Oregon Ducks vs Utah Utes: Analyst Preview

Written by Rohit Ghosh

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Oregon Ducks vs Utah Utes: Analyst Preview

The surging Oregon Ducks will look to keep their second-straight season with an undefeated record at home alive this when they host the Utes from Utah Thursday night up in Eugene. Owning the nation's longest home winning streak at 40 games in a row, Oregon expects to build from their 81-70 win vs USC.

Utah, on the other hand, enters the matchup looking for any sort of statement win to enter NCAA Tournament discussions. The Utes are currently tied for fifth place in the Pac-12. They'd need a few strong wins to somehow make it to the big dance, but a victory in Oregon while they're ranked in the top-10 is quite the catapult.

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Quantity & Quality: The Ducks' offense is a nightmare for opposing coaches. With fives players averaging double-figures in the points department, Oregon generally uses anywhere from a seven-to-nine-man rotation in the majority of their Pac-12 matchups.

Dillon Brooks leads the way averaging just a shade under 15 points per game, but one of the biggest keys of late has been junior forward Jordan Bell's aggressiveness on the boards. He pulled down 15 boards vs UCLA before grabbing 14 more against USC.

Some Needed Rest: Utah had a few days to rest and recharge after their 85-61 win over Washington last Saturday. Looking back to December-through-January, the Utes didn't have much time to get a true day or two off. The tournament in Hawaii during Christmas got the team a bit fatigued, creating a sort-of domino effect through January.

This week, though, the Utes head into their matchups against Oregon and Oregon State with rested legs.

Slow Starts: In February so far, Utah has had abysmal starts to their matchups. They fell down 18-4 vs Cal, and 19-9 to Washington State. Having a sluggish start in Oregon is a recipe for disaster.

Oregon is No. 22 in the nation in first-half point differential, heading into Thursday's matchup with a margin of +6.8 points on average. Over their last three, though, they're averaging a first-half point differential of +10.3.

Utah is a more efficient team compared to Oregon, ranking No. 28 in offensive efficiency compared to No. 30 for Oregon.

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