Two teams currently ranked in the top 15 in the nation are ready to tip off in The Bahamas Wednesday night, as No. 13 Seton Hall takes on No. 11 Oregon. Oregon is a perfect 5-0 to start the season, while Seton Hall is 4-1, with its only loss coming at home to Michigan State by three points.
Here is a preview for Wednesday night’s Battle 4 Atlantis matchup, along with odds and a pick.
Season Thus Far
Through five games, Oregon is undefeated and winning its games by an average of double digits, its best start since 2015-16. And it’s not like it has played a soft schedule either. The Ducks have already beaten No. 16 Memphis and Houston, which was a tournament team last season. However, this is the first game of the season outside the state of Oregon for the Ducks, as they travel across a few time zones for this tournament.
Seton Hall does have the one loss on its resumé, a three-point defeat at the hands of a Michigan State team that opened the year at No. 1. But the Pirates have cruised in all of their other games, winning each of them by double digits. Their most impressive win was in their only road game thus far, an 83-66 victory over a now 5-1 Saint Louis squad.
Who To Watch
This Battle 4 Atlantis matchup will feature two elite senior guards going head-to-head. Payton Pritchard is the leader of the Ducks, averaging a team-high 19.4 points and 5.6 assists. Pritchard is a fantastic distributor and play-maker, but he can also score.
He’ll be opposed by Seton Hall’s Myles Powell. Powell is more of a score-first guard, evidenced by his 37-point performance against Michigan State. Overall, the Pirates point guard is averaging 22.6 points on 42 percent shooting from the field and from deep.
While Pritchard and Powell are the main focuses of the game, both teams have secondary stars that have the ability to take over. For Oregon, Pritchard’s partner in the backcourt is his former high school teammate, Anthony Mathis. The grad-transfer Mathis is averaging 15 points per game and shooting a remarkable 64.5 percent (20-for-31) from three. These two have combined to form one of the best offensive guard duos in all of college basketball.
Powell’s sidekick is a big man from the country of Georgia. Sandro Mamukelashvili is second on the Pirates in scoring with 13.5 points per game but leads them with six rebounds. Standing at 6-10, Mamukelashvili is bigger than anyone on the Oregon roster, which may be the difference-maker in a game that will be very guard-focused. Seton Hall also has sophomore forward Jared Rhoden, who just posted his first career double-double on Saturday against Florida A&M.
The winner of Wednesday night’s game will advance to Thursday’s semifinals in the Battle 4 Atlantis. They will face the winner of Gonzaga and Southern Miss.
Odds and Pick
This is pretty much considered a pick ’em game, with Oregon coming in as the slight favorite at -1.0. These are two very evenly-matched teams with high offensive potential, both led by experienced guards. But I think the size of the Pirates will be the X-factor in this game. The size advantage down low and the scoring ability of Powell, combined with Oregon traveling to the East Coast, has me leaning Seton Hall +1 to get the big win Wednesday night in The Bahamas.