Payton Pritchard

Pure joy to heartbreak in a matter of seconds. Oregon loses to Boise State 73-70

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Pure joy to heartbreak in a matter of seconds. Oregon loses to Boise State 73-70

How Oregon lost: From pure joy to utter heartbreak in a matter of seconds. That's probably how Oregon fans, coaches, and players felt in the final seconds at Matthew Knight Arena tonight. With time winding down, Oregon sophomore guard Payton Pritchard pushed the pace, drove to the hoop and scored a lay-in with just four seconds left on the clock, the score now tied at 70 a piece. But that was three and a half seconds too many for Broncos guard Lexus Williams who got the ball inbounds quickly, dribbled right to his strong hand, and threw up a prayer from half court. Swish. Nothing but net. A dog pile on one end and a team with hands on their heads and jaws hanging low on the other. The Ducks' 46 home-game win streak comes to an end on a halfcourt shot, and the Boise State Broncos (7-1) come away with the 73-70 win over Oregon (5-3) at Matthew Knight Arena.

"They always hurt, you know, but we put ourself in that position," said Oregon head coach Dana Altman following the game. "Fast break points really hurt us, they had zero at half time and 14 in the second half, we didn't get back and put our defense together. Couple of those were three's which got them going. They were seven of 11 from three in the second half. Put them on the line way too much with really bad fouls. Got beat on second chance points... so lot of work to do. I keep saying that and I know you guys are tired of hearing it, but we got to cut the fouls down and we got to get a lot tougher defensively and a lot tougher on the boards."

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"We can't let this get down and ruin our season," said Pritchard. "But we can't be looking forward to big games or anything like that because obviously any team could beat us right now. So we got to take it one game at a time. Actually, one day at a time for this team."

What it means: The Ducks have some work to do. It starts with toughness on the defensive side of the ball both mentally and physically. The Ducks were out-rebounded as a team 33-30 while giving up 11 offensive rebounds and 11 second chance points. They must have a bigger presence down low grabbing boards and then in turn controlling the pace of play on the offensive side. On the other hand, the Ducks need to show mental toughness and not give up silly fouls like reaching in or not having body control. Those are the types of fouls the player can control. Oregon sent Boise State to the free throw line 25 times tonight.

There is a lot of room for growth for this young Oregon team, but can they get it done by the time conference play comes around?

"All that work is with the tough things," said Altman. "We'll learn to play together better, but the physicality of the game, the defense, the rebounding, that's just got to improve. And it comes down to toughness, and it comes down to leadership."

"Through the game, we should never get comfortable," said Pritchard. "If we're up 30 or down 30, don't matter, so that's just part of us growing up."

High flying Ducks: Pritchard was consistent once again for Oregon displaying his leadership on both sides of the ball. He came up huge for Oregon in the final minutes of tonight's game by controlling the pace and knowing when to drive to the hoop or dish it out to one of his teammates. Pritchard finished with a team-high 28 points on nine-of-16 shooting and with two of his most important points coming with four seconds left on the clock to tie the game 70-70.  

Foul play: Oregon was without freshman guard Troy Brown tonight due to concussion protocol. 6' 7" redshirt senior Mikyle McIntosh fouled out with just over six minutes left in the game and 6' 9" redshirt junior Paul White both fouled out with under a minute to go. 

Up next: Oregon hosts the Colorado State Rams (3-4) Friday, December 8th at 7 PM (PT) at Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon basketball team reloaded for success

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USA Today

Oregon basketball team reloaded for success

Oregon's basketball team won't match last year's run to the Final Four after losing seven of the team's best nine players. 

However, this season's squad will be darn good and could hint toward at possible run at returning to the Final Four the following season.  

The Ducks begin non-conference play at 9 p.m., Friday night at home against Coppin State. Oregon coach Dana Altman will have his work cut out for him this season to mold together a group of mostly strangers in time for when Pac-12 play begins on Dec. 29 against Utah. 

