The Oregon Ducks won its second consecutive Pac-12 regular-season championship Sunday evening with a win against rival Oregon State, avenging a "bad loss" to the Beavers earlier this season when Oregon had just eight scholarship players and had three starters missing.
Then less than 12 hours later, the Associated Press left the Oregon Ducks unranked in the final Top 25 poll heading into the major conference tournaments. The Ducks received 67 votes, good for an unofficial ranking of 27th as they received the second-most votes among unranked teams.
But, two Pac-12 teams are ranked, two teams who failed to win the conference.
Colorado and USC are ranked No. 23 and No. 24 respectively.
The Trojans did handily defeat Oregon at home on February 22nd, but not only is that the only Oregon loss in their last eleven games, but USC proceeded to lose its next two games, permitting Oregon to control its destiny to win the Pac-12 again. USC would have ended the regular season losing three-of-four if UCLA could hit free-throws, as the Bruins were at the line for a one-and-one with under 11 seconds remaining up two points before choking.
Meanwhile, Colorado and Oregon split the season series with each team winning on its home floor and the Buffaloes lost to Cal, the worst team in the Pac-12.
Despite all this, 47 of 63 AP Poll voters (74.6% of the total voters) left Oregon off its ballot entirely after the Ducks won the Pac-12 and finished the season winning ten of eleven games. A good showing in the Pac-12 Tournament surely will result in Oregon getting ranked, but why will it take that long?
Oregon has lost five games all season: a season-opening loss to Missouri (no Will Richardson), at Colorado (no Will Richardson), vs. Oregon State (missing three starters), vs. Washington State (Chris Duarte got hurt midway through the game), and at USC.
Anyone watching Oregon sees this is another Dana Altman team poised for a Sweet 16 run and whatever highly-seeded team gets Oregon in the second round is going to be upset, and rightfully so.
But that's the problem, no one is watching the Oregon Ducks. That's the only explanation for them being left off so many ballots entirely.