NCAA Tournament

Twitter reacts to Oregon's 72-67 loss to Baylor in the Final Four

Twitter reacts to Oregon's 72-67 loss to Baylor in the Final Four

It was a game with 12 lead ties and 12 lead changes that came down to the final minute, but the Oregon women’s basketball team’s historic season came to a close on Friday in the Final Four.

Led by Ducks star Sabrina Ionescu, who scored 18 points in the game after going scoreless in the first quarter, Oregon rallied to take a 34-33 lead at halftime. But Baylor’s twin tower duo of Kalani Brown and Lauren Cox, who combined for 43 points and 17 rebounds, were too much for the Ducks to handle.

With less than a minute to play, Oregon made just 1 of 12 of its shot attempts from the floor and the Ducks fell 72-67 in the team’s first-ever Final Four appearance.

Following the loss, Ducks fans reacted on Twitter:

[READ: Despite defeat, newcomer Ducks are built to last]

Twinning with Sabrina Ionescu Pt. 1: Rapid fire with her brother

Twinning with Sabrina Ionescu Pt. 1: Rapid fire with her brother

Sabrina Ionescu’s resume is long and exceptional: Two-time Pac-12 Conference player of the year; back-to-back First-Team All-American; National Player of the Year candidate; NCAA career triple-double record holder (18); probable No. 1 overall WNBA pick and owns too many UO program records to count.

The junior is a brilliant mentor in the University of Oregon community, a strong Christian, a devoted daughter and a twin.

Her twin title, obviously not chosen, is just as prominent in her life as any of the other accolades. After transferring from City College of San Francisco, twin brother Eddy is now Sabrina’s roommate in Eugene, Oregon. Eddy stands at 6-foot-5, six inches taller than his sister and 18 minutes younger. The shooting guard hopes to walk on the Ducks men’s basketball team, loves Oregon already and thought it would rain more in Eugene. Of course, the two hoopers live a stone’s throw away from Matthew Knight Arena.

Eddy’s unique perspective gives incredible insight into Sabrina’s past as a first-generation Romanian and future, as she weighs the decision to go professional or not. In part one of this series, we get to know Sabrina through her twin’s eyes via rapid fire questions.

[READ: Twinning with Sabrina Ionescu Pt. 2: "She's left her mark" but what's next?]

Stay tuned as Eddy plans to take fans along in his journey to Oregon’s first Women’s Final Four in Tampa Bay, Florida through videos and photos on NBC Sports Northwest’s Instagram and Twitter.

Does Sabrina have any pregame traditions? 

EDDY: She always has to take a nap before a game.

Even early and super late games?

EDDY: Every game unless it’s like at 11 a.m.

What is your sister’s junk food weakness?

EDDY: Ice cream.

What is the hashtag that best describes Sabrina?

EDDY: #Franchise

Her most used emoji?

EDDY: Crying laughing face

Go to dance move?

EDDY, laughs: Sabrina doesn’t dance.

Favorite cartoon character?

EDDY: Minnie

Why does she wear number 20?

EDDY: It was one of the first numbers given to her. So she stuck with it.

Who is better at singing karaoke?

EDDY: Me, absolutely.

What is your go-to song?

EDDY: Gosh, that’s a hard one. Michael Buble.

Did you know he’s coming to perform in Portland?

EDDY: YES! I know, I know. I talked to Sabrina about going.

Who takes more selfies? 

EDDY: Sabrina.

You used to communicate basketball plays to one another in Romanian, are you still fluent in Romanian?

EDDY: We still are fluent in Romanian and we still speak to each other in Romanian. In terms of basketball, I don’t speak to her while she’s playing in Romanian. Not anymore, at least.

What’s the best slang term?

EDDY: It’s kind of hard to say, but in English it means the little bug doesn’t go to the water often. Which means you can’t continue to do a bad habit over an over again because eventually it’ll bite you in the ass. By the way, you can take out the word “ass” in this interview.

Hell no, I like the personality and realness. 3 words, describe your sister, go!

EDDY: Funny, competitive and enthusiastic.

Who would win in a free throw competition?

EDDY: Me.

What about a 3-pt competition?

EDDY: It depends on the day. It’s about 50-50. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

Sounds like you two are very competitive. When was the last time you played HORSE?

EDDY: Not too long ago. Maybe like a month ago.

Who won?

EDDY: I won the first game, she won the second game and we couldn’t play a third because we were in Matthew Knight Arena and they had to turn the lights off.

Who is cleaner?

EDDY: We are both pretty clean. I would say me, though. I’m kind of OCD.

Steph Curry calls Sabrina the walking triple-double, what do you call her? 

EDDY, laughs: My sister.

What does she call you?

EDDY: She calls me “Ed."

A game of pickup basketball and you can pick literally anyone in the world, who is first?

