Ready for another Civil War men’s basketball matchup?
That would be the case if the Pac-12 tournament started prior to Saturday’s six games to wrap up the regular season.
Going into Saturday’s game at Washington State, Oregon State (14-15, 6-11) is locked into the 10 seed and will play at 6 p.m. Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena against the 7 seed, currently held by Oregon (19-11, 9-8).
But with four teams one game ahead of the Ducks and two teams one game behind them, nothing is a certainty.
Six teams in that group of seven in the middle play each other Saturday: Stanford at Arizona State, Oregon at Washington and Colorado at Utah.
All of the tournament seeds might not be set until the final game of the day – UCLA at USC – is finished.
Oregon State and Oregon split their regular-season series with each winning home games.
Oregon State’s 79-77 loss at Washington was the Beavers’ third Pac-12 road defeat by five points or less. Then there was the overtime home loss to Arizona last week, a game that got away from OSU in the final minutes of regulation.
Had the Beavers found a way to win two of those four games, they could be playing Saturday for a top-half finish.
Spark off the bench
Gligorije Rakocevic gave Oregon State a much-needed shot in the arm Thursday with some early offense.
The junior center scored six of the Beavers’ first eight points, entering the game early after teammate Seth Berger got his second foul less than two minutes into the contest.
Rakocevic also had four of the team’s last six points of the first half and he finished with a season-high 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting in 20 minutes.
It was the first time in Pac-12 play this season — and the first time in 19 games — that the Beavers have had a reserve score in double figures.
Tres Tinkle’s 22 points Thursday put him in double-figure scoring for the 32nd straight game to tie for sixth in school history with Dave Gambee (1955-58). Jose Ortiz (1985-87) is next on the list.
Tinkle needs four points to reach 1,000 career points. Teammates Drew Eubanks and Stevie Thompson reached that plateau. It will be the third time in program history that three 1,000-point scorers played on the same team.
The last time came in the 2012-13 season with Roberto Nelson (1,745), Devon Collier (1,489) and Joe Burton (1,009).
Thompson is 20th in OSU career scoring at 1,225 points and Eubanks 31st at 1,085. Tinkle needs 16 points to pass Swede Halbrook (1953-55) for 40th.
Cougars heating up
The Beavers head to Pullman for a game against a team they defeated by 32 points three weeks ago.
But the Cougars (12-17, 4-13) have found some traction in recent weeks. They’ve won three of their last five after a seven-game losing streak, and Washington State nearly won at Stanford last Saturday in an 86-84 defeat.
On Thursday, the Cougars defeated visiting Oregon, a team that still has hopes of reaching the NCAA tournament. But a loss to 11th-place WSU didn’t help those chances.