8:30pm PST -- Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA (FSN, FSNHD)
If the Cougs want to be playing next week (without paying for it), they can't slip up in this one. There is no reason to believe they will, considering they've handled Oregon pretty easily the first two times this season. Of course, as Cougs, these "sure things" tend to make us nervous. Especially since the Ducks have won a couple since the last time we saw them.
Those two wins don't seem to be a whole lot to worry about. They were wins over the two teams directly above Oregon in the standings and they were both at Mac Court. The win over Stanford was aided by Oregon's best defensive showing of the Pac 10 season (which is a 97.1 efficiency, the Cougs overall efficiency is 88.4). The win over OSU was Oregon's best offensive performance in Pac 10 play. So is Oregon improving, or did they just hit the best part of their schedule?
I would say the second one. The Ducks' last two games resulted in defensive efficiencies over 120 for USC and UCLA. The offense was about average and below average respectively in those contests. So I don't see a whole lot of improvement, especially in their defensive numbers.
Let's hope the Cougs win and win easily. It would be nice to see Taylor, Aron, and Klay sit for a while in this one, because with a win they will be right back on the court less than 24 hours later to face UCLA.
I think johnnycougar said it best for Coug fans in an earlier comment:
"Let's just get this one over with."