Gone are four NBA players. Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies), Jordan Bell (Golden State Warriors), Tyler Dorsey (Atlanta Hawks) and Chris Boucher (Golden State Warriors), along with Dylan Ennis (graduated), Casey Benson (transfer) and Kavell Bigby-Williams (transfer). 

Such departures would destroy most programs for at least a season., but seemingly not Oregon, which has pulled off one of the greatest reloading adventures of all time. The only real question is if this collection of new talent can come together in time to make some noise in the NCAA Tournament. 

"I think we can have a good offensive team if we make shots for each other," UO coach Dana Altman told reporters following a recent exhibition game. "I don't think this can be a team where (players say) 'I'm going to go make a play this time.'  We've got to move it... Our guys just haven't figured that out yet."

That will take time given all of the new faces. Sophomore point guard Payton Pritchard is the only returning regular rotation player. Sophomore forward Keith Smith played minimal minutes last season. 

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True freshmen, forwards Troy Brown, a five-star recruit, and Kenny Wooten, and freshman Victor Bailey Jr. will be instant impact players. Transfer forward Paul White, who sat out last season, and new transfers, guard Elijah Brown and forward Mikyle McIntosh, will contribute in a variety of ways. Then there's also freshman forward Abu Kigab, redshirt freshman forward M.J. Cage and senior center Roman Sorkin.

That's quite a bit of talent to work with that will create opportunities for Altman to play several different types of lineups. 

But, again, they must all mesh together and learn to play team basketball in order for the Ducks, picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12, to be successful.

No worries. Altman has proven in the past that he is deft at taking a batch of new talent and getting them to play together on defense and on offense. It often takes a bit of time. But once the project is complete, the results typically prove to be spectacular. 

"We've got potential." Altman said. "But we've got a tremendous amount of work to do."

Oregon basketball teams to hold double-header charity games Saturday

Oregon basketball teams to hold double-header charity games Saturday

The Oregon men's and women's basketball teams will play a pair of charity exhibition games on Saturday morning at Matthew Knight Arena to raise money for those affected by the wildfires that ravaged the state last summer.

Admission is $10 for the double-header event that will not be televised. Money raised will go to the American Red Cross Oregon Wildfire Fund. Payment must be in the form of cash or check. Credit cards will not be accepted. The games are being held early in order to be done in time for fans to attend the Oregon football team's 2:45 p.m. game against Utah at Autzen Stadium. 

The women’s team will host Portland State at 9:30 a.m. 

“This is a great opportunity for our fans to get a look at two exciting teams,” UO women's coach Kelly Graves said in a prepared statement. “While at the same time, we are joining forces with Portland State to help with the recovery efforts in fire-damaged areas of our great state.”

The men’s team will play at 11 a.m. against Idaho.

“The NCAA has given us a unique opportunity to give back to our state, and we are honored to be able to do that,” Oregon men's coach Dana Altman said. “We want to encourage those fans who are coming to Eugene for the football game to come early and watch basketball for a good cause.”

The men’s team reached the Final Four last season. The women's team made it to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history.

Doors will open at 9:00 a.m., and all seating is general admission.

Oregon basketball picked to finish fourth in Pac-12

Oregon basketball picked to finish fourth in Pac-12

Media members who cover the Pac-12 picked defending champion Oregon to finish fourth in the Pac-12.

Arizona was picked to win the conference title. Oregon State is picked to finish eighth. 

Considering that Oregon, which reached the Final Four last season, lost Jordan Bell, Dillon Brooks, Tyler Dorsey and Chris Boucher to the NBA, along with Dylan Ennis, being picked to finish fourth is quite complimentary. 

The Ducks return one impact player, sophomore point guard Payton Pritchard, leaving coach Dana Altman to rebuild with a few other young returners, transfers and a loaded recruiting class that includes five-star guard Troy Brown

Oregon will play Northwest Christian in an exhibition game on Nov. 30 before opening the regular season Nov. 20 at home against Coppin State.

