Oregon Ducks at Colorado Buffaloes (-4, 126)
Oregon continues its run at the Pac-12 regular-season title when it visits Colorado on Thursday. The No. 25 Ducks are tied for first place with UCLA with two games remaining and will win the crown if they win both games, no matter how UCLA or third-place California fare. The Buffaloes are tied for fifth place and seeking a regular-season sweep of the Ducks. Colorado notched a 48-47 victory on Oregon’s homecourt on Feb. 7.
The Buffaloes are 2-2 over their last four games after suffering a 16-point loss to California last Saturday. Colorado’s NCAA tournament prospects would be bolstered by a second victory over Oregon. The Buffaloes close the regular season by hosting Oregon State on Saturday. Oregon is 6-3 on the road entering the two-game swing against Colorado and then Utah on Saturday. The Ducks have won five of their last six games and haven’t played since beating Oregon State on Feb. 28. Oregon won its lone meeting against UCLA and holds the tiebreaker edge with the Bruins.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
ABOUT OREGON (23-6, 12-4 Pac-12, 11-15-1 ATS): Senior forward Carlos Emory scored a career-best 21 points against Oregon State and is averaging 16.6 points over the last five games. Emory is shooting 54.4 percent over the hot stretch. Freshman point guard Dominic Artis played 12 minutes off the bench against the Beavers after missing the previous nine games with a foot injury. Artis averages 10 points per game and could see more action with junior Johnathan Loyd battling an illness this week. Artis ranks fourth on the squad behind senior forward E.J. Singler (11.5), Emory (11.2) and freshman guard Damyean Dotson (11 per game). Dotson injured his hip in the Oregon State contest and is expected to play against Colorado. Senior forward Arsalan Kazemi (9.4 points, 9.9 rebounds) has eight double-doubles this season.
ABOUT COLORADO (19-9, 9-7 Pac-12, 15-11-0 ATS): The Buffaloes seek a fast rebound from a poor effort against California in which they set season lows for points scored (46) and field-goal percentage (23.1). Freshman forward Josh Scott was back in the lineup after missing two games with a concussion and had 11 rebounds for his third double-digit effort on the boards. Scott ranks third on the Buffaloes in scoring at 11.2 per game. Sophomore guard Spencer Dinwiddie averages a team-best 15.2 points, sophomore guard Askia Booker contributes 12.8 points and junior forward Andre Roberson averages 10.8 points and leads the nation in rebounding (11.5). Roberson ranks second in school history with 1,019 career rebounds and is 36 away from surpassing leader Stephane Pelle (1999-2003).
* Ducks are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 road games.
* Buffaloes are 20-9 ATS in their last 29 games following a ATS loss.
* Under is 4-1 in Ducks last five road games.
* Under is 12-3 in Buffaloes last 15 home games.
1. Colorado has won the last two meetings and holds a 6-3 series edge against the Ducks.
2. Dinwiddie has topped 20 points seven times this season.
3. Singler and Loyd each have 105 career steals, tying for 10th on Oregon’s all-time steals list.
Wisconsin Badgers at Michigan State Spartans (-4.5, 116)
Seeding for the conference tournament — and perhaps even a shot at a conference title — will be on the line when No. 12 Michigan State hosts No. 21 Wisconsin in a Big Ten showdown Thursday. Both teams are one game behind league leader Indiana in the loss column and caught in a logjam for the Nos. 2-5 seeds. It's the fourth consecutive meeting with a ranked team for Michigan State, which is trying to snap a three-game losing streak.
The Badgers are looking to bounce back after having a three-game winning streak snapped with a 69-56 home loss to Purdue. It was a rare home defeat for Wisconsin, which closes the regular season with road contests at Michigan State and Penn State. The Spartans have won the past four meetings, including a 49-47 slugfest earlier this season in Madison. Michigan State has won 32 of its last 34 games at Breslin Center.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT WISCONSIN (20-9, 11-5 Big Ten, 11-15-1 ATS): The Badgers are experienced, especially in the frontcourt where three seniors start. Big man Jared Berggren (11.6 points, 7 rebounds) and junior guard Ben Brust (11.3 points, 5.4 rebounds) are the team's top scorers, but freshman reserve Sam Dekker is an outstanding outside shooter and one of the top sixth men in the Big Ten. Dekker has scored in double figures in six straight games. The Badgers' real strength, though, is their defense. They hold opponents to 55.8 points per game (ninth in the nation) and 39.4 percent shooting (42nd).
ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (22-7, 11-5, 11-13-2 ATS): The Spartans also are terrific at the defensive end, holding opponents to 59.8 points (32nd) and 39.3 percent shooting (40th), but they also boast four double-digit scorers and another on the cusp. Outstanding freshman Gary Harris (13.3 points) and junior Keith Appling (13.2 points) form one of the top backcourt duos in the Big Ten, and junior forward Adreian Payne (10.1 points, 7.4 rebounds) has come up big lately. Payne has six double-doubles this season and has averaged 15.3 points and 12 rebounds over the past four games.
* Home team is 13-5 ATS in the last 18 meetings.
* Under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in Michigan St.
* Badgers are 1-7 ATS in the last eight meetings in Michigan St.
* Badgers are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings.
1. The home team has won 13 of the past 15 meetings played on campus, with the exceptions being Michigan State's wins at Wisconsin the past two seasons.
2. Wisconsin has won its past two road games against top-10 teams, beating No. 8 Ohio State in 2012 and No. 2 Indiana earlier this season.
3. Payne has 102 blocks, the fourth-most in school history. He needs four more to tie Delvon Roe for third all-time.