OSU vs. Arizona (Pac-12 Semifinal)

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This game ranks as perhaps the biggest moment in the program in 20 years.  Beating Pac-12 champion Washington was enough to put OSU atleast on the NIT bubble but to be guaranteed a NIT spot we will also have to beat Arizona.  From there we would be within one game of the NCAA.  Unlike some fans I was softly rooting for UCLA to beat Arizona.  I noticed in 2 games in the tourney they were scoring low point totals. Quite frankly I saw them as a team OSU could simply outscore and that UCLA would have a tough time keeping up with us if we played well.  Arizona is a stiffer challenge but one the Beavs are plenty capable of winning.

Nick Johnson looked good yesterday for the Wildcats.  He is athletic and will attempt to make difference making plays out there.  Physical wise I think we match up with these guys fine.  We have just as much size.  Cunningham will need to have another good game and then I like Collier, Moreland and Burton all playing aggressively.  It has seemed like the games have favored the aggressors so if we ever have a slump I think it is important to get good shots and work it inside when possible or else look for well-timed drives.  Robinson is getting more comfortable in working with the flows of the game and knowing it is best to use Starks on one or two stretches during the game when hopefully he is hitting.

Our first two games both had good starts and I think that is very important for OSU.  What happened in both games is we lost the momentum for awhile but by the end of the game we were due to get it back and it felt natural and worked and then we were in position to win.  We have to show that same total purpose and try to take the early lead and hopefuly lead this game or be within a point or two at halftime.  Our season will be far more magical if we can atleast get one more win so this game is absolutely huge for Beaver Nation.  We have the athletes.  We are playing smart as a team and showing the will to win.  All that is left is to come out and play with more desire than the opponent and we can win this game too and put ourselves in the Pac-12 Tournament Final.

Senior guard Kyle Fogg and senior forward Jesse Perry will be two players OSU needs to frustrate tonight.  Arizona is without freshman point guard Josiah Turner who was suspended indefinitely before the tourney.  Junior forward Solomon Hill is their final major piece and OSU has the bodies to match him.  This one should come down to execution down the stretch and refusing to lose.  Tonight is a major opportunity for Oregon State.  6 PM tip on ROOT Sports.  Go Beavs!