Pac-12 conference play begins Dec. 29. The Pac-12 Tournament will be held Mar. 7-10 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. 

2017-18 PAC-12 MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

  Team (First Place) Points
1. Arizona (22) 273
2. USC (1) 251
3. UCLA 223
4. Oregon 203
5. Stanford 182
6. Arizona State 146
7. Utah 129
8. Oregon State 125
9. Colorado 112
10. Washington 71
11. California 46
12. Washington State 33

Oregon guard Casey Benson announces decision to transfer

Oregon guard Casey Benson announces decision to transfer

The deconstruction of Oregon's first Final Four team in 78 years continued this evening with the announcement from junior guard Casey Benson that he would seek to transfer. 

"I believe it's in my best interest to graduate this spring and become a graduate transfer," Benson stated on Twitter. 

Jordan Bell? We await your decision...

Gone already are sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey and junior forward Dillon Brooks. Both followed seniors Chris Boucher and Dylan Ennis out the door. 

Benson's decision means that five of the team's top seven players are now gone. Bell would make six should he decide to leave. He is projected by many online mock drafts to be a first-round pick in this summer's NBA Draft.

Benson's choice comes a bit out of left field but shouldn't be considered all that shocking. Benson started the 2015-2016 for an Oregon team that won the Pac-12 regular season and tournament championships before reaching the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. His reward - to lose his starting job to freshman Payton Pritchard this season when the Ducks reached the Final Four.

Benson didn't figure to return to the starting lineup next season even with the departure of Dorsey and Brooks. So, with most of his pals now gone, it only stands to reason that Benson would recognize the disintegration of what the Ducks built and seek to find a place where he could start his senior year. 

As a graduate transfer, Benson would be eligible to play right away. 

Benson wasn't flashy or a great scorer for the Ducks, but UO fans should never - ever- forget the season he had in 2015-16 when he committed just 24 turnovers while handing out 117 assists and averaging 6.0 points per game over 38 starts. The 24 turnovers is astounding but it wasn't enough to assure him of being the starter the following season. Pritchard committed 56 turnovers in 38 games this season while averaging 7.4 points per game with 141 assists. 

Pritchard said at the Final Four that he and Benson had a frosty relationship to start the season when both were competing for the starting point guard spot. Both said that their relationship got better over time, but clearly there was some friction between the two early on in the season. 

Oregon returns to regional finals after 69-68 win over Michigan

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USA Today

Oregon returns to regional finals after 69-68 win over Michigan

Oregon 69, Michigan 68 

How Oregon won: No. 3 Oregon (32-5) once again found a way late in a NCAA Tournament game to pull out a narrow victory and advance, winning 69-68 over No. 7 Michigan (26-12) Thursday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. 

Oregon sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey, the hero in the team's second-round win over Rhode Island, made a three-foot shot to give UO a 69-68 lead with 1:09 remaining, and the Ducks got stops on Michigan's final three possessions over the final two minutes and change to earn the win. 

Michigan guard Derrick Walton Jr. missed a jump shot from 18 feet out at the buzzer.

Michigan attempted 31 three-point shots, making just 11. The Wolverines made 14 of 27 two-point field goals. Michigan coach John Bielein said there were several threes his team shouldn't have taken but also added that the Wolverines were mindful of Oregon forward Jordan Bell's defensive prowess inside. 

Oregon shot 44.8 percent from the field. Michigan made 43.1 percent of its shots and committed just one turnover in the second half after committing seven in the first half. The Ducks only turned the ball over five times all game. 

What it means: Oregon advances to the regional finals for the second consecutive season. Oregon last year lost 80-68 to Oklahoma in the West Regional finals in Anaheim, Calif. 

