11 seed Arizona State (15-16, 5-13) vs. 6 seed Oregon State (18-11, 9-9) / MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, NV / 8:30 PM PST / Pac-12 Network / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon State opens their Pac-12 Tournament, and closes the first day of the tournament, against Arizona State. Being the Beavers, of course tip time is as late as possible, just after 8:30 PM.
The Beavers bring some momentum to tonight's game, coming off an 86-82 win at UCLA last Saturday, and victories in 3 of their last 4 games.
The Sun Devils are stumbling in in comparison, after being disappointed in losing their regular season home finale on Saturday 68-65 to California, and having dropped 5 of their last 6 games, with only a home win over Stanford to show for the stretch run.
But Arizona State won their only meeting of the season against Oregon State, back on January 28, when US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps made a much anticipated appearance from behind the "Curtain of Distraction", and the Sun Devils went on to defeat the Beavers 86-68, though Oregon State shooting less than 20% from the floor in the first half, and Gary Payton II being held to just 2 points, had more to do with the Beavers suffering their worst loss of the season than poor and distracted free throw shooting did.
That and having a balanced Arizona State attack have 5 Sun Devils score between 10 and 17 points.
The Arizona schools did not make the trip to Oregon this year due to the Pac-12 schedule rotation.
The Beavers will again be without freshman guard Tres Tinkle tonight. Tinkle injured his foot in practice last Tuesday, and was a spectator for both of last weeks' games as well.
With Iona having claimed the MAAC's automatic berth, Monmouth, who was likely going to the NCAA Tournament in any event, there's an effective decrease in practically available at large bids, and so Oregon State, once though to be in the Tournament after the win at UCLA, may well need a win tonight to hold on to an NCAA bid.
Arizona State needs 2 tournament wins in order to become NIT-eligible, and so both teams have a lot to play for tonight.
The winner will play again tomorrow night, at the same late night tip time, against California (22-9), the Tournament 3-seed.