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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Pac-12 this week: Colorado and Oregon face off to stay in race

Oregon center Franck Kepnang (22) puts the ball in the basket against Arizona during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz.  (Associated Press)
Oregon center Franck Kepnang (22) puts the ball in the basket against Arizona during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (Associated Press)
Associated Press

Things to watch this week in Pac-12 Conference basketball:

GAME OF THE WEEK: Colorado at Oregon, Thursday. The winner of this will remain in the Pac-12 regular-season race while the loser will have an uphill battle. The Ducks finally have a full, healthy roster and are playing well, knocking off the conference’s two Arizona schools last week. Oregon is 7-3 in Pac-12 play, behind No. 17 Southern California (11-2) and UCLA (10-3). The Buffaloes are fourth in the conference at 10-5 after winning two games and losing to Stanford last week.

LOOKING AHEAD: USC swept the Arizona schools on the road for the first time since 1984-85 to start February and now hosts them this weekend. UCLA also plays Arizona and Arizona State as it tries to catch the Trojans with the regular-season winding down. … Stanford and California play at the Washington schools this week. … Utah joins Colorado in playing both Oregon schools.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: USC’s Evan Mobley was named Pac-12 freshman of the week for the sixth time, extending his single-season record. … Colorado’s McKinley Wright IV became the first player in conference history to have 1,600 points, 600 rebounds and 600 assists in his career during a loss to Cal on Saturday.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Johnny Juzang, UCLA. The sophomore guard became the Bruins’ first player since Reggie Miller in 1986 to account for half the team’s points when he scored 32 in a 64-61 win over Washington. He was named the Pac-12 player of the week after averaging 28 points, seven rebounds and 2.5 assists in two games.

ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: No. 6 Stanford is moving closer to clinching its 23rd Pac-12 regular-season title under coach Tara VanDeveer. The Cardinal lead the conference at 16-2, two games ahead of Arizona (12-2). Stanford hosts the No. 10 Wildcats on Monday after playing Arizona State the day before. … Arizona’s Cate Reese was named the Pac-12 player of the week after scoring 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting in a road win over No. 13 Oregon.

Compiled by AP Basketball Writer John Marshall in Phoenix.

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