Key sequence: Oregon led 60-55 after senior guard Dylan Ennis hit a jump shot with 5:10 remaining. Michigan, however, answered with back-to-back three pointers. First D.J. Wilson made one from 24 feet out off an assist from Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. Dorsey then missed a jumper for Oregon setting up a three from Derrick Walton Jr. from 27 feet out to give the Wolverines a 61-60 lead with 4:15 remaining in the game, and causing UO coach Dana Altman to call a timeout.

The talking to worked. Dorsey came out of the timeout and got a three from the corner from to make the score 63-61, UO. But then, Irvin came back for Michigan with a three to give the Wolverines a 64-63 lead. 

Michigan led 68-65 with 1:49 remaining when Ennis missed the front end of a one-and-one. But Bell got the offensive rebound and scored to make the score 68-67, Michigan. 

Some 40 seconds later, Dorsey hit what proved to be the game-winner. 

High-flying Ducks: Dorsey finished with 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting and made five of his seven three-point attempts. 

Bell had 16 points and 13 rebounds. 

Ennis gave the Ducks 10 points, five rebounds and three assists. Oregon junior forward Dillon Brooks had a relatively quiet night scoring 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting. However, he added four rebounds and five assists. 

Fowl play: UO junior forward Kavell Bigby-Williams only gave the Ducks one points and two rebounds in eight minutes of action. 

Up next: Oregon will play the winner of tonight's second game between No. 1 Kansas and No. 4 Purdue on Saturday. 

Tyler Dorsey lifts Oregon over Rhode Island, 75-72, and into Sweet 16

Tyler Dorsey lifts Oregon over Rhode Island, 75-72, and into Sweet 16

Oregon 75, Rhode Island 72 

How Oregon won: No. 3 Oregon (31-5) came back from a double-digit deficit in the second half to win on a three-pointer from sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey with 38 seconds remaining Sunday at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. 

No. 11 Rhode Island (25-10) received great performances from guards Stanford Robinson (21 points) and Jared Terrell (15) to take 46-38 at halftime and led by 11 in the second half.

But the Ducks kept chipping away at their deficit before taking a lead late only to watch the Rams come back.

After Dorsey's three, Oregon made two stops as a desperate Rhode Island team fired up bad three-point attempts.

Rhode Island shot 51 percent from the field. Oregon shot 48 percent.  

What it means: Oregon advances to the Sweet 16 in Kansas City, Mo.

Key sequence: In the first half, UO forward Dillon Brooks gave UO a 25-18 lead on a tip in of a missed three-point attempt from freshman guard Payton Pritchard.

However, Brooks had something to say to the Rams' defenders and received a technical foul. E.C. Matthews made both free throws for Rhode Island to make the score 25-20.

After the game, Brooks said he yelled, "This is a big man's game."

Oregon pushed its lead to 30-22 with 6:36 remaining and then Rhode Island took control. A 10-4 run by the Rams made the score 34-32, UO. Later, Robinson hit a three to give the Rams a 37-36 lead that eventually grew to 46-38 at halftime. 

In the second half, the Ducks looked to be in trouble before a late run got them a brief lead. The Rams, however, came back to take a 72-68 lead on a tip-in basket by Robinson. UO senior gaurd Dylan Ennis hit a free throw to make it 72-69. A minute later, Dorsey hit a three to tie the game with 1:46 remaining. 

That set up his game-winning heroics with the deep three to win it. 

High-flying Ducks: Dorsey was red hot once again this postseason. He made all three of his shots in the first half and finished 9 of 10 for 27 points. He made 4 of 5 from three-point range.

Junior forward Bell had six points and 12 rebounds. Brooks shot poorly (7 of 20), but scored 19 points and had seven rebounds. 

Fowl play: Ennis and Pritchard did not show up for this one. Ennis shot 1 of 6 for seven points, but he did have five rebounds and four assists. Pritchard also shot 1 of 6 from the field to finish with five points. He committed four turnovers. 

