Starks is shooting the highest percentage of his career, but it is only 40 percent. Still, he has had some good game this season, like his 8-16 for 22-points performance a week ago against Oregon and a 25-point game against Kansas. The key is to make Starks take bad shots because he is going to get them up whether or not they are good attempts. If Starks gets going early, it could be a long night for Arizona. Lyons is the better player here, but he needs to be careful in making sure Starks does not get into a rhythm.
SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, So.) vs. Roberto Nelson (6-3, 195, Jr.)
Nelson has only scored in single digits four times this year and is having an impressive offensive season, averaging about 15 points per game on 44 percent shooting. Nelson is another player that is dangerous if he is able to get into a flow and Johnson has to be careful to make sure that does not happen. Johnson is not going to match Nelson offensively, but if he is able to make it as difficult as possible, it will be just as good. Nelson will have the advantage because Johnson's shooting still is not back to normal and the potential offensive gap is pretty big here.
Advantage: Oregon State
SF: Solomon Hill (6-7, 220, Sr.) vs. Devon Collier (6-8, 215, Jr.)
We are assuming Hill will guard Collier because having Arizona's starting power forward guarding Collier will be dangerous. Hill is able to put a body on him and make his life difficult, but Collier is probably one of the most underrated players in the country. He is averaging 15 and six this season and has basically only had two bad games. If Hill plays like he is supposed to, he has the ability to have a great game. However, this matchup is closer than people think and Collier has had success against Arizona in the past.
PF: Brandon Ashley (6-8, 235, Fr.) vs. Jarmal Reid (6-7, 225, Fr.)
We're going to assume that Ashley is back in the starting lineup because this seems like a good matchup to get him back on track. Reid is not a big scorer and does not even look to do it, which should help Ashley build some confidence defensively. If Ashley is not able to hold his own on defense, then this is probably a larger problem than originally thought. Reid actually had his best game of the season against ASU with six points, 11 boards, and five assists, but also fouled out in 26 minutes. He is not a bad player, but the Wildcats should be able to match him and more.
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 255, Fr.) vs. Joe Burton (6-7, 295, Sr.)
Joe Burton has struggled against bigger players his entire career. He went scoreless against ASU, had seven points against Oregon, and matched that against Kansas. Burton tends to fade away from the basket instead of being physical with a bigger player and it definitely impacts his game. This is a good matchup for Tarczewski because he has a height advantage, but will also be able to bang in the post due to Burton's weight. Burton has a tendency to turn the ball over when the game turns physical, so it will be interesting to see how hard Tarczewski tries to make it a physical game.
Bench: Oregon State's depth takes a hit because it is without Eric Moreland, so the Beavers will likely go with eight players, but none of them are likely to make a huge impact. Sophomore Challe Barton will be the main guy off the bench, but he does not look to score at all, although he is decent in the other aspects of the game. Langston Morris-Walker will likely get some more minutes, but is shooting 5-22 on the season. In addition, Olaf Schaftenaar is not efficient, but loves to get his shots up. He has taken 22 shots in his last 39 minutes, only making four of them. Arizona is more effective with Kevin Parrom, Grant Jerrett, and Jordin Mayes, and this could be a big advantage.
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Craig Robinson
Robinson has been able to bring more talent to Oregon State, but has not done anything with it. Until he does, it is hard to give him a coaching advantage against any coach in the conference, let alone Miller. If Oregon State wins this game, it is difficult to believe that it will be because of a coaching advantage.
Prediction: For the first time this season, Arizona has to rebound from a loss. Oregon State seems like a decent opponent to do that against, but this Beaver team is an interesting one. It gave Kansas a great game and started the season well, but has since lost games to bad teams, including Towson. The loss of Moreland is a big one for Oregon State and will have a negative impact on both sides of the ball. Arizona is more talented and has better depth, but this could be a tricky one.
Arizona 76, Oregon State 69