EDDY: First in the world, hmmm… I’d probably take Kobe Bryant.

Where does Sabrina land on the list?

EDDY: In the starting five. She would be my point guard.

Sabrina Ionescu adds another notch to her belt: AP All-American First Team honors

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USA Today Images

Sabrina Ionescu adds another notch to her belt: AP All-American First Team honors

After leading the Oregon women’s basketball team to its first Final Four in program history, Sabrina Ionescu has something else to celebrate.

The Oregon guard was one of five players named to the Associated Press’ All-American First Team on Monday. Ionescu received 26 of 28 votes from the 28-member panel of national media. 

Ionescu was named Most Outstanding Player this weekend at the Portland Regional after scoring 31 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the No. 2 Ducks 88-84 win over No. 1 Mississippi State in front of a crowd of more than 11,500 at the Moda Center. 

The two-time reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year threw up a three-point dagger with 1:12 left in the game to clinch the win for No. 2 Oregon over No. 1 Mississippi State and send the Ducks to their first Final Four in Tampa, Florida.

Ionescu leads the Ducks in scoring with 19.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game. She also holds the Division I single-season record with 18 triple doubles--the most of any NCAA player in history. 

The triple-double star will look to lead Oregon to another first on Friday, a win in the Final Four and the school's first appearance in the national championship game. But first, Ionescu and Co. will have to go through the winner of Monday's Baylor-Iowa game. Tip off time has yet to be determined. 

The last double-digit seed standing: No.12 Oregon vs. No.1 Virginia

The last double-digit seed standing: No.12 Oregon vs. No.1 Virginia

Oregon is the NCAA tournament’s lone double-digit seed in the Sweet 16. The Pac-12 Tournament champion Ducks are on a 10-game winning streak after crushing UC Irvine, and the nation's longest winning streak (17 games). The Ducks are about to about to face their toughest competition yet. Virginia defeated the Oklahoma Sooners, 63-51 on Sunday, to punch its ticket to Louisville, Kentucky. It’ll be the Cavaliers’ 10th NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.  

Fun Fact: Oregon is the last Pac-12 school standing in the big dance.

Did you know? In the history of the NCAA Tournament, a total of twenty No. 12 seeded teams have made the Sweet Sixteen. The Ducks are the first school to ever advance to the Sweet Sixteen twice as a No. 12 seed (2013).

Records: Oregon (25-12), Virginia (31-3)

A win would: Advance the Ducks to their fifth Elite Eight appearance since 2002.

All Hail Dana Altman:  No Oregon basketball coach has more wins than Dana Altman. The victory over UC Irvine tied Altman with Ernie Kent as the winningest coach in Oregon history (235 wins). Oregon and Altman have finalized a contract extension through the 2025-26 season.

Odds Are: UVA opened as a 7.5-point favorite over the Ducks, according to Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. The over/under is 119 total points.

[READ: The Ducks’ have an X-Factor, a commander and a King]

Defensive surge: Oregon’s stifling defense continues to shine throughout its 10-game winning streak; allowing only 54.2 points per game while shooting 34.9 percent from the field and 23.0 percent from three. 

High Flying Ducks

Oregon's 10-game win streak is tied for the longest active streak in the nation with Auburn. 

Kenny Wooten swatted his way to a seven blocked shots against UC Irvine, which is the most blocks in an NCAA Tournament game, second only to Jordan Bell’s eight blocks vs. Kansas in 2017.

The 6-foot-9 sophomore has been on a tear; blocking 10 shots in Oregon’s two NCAA tournament games and four blocks in the Pac-12 Championship game. 

Payton Pritchard has taken command of Oregon. The junior guard is averaging almost 17 points per game with 54 assists and 25 steals during Oregon’s 10-game winning streak.

Pritchard’s dominance continued against the Anteaters, leading all scorers with 18 points and adding seven assists. He scored 19 against Wisconsin in the first round and didn’t score less than 18 points in any Pac 12 tournament game.

6-foot-9 forward Louis King added 16 points and provided huge bursts of momentum with his clutch shooting against UCI.

Against UC Irvine, Pritchard commanded, Wooten denied and dunked, steady Paul White shined, King came up clutch, Francis Okoro led the huddle, but it was senior Ehab Amin who changed the game. His presence was felt beyond the stat line.

Cavaliers to keep an eye on

The Virginia Cavaliers are averaging 71.6 points on 47.9 percent shooting. Against Oklahoma, UVA had three double-figure scorers: Mamadi Diakite (14), Ty Jerome (12) and De’Andre Hunter (10).

Virginia ranked No. 1 in scoring defense this season. UVA allows only 55 points on 38.1 percent shooting with an impressive 27.8 percent shooting from deep. The Cavaliers grab an average of 34.8 rebounds per game.