Up next: Oregon will travel to Kansas City, Mo., to play No. 7 Michigan. The Wolverines (26-11) upset No. 2 Louisville (25-9), 73-69 earlier Sunday. 

 

Ducks open NCAA Tournament with 93-77 win over Iona

Ducks open NCAA Tournament with 93-77 win over Iona

Oregon 93, Iona 77

How Oregon won: No. 3-seed Oregon (30-5) had little trouble dispatching of No. 14 seed Iona (22-13) during the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif.

The Ducks were too athletic and too skilled for the sharp-shooting Gaels who used their three-point shooting to remain close for a bit in the first half before superior Oregon ran away with a 55-37 lead at halftime. 

Oregon built a 26-point lead in the second only to watch the Gaels shoot their way back to within 83-70 with 5:56 remaining in the game, but the Ducks never relinquished control of the game. 

Iona made 10 of 26 three-point attempts. Oregon shot 55.6 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle, 41-27. 

What it means: The Ducks have won a tournament game for the fifth consecutive season. 

Key sequence: Iona hit consecutive three-point baskets sandwiched around an Oregon field goal to make the score 29-26 Ducks with 8:35 remaining in the first half. From that point on, the Ducks outscored Iona 29-11 before the break to take command of the game with a 55-37 lead at halftime.

During the run, the Ducks got a three-pointer from junior guard Casey Benson and 12 points from junior forward Jordan Bell along the way. A short jumper from sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey gave the Ducks a 50-35 lead with 1:42 remaining in the first half.

High-flying Ducks: Dorsey continued his torrid postseason pace with 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He also had five rebounds.

Freshman guard Payton Pritchard, who struggled during the Pac-12 Tournament, turned it on here today with 18 points. He made four of seven from three-point range. 

Junior forward Dillon Brooks finished with 18 points, four assists and four rebounds. 

Fowl play: Kavell Bigby-Williams, needed more now than ever with the season-ending injury to senior forward Chris Boucher, got into early foul trouble and finished with four personals, four points and six rebounds in 15 minutes of action.

He must play better if Oregon is going to advance deep into this tournament. 

Up next: Oregon will play No. 11 Rhode Island (25-9) on Sunday. The Rams defeated No. 5 Creighton, 84-72 on Friday in Sacramento. 

Five musts for the Oregon Ducks to win it all

Five musts for the Oregon Ducks to win it all

Before last week's Pac-12 Tournament I gave the Oregon Ducks about a 25 percent chance to reach the Final Four and a 15 percent chance to claim the national title. Then senior forward Chris Boucher went down and out with a knee injury during the semifinals. 

Gone went the availability of the 6-foot-10 shot blocking, rebounding, stretch-four three-point shooting and power dunking beast who is undoubtedly the team's second best all-around player next to junior forward Dillon Brooks. 

It's a devastating blow for the Ducks, a No. 3 seed in the Midwest Regional who begins tournament play at 11 a.m., Friday against No. 14 Iona in Sacramento, Calif. For me the loss of Boucher reduces Oregon's chances of making a deep run into the tournament to about five percent to the Final Four and a one percent chance for the Ducks to claim their first national title since 1939.  Las Vegas oddsmakers dropped the Ducks' odds of winning the national title from 12-1 before the Pac-12 Tournament to 25-1. Conference rivals Arizona and UCLA both sit at 12-1. Why the shift for UO? It's all about the absence of Boucher.

It remains possible that the Ducks could get red-hot and rattle of six wins to take it all. Lesser teams have done so in the past. But for that to happen, which would likely include having to take down No. 2 seed Louisville and No. 1 seed Kansas, Oregon would need at least five specific occurrences to take place. And, it simply just doesn't appear to be plausible to expect all five to occur on six consecutive nights. 

