Published: Чт, Марта 21, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Oregon Take Pac-12 Title

Oregon Take Pac-12 Title

For the No. 12-seed Ducks (10-8 Pac-12, 23-12 overall), an NCAA Tournament bid and conference championship seemed all but impossible only three weeks ago. OR is making its sixth NCAA trip in the last seven seasons under coach Dana Altman. On Feb. 23, OR was 15-12 (10th place in the Pac-12 at 6-8).

The Ducks have caught fire and are riding on a risky eight-game winning streak. Opponents are shooting 34.6 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from three. During the streak, only Arizona State (75) has cracked 62 points. In the last 11 games, however, the Badgers have connected on just 28.7 percent.

Looking ahead to OR, who may be the hottest team in the country, as they are now riding an eight-game winning streak, which includes winning the Pac-12 tournament title. OR has been outstanding in this regard all season, holding opponents to just 29.4 percent from three, which is good for No. 12 nationally. Oregon's title run began in the Western Playoffs at Treasure Island, Calif., by knocking off Texas, 56-41, and dropping Oklahoma, 55-37. Jordan Poole added 13 and Jon Teske chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Ducks were always too talented to be outside the Tournament conversation. Friday will mark the third time in the last six years that OR and the Badgers have met on March 22 in the NCAA Tournament.

Even without the 7-foot-2 Bol, the Ducks are big.

The Oregon Ducks went 1-2 over the weekend against Washington.

This might sound familiar.

King averaged 16.5 points per game during the conference tournament, but remember that Pritchard is the key to Oregon's offense.

There's still time for Greg Gard's team to do something special and enhance the notion that this was a bounceback season for a program that had advanced to the Sweet 16 in four consecutive seasons until watching the tournament from home last season. The Big East champs haven't been seeded this low since 2013. Two Ducks will be making their second NCAA Tournament appearances, while it will be the first for the rest of the squad.

Unfortunately, Wisconsin drew one of the hottest teams in the entire country in the Round of 64 in OR, and the Ducks also happen to match up extremely well with the Badgers. The two teams know one another quite well, having faced off in the Round of 32 in both the 2014 and 2015 tournaments, both UW victories.

OR comes in riding high after catching fire in the Pac-12 tournament. The agreement runs through the 2025-26 season and is meant to be funded through philanthropy.

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However, as mentioned, OR has reeled off eight straight victories since that loss and won a Pac-12 conference championship. It's taking that next step that has proven to be hard for the Badgers, who finished fourth in the Big Ten standings and were knocked out in the semifinal of the conference tournament.

Contrary to preseason expectations, the Ducks' upperclassmen have been the story of the year. Oregon's only first round exits during that span came in 2008, 2009 and 2012.

With four wins in the 2019 Pac-12 Tournament, Dana Altman became the winningest coach in Tournament history.

For Wisconsin to get past OR, they will have to find their shooting touch from outside after failing to do so in their B1G semifinal loss to Michigan State. For the Tournament, he had 22 assists, four turnovers and eight steals.

Washington sports the conference player of the year in Jaylen Norwell along with the defensive player of the year, Matisse Thybulle.

Martin returned, though wasn't much of a factor and the Sun Devils only got marginally better against Oregon's defense. Game time at 4:30 pm. The last time OR did that was early in the 1982-83 season: Rutgers (53), San Diego State (49), St. Olaf (39), Montana State (55), Idaho (56) and Lamar (41).

And then OR started winning.

OR is hot at the right time and while the Wisconsin Badgers are playing well, we have seen this season that they are easily beatable as well.

Preview: After struggling immensely and missing the postseason previous year, Wisconsin is back in business this season, led by All-American big man Ethan Happ.

Not surprisingly, OR has set the program record for wins over a nine-season period, now with 233.

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