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Ducks, Beavers among those with big games ahead

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ON COLLEGE HOOPS


TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: DAVID BLAIR - Guard Gary Payton II and the Oregon State Beavers are making a push for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.It’s a big week on all fronts for college basketball.

Among the key things to watch:

• The Oregon Ducks will be trying to nail down a Pac-12 men’s regular-season crown.

The Ducks have sold out Matthew Knight Arena down the stretch (12,463 saw Sunday’s 86-73 win over Washington). And they went 18-0 at home this season. But they’ll probably need to sweep on the road this week, against UCLA (6 p.m. Wednesday, ESPN2) and versus USC at 1 p.m. Saturday (Pac-12 Networks), to preserve their lead.

Utah ends its regular season at home against Colorado at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU).

California is at Arizona at 6 p.m. Thursday (ESPN) and at Arizona Stdate at 5 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2).

Arizona also plays host to Stanford at 1 p.m. Saturday (KOIN 6).

• Pac-12 standings:

Oregon, 23-6, 12-4

Utah, 23-7, 12-5

Cal, 21-8, 11-5

Arizona, 22-7, 10-6

Colorado, 21-9, 10-7

USC, 19-10, 8-8

OSU, 17-10, 8-8

Stanford, 15-12, 8-8

Washington, 16-13, 8-9

UCLA, 15-14, 6-10

Arizona State, 14-15, 4-12

Washington State, 9-20, 1-16

• The Oregon State men will try to continue their march to a possible NCAA Tournament berth, which would their first since 1990 and the days of Gary Payton.

Gary Payton II, son of the former Beavers star, has led this OSU team to a 17-7 record going into regular-season wrap-up games at 8 p.m. Wednesday at USC (FS1) and 3:30 p.m. Saturday at UCLA (Pac-12 Networks).

The Beavers are No. 32 in NCAA Division I RPI.

• The OSU women will enter the Pac-12 tourney at Seattle’s KeyArena as the No. 1 seed.

The Beavers will open with a 6 p.m. Friday game against the winner of Thursday’s 6 p.m. matchup of No. 8 USC and No. 9 Washington State.

A win would put OSU into the 8:30 p.m. Saturday semifinal.

The Pac-12 title game is 6 p.m. Sunday (ESPN). All other games are on the Pac-12 Networks.

• Coach Ernie Kent, who led Oregon to two Elite Eight berths, hasn’t fared well in his two seasons at the men’s helm at Washington State. The Cougars are 22-38, and they’ve lost 15 consecutive Pac-12 games.

• The Duck women are having to play without star forward Jillian Alleyne, a senior who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice last week.

Oregon (20-9, 9-9 Pac-12) won 20 games for the first time since 2004-05.

The sixth-seeded Ducks’ Pac-12 tourney opener is against No. 11 Arizona at 2 p.m. Thursday.

With a win, Oregon would get a shot at No. 3 UCLA at 2 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals.

• The West Coast Conference tournaments start Thursday in Las Vegas.

The University of Portland men are the No. 7 seed and open in the quarterfinals against No. 2 Gonzaga at 9 p.m. Saturday (ESPN).

The UP women, seeded 10th, face No. 7 Loyola Marymount at 2 p.m. Thursday.

• Northwest Christian’s men beat Oregon Tech in Saturday’s Cascade Collegiate Conference semifinals, meaning legendary Hustlin’ Owls coach Danny Miles has coached his final game for the Klamath Falls school. He went 1,040-437 and won NAIA titles in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Yet, he hasn’t been elected into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. What’s the holdup?

• Lincoln High grad Emily Sheldon and Puget Sound had a great year, earning a spot in the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference women’s title game against unbeaten George Fox. The Bruins beat the Loggers 76-57, but Sheldon had 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting and added nine rebounds and eight assists.

The 5-11 guard Sheldon was the NWC’s leading scorer (20.3) and was named the league’s player of the year. The Loggers went 19-8.

• Lewis & Clark fell short of a Northwest Conference men’s tourney berth, but Jason Luhnow scored 25 points in the regular-season finale against Pacific (74-70 win) to top 1,000 points. He had 1,001.

“It wasn’t the season we had planned for,” said Luhnow, from Lake Oswego and one of four seniors this season for the Pioneers. “We had a lot higher expectations, but (versus Pacific) we just had fun together.”

• The Concordia men concluded their inaugural NCAA Division II season at 7-20 overall and 5-15 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

The Cavaliers women were 6-22 overall and 4-16 in the GNAC.

• The GNAC men’s tournament is Thursday-Saturday at Saint Martin’s in Lacey, Wash., and the top seed, Western Oregon, has a bye into a 2:15 p.m. Friday semifinal game. The Wolves will face the winner of a 4/5 game at 2:15 p.m. Thursday between Seattle Pacific and Central Washington.

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