Here they are:

1. Kavell Bigby-Williams must consistently deliver:  The 6-10 junior transfer gave the Ducks three points, six rebounds and two blocked shots during 14 minutes of action in UO's 83-80 loss to Arizona in the Pac-12 title game. If he shows up like that six more times, UO could be in business. However, here is the rub: If he were capable of delivering such solid performances in the pressure of a NCAA Tournament then why wasn't he seeing more consistent playing time during the regular season? UO coach Dana Altman didn't lean on him for more than 9.7 minutes per game for a reason. Altman doesn't fully trust him. Bigby-Williams rarely received 10 or more minutes in games that weren't blowouts. During a 75-73 win at Stanford on Feb. 25, he played 10 minutes but picked up three fouls in that time. He had three fouls and two turnovers in 12 minutes of action during a 79-61 win at home over Utah on Feb. 16. Such performances are what led Altman to play Bigby-Williams for just nine minutes over the first two conference tournament games. But to his credit, he did play well against the Wildcats. But can he do that again, and again, and again?  If so, UO would at the very least have an adequate big man off the bench to help grab rebounds and defend bigs. But if he starts turning over the ball and getting into foul trouble, he becomes a liability that UO has no real replacement for. We can't completely forget about the 6-10 Roman Sorkin. But, again, we're talking about a guy Altman has not displayed much trust in. Sorkin has played just 8.1 minutes per game on the season, has never received more than 10 minutes in a close game and didn't play at all in the final two games of the Pac-12 Tournament. The Ducks desperately need Bigby-Williams to round into top form on a nightly basis right now. 

2. Great Tyler Dorsey must maintain a consistent presence: When this guy is hot, Oregon is tough to beat. When he is bad, the Ducks have survived in the past only because others picked him up. Not having Boucher around to be that consistent force next to Brooks means Dorsey cannot play poorly in any game after the second round if UO is going to advance. In 14 games this season, Dorsey made just three field goals or fewer while shooting 22.7 percent (23 of 101). In six of those games he made just one or zero baskets. That's 14 of the team's 34 games, or 41 percent of the time, in which Dorsey's game simply vanished. If past is prologue, then it stands to reason that if Oregon played six NCAA Tournament games Dorsey would have two or three such outings. Now, Dorsey was brilliant in the Pac-12 Tournament. He made 22 of 42 shots (9 of 19 from three) while averaging 22.3 points per game. Oregon needs that Dorsey to show up nightly because the Ducks won't have the depth to pick him up when he struggles without Boucher around. When Dorsey struggled early during the Pac-12 title game, Oregon fell behind by 14 with Brooks carrying the load. Once Dorsey got rolling and put up 21 in the second half, the Ducks came back and almost stole the title. He needs to do that every night during the NCAA Tournament. The night he doesn't against a good team, UO is done. 

3. Payton Pritchard must get rolling again: The freshman out of West Linn went from looking like a legitimate contributor to disappearing over the past four games. In the stretch he made five of 17 shots for 3.9 points per game. In the final two Pac-12 Tournament games, Pritchard made just one of six shots for four points with a weak five assists over 54 minutes. That can't continue. Pritchard must be a consistent threat to either score or be a deft distributor. When he plays well, he takes pressure off of senior guard Dylan Ennis, who has his own battles with inconsistent play, and makes it less of a necessity for UO to lean on junior backup guard Casey Benson, who can't be relied upon to provide consistent offense.  To Pritchard's credit, he committed just one turnover during the team's three Pac-12 Tournament games, but that's in part because he played it safe most of the time and merely acted as a conduit to push the ball to someone else who might take a chance at making a play. Pritchard is better than that. He has hit clutch shots this season. He has come up big in big games (15 points, nine assists against UCLA at home on Dec. 28). He has had double-digit assists. He can play at a high level. That Pritchard must return in order for the Ducks to make a deep run. 

