac-12 standings.

The Ducks beat the Utes in Salt Lake City on January 4 with a 69-64 victory. It’s the only home loss for Utah this season.

Utah has struggled against Oregon in the all-time series with a 10-21 record. Since joining the Pac-12, the Utes are 2-16 against the Ducks, including a 1-5 record in Eugene.

Utes Desperately Need Road Win

Utah’s only true road win this season was in the opener at Nevada when they picked up a 79-74 victory. Since then, Utah has lost at Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, USC, UCLA and Oregon State.

In their loss to Oregon State, the Utes shot 37 percent from the field and just 26 percent from beyond the arc. Timmy Allen had just six points on 3-8 shooting. Allen, Riley Battin and Rylan Jones shot a combined 5-21 from the floor and 2-8 from the three-point line.

Against Oregon on January 4, Both Gach scored a career-high 24 points. Gach played in their loss to OSU after missing the four games prior due to a knee injury. Allen notched a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Ducks. The Utes shot 35 percent from the floor and 30 percent from downtown.

Payton Pritchard led Oregon with 19 points along with 14 points apiece from Chris Duarte and Will Richardson.

Oregon Coming Off Big Win

The Ducks picked up a big win at home in comeback fashion over Colorado. Richardson led all scorers with 21 points. Pritchard added 15 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. He among second in the Pac-12 conference in points per game with 19.3 and first in assists with 6.

Chris Duarte is averaging 14 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 43 percent. Richardson adds 10.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

As a team, Oregon is second in the Pac-12 with 75.5 points per game, third in field goal percentage (46%) and first in three-point percentage (38%). The Ducks rank fourth in assists with 14.3 (tied with Utah) and first with 8 steals per game.

Utah’s Tournament Resume

Part of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee process is the information compiled from five major metrics, the NET rankings, the three metrics from ESPN, including Strength of Record, BPI and RPI. The final two metrics that are used are the rankings from KenPom and Sagarin.

Utah is ranked No. 79 in the NET ranking after their loss to Oregon State. Oregon is No. 25 in the NET rankings after their win over Colorado. The Utes are the eighth highest ranked team in the Pac-12 according to the NET rankings, while Oregon is third.

Here is where the other metrics have the Utes this week:

  • RPI – 61
  • SOR – 65
  • BPI – 121
  • KenPom – 110
  • Sagarin – 93

For Oregon, here is where the other metrics have them ranked:

  • RPI – 13
  • SOR – 18
  • BPI – 19
  • KenPom – 26
  • Sagarin – 29

Also, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee uses the Quadrant system where they put the opponent in a quadrant depending on their five ratings in their major metrics. Entering the game against Oregon, Utah is 2-7 against Quadrant 1 opponents. Their seven losses came against San Diego State, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, USC, Arizona State and Oregon State, while their two wins were against BYU and Kentucky in Las Vegas.

The Utes are 5-1 against Quadrant 2 teams with wins over Nevada, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon State and Stanford, with their only loss against UCLA. In Quadrant 3, Utah is 3-2 with both losses coming against Tulane and Coastal Carolina in the Myrtle Beach Invitational and their three wins coming against Ohio, California and Washington State. The Utes are 4-0 in Quadrant 4 with wins over UC Davis, Weber State, Central Arkansas and Mississippi Valley State.

Oregon has a 6-4 record in Quadrant 1, beating Arizona, Seton Hall, Michigan, Colorado, Houston and Washington with their four losses against Gonzaga, Colorado, Stanford and Oregon State. They are 4-2 in Quadrant 2, beating USC, Arizona State, Memphis and Utah, while falling North Carolina and Washington State. The Ducks have a 6-0 record in Quadrant 3 with victories over Boise State, UCLA, UT Arlington, Montana, California and Fresno State. Oregon is 3-0 in Quadrant 4 with wins over Hawaii, Texas Southern and Alabama State.

The Utes and Ducks will tip-off at 7 p.m. on Sunday with the game being televised on FS1.

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