Oregon Ducks vs. Colorado Buffaloes Pick & Prediction MARCH 7th 2024

The Colorado-Oregon men’s basketball game on Thursday in Eugene, Ore., has important implications for both teams.

The Buffaloes (20-9, 11-7 Pac-12) can clinch third place in the conference regular-season standings and the No. 3 seed in the Pac-12 tournament next week.

The Ducks need at least a win Thursday to take the No. 3 seed. Oregon (19-10, 11-7) hosts Utah on Saturday, and it lost to both the Buffaloes and Utes on the road earlier this season.

Colorado concludes the regular season at Oregon State on Saturday.

One more win for either team will guarantee a first-round bye in the conference tournament. Colorado comes in hot, having won four straight overall. However, the Buffs are 2-6 on the road in conference play.

Colorado’s 3-point defense has improved over the last few weeks and has helped put the team in position for a top-three conference finish.

“Defense wins games. I think every one of us believes that,” guard J’Vonne Hadley said. “We started off not so hot on defense. It showed in a couple of those losses that we should’ve won. But as of lately, we’ve been pretty locked in.”

Oregon has been up and down since a 5-0 start to conference play. Along the way, health problems have contributed to the Ducks’ inconsistency, with three players out due to season-ending injuries and another with an undisclosed illness.

The Ducks are 2-2 over their past four home games with losses to the top two teams in the Pac-12, Arizona and Washington State.

The Ducks’ play has fueled talk of coach Dana Altman not returning after 14 seasons at the helm.

“I’m not going anywhere, unless the school tells me I’m out of here,” he said this week. “But no, I’m not retiring, that’s for sure.”

Altman is 340-150 as Oregon’s head coach and recently won his 750th career game as a head coach. He is one win away from a 14th 20-win season in 14 seasons in Eugene.

–Field Level Media

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