4. Jordan Bell must avoid foul trouble: Oregon's three-guard lineup with Brooks playing power forward only works because of Bell's ability to patrol the middle on defense as a fearless rebounder and shot blocker. In the past, if he faced some foul trouble (he rarely does), UO could turn to Boucher. Not anymore. Bell committed just three fouls over 102 minutes played during the Pac-12 Tournament while blocking eight shots. That's phenomenal. He has to remain on the floor and give the Ducks that type of production against elite opponents in order for UO to advance. If he is limited by foul trouble and the Ducks are forced to turn to Bigby-Williams and Sorkin for long stretches, the Ducks could be in huge trouble. 

5. Brooks must carry this team like a player of the year should: He can't be sloppy. He must play intelligently. He has to be calculated with his aggression. But in order for UO to advance far in this tournament it will need Brooks to be even more special than he was during the regular season. No hiccups. If the Pac-12 player of the year has a game in the NCAA Tournament like he did against California during the Pac-12 semifinals when foul trouble limited him to 21 minutes and he scored just 10 points on 3 of 12 shooting, UO's season ends that day. He is going to have to make big shots in clutch moments to stop opposing runs and to bail out the rest of the team when they struggle. He might also need to hit a buzzer-beater, or two, along the way. In the Cal game, Boucher came off the bench for 10 points in 24 minutes. The rest of the bench, Bigby-Williams and Benson, offered five points in 30 combined minutes. Brooks can't have bad nights, especially beyond the first two rounds. 

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If all five of the above happen, the Ducks will make it to the Final Four in Glendale, Ariz., and give anyone there a run for their money. If not, UO will fall to advance further than it did last season when the Ducks' run ended in the Elite Eight. 

 

Dorsey carries erratic Ducks over Bird-less Cal, 73-65

Dorsey carries erratic Ducks over Bird-less Cal, 73-65

Oregon 73, California 65

How Oregon won: No. 5-seeded California (20-12) put forth a strong effort against No. 1-seeded Oregon (29-4) during the semi-finals of the Pac-12 Tournament Friday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. 

But trying to defeat the No. 5 Ducks without senior guard Jabari Bird proved to be too difficult for the Golden Bears. Bird went down hard on his head after getting pumped faked into the sky by Oregon junior forward Jordan Bell. Bell missed the shot but Bird didn't miss the floor as he had trouble with the landing after making contact with Bell. No foul was called but Bird did not return to the game.

As for Oregon, it did  not play well as a team. If not for sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey getting read hot and making 9 of 13 shots from the field for 23 points, UO could have easily lost this game. 

The rest of the team made just 15 of 43 shot attempts on the night. 

Cal had a chance to steal the game trailing 67-65 with under a minute remaining. But UO senior guard Dylan Ennis scored on a drive and was fouled. His free throw gave the Ducks a 70-65 lead with 22.6 seconds remaining. 

What it means: The Ducks advance to the finals of the Pac-12 Tournament for the third consecutive season.

Key sequence: Oregon led just 40-37 early in the second half before racing out to a 10-point lead that proved to be too much for the undermanned Cal to overcome.

Dorsey got the run going with a jumper then Ennis followed with a jumper of his own. Later, Casey Benson drove hard to the basket for a layup and was fouled by Cal guard Grant Mullins. Benson made the free throw to make the score 47-37, UO with 15:10 remaining.

High-flying Ducks: Dorsey followed up his 21-point effort Thursday afternoon against Arizona State with 23. 

Bell had 15 rebounds and blocked four shots to go along with his six points. 

Fowl play: Brooks had a rough night. He picked up his third foul early in the second half. That resulted in him taking a season with just six points on 2-of-10 shooting at that point. He finished the night with nine points and six rebounds  on 3-of-12 shooting.

Payton Pritchard didn't necessarily have a have a bad night but he didn't take his first shot attempt until the 9:09 mark the second half when he made a three-pointer to give the Ducks a 59-52 lead. He finished the game with three points in 26 minutes.  

Up next: Oregon will face No. 2-seeded Arizona (29-4) after it defeaeted No. 3-seeded UCLA (29-4), 86-75 in the second game of the evening.