They are mentally tough and don’t make errors; the Cavs are among the best in the nation in turnovers and fouls per game.

Quotable: "We're going to have to play really well,” Altman said. “They're big. They're physical. They don't make mistakes. They're not going to beat themselves. But we've got a puncher's chance, and we'll go swing away and see what happens."

How and where to watch

Time: Thursday, March 25, at 7 p.m. PT

Where: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.

TV: TBS

Live stream: March Madness Live

More Ducks: How sweet it is: Impressed by Oregon basketball yet?

Oregon Ducks must stop Anteaters to reach seventh Sweet 16

Oregon Ducks must stop Anteaters to reach seventh Sweet 16

Two of the hottest teams are about to meet in the round of 32.

Oregon is about as tough a 12-seed as you can draw in the NCAA Tournament. The Pac-12 Tournament champion Ducks are on a 9-game winning streak after bouncing the Wisconsin Badgers out of the Big Dance. Defeating the UC Irvine Anteaters sends Oregon to the Sweet 16 for the seventh time.

[READ The Ducks’ have an X-Factor, a commander and a King]

UC Irvine has won 17 games straight and successfully pulled off a big first round win over No.4 seed Kansas State.

Fun Fact: UC Irvine’s win over Kansas State was the biggest upset, by seed, so far and the Anteaters’ first NCAA Tournament win in program history.

Did you know? UC Irvine is the only team from California standing in the NCAA Tournament. 

Records: Oregon (24-12), UC Irvine (31-15)

All Hail Dana Altman:  The Ducks are 6-0 in first round NCAA Tournament games under coach Dana Altman. With one more win, Dana Altman will tie Ernie Kent as the winningest coach in Oregon history (235 wins). Oregon and Altman have finalized a contract extension through the 2025-26 season.

Defensive surge: In the last nine games, Oregon is holding opponents to shooting 34.6 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from three-point range. Also, the Ducks have held opponents to 62 points or less during the winning streak, except the overtime win against Arizona State in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.

High Flying Ducks:

During the nine-game winning streak, the Ducks are outscoring their opponents by nearly 18 points per game. 

Kenny Wooten swatted his way to four blocked shots in back-to-back games; the Pac-12 Tournament title game and NCAA Tournament opening round. The 6-foot-9 sophomore was the X-factor in Oregon’s win over Wisconsin; his alley-oops and posturizing blocks changed the game.

Wooten finished the tournament with 10 blocks, a new Pac-12 record and the Ducks set the Pac-12 Tournament record for blocks with 23.

Payton Pritchard has taken command of Oregon. The junior guard is averaging over 16 points per game with 47 assists and 24 steals during Oregon’s nine-game winning streak. His confidence soared vs. Wisconsin, leading all scorers with 19 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds.

Louis King provides huge bursts of momentum with his clutch shooting. Against the Badgers he shot a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and finished the game with 17 points.

The 6-foot-9 forward scored in double figures in all but two Pac-12 games to become the No. 2 freshman scorer in conference play, averaging 14.5 points per game.

Anteaters to keep an eye on:

UC Irvine won the Big West championship with stingy on-ball defense that encourages the opponent to miss a lot of shots. UCI is top five nationally in field goal percentage defense and allows just 63.3 points per game.

Oregon will have its work cut our for them in the race for rebounds.  The Anteaters are plus 7.1 in the rebounding margin.

The Anteaters have one of the deepest benches and most experienced rosters in the sport. Nine different players have led the team in scoring this season and eight players average over five points per game.

UCI’s best scorers are Max Hazzard and Evan Leonard who both average double- figures with 12.5 and 11.1 points per game, respectively. 

6-foot-1 guard Evan Leonard was the star against K-State, scoring 19 points on just seven shots from the field, and a perfect 9-for-9 at the foul line.

Quotable: “We really jump on people,” Pritchard said. “I know (UC Irvine) is hot…We are going to be ready to play.“

How and where to watch

Time: Sunday, March 24, approximately 6:40 p.m.

Where: SAP Center, San Jose, California

TV: TBS

More Ducks:

Obama picks the Ducks to the Sweet 16

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The X Factor, the Commander and the King: Hot Ducks advance in the Dance

The X Factor, the Commander and the King: Hot Ducks advance in the Dance

The madness and drama continues for Oregon into late March. The No.12 seed Oregon Ducks upset No.5 seed Wisconsin, 72-54, extending their nine-game winning streak and advancing to the round of 32.

I guess what happens in Las Vegas doesn’t always stay in Las Vegas. Oregon is now 6-0 in first round NCAA Tournament games under coach Dana Altman. Once hoping for an NIT Tournament invite, improbably, the Ducks possess a shot at the Sweet 16 after securing the conference’s automatic NCAA bid by winning four-straight games in the Pac-12 Tournament.

"You know, we just weren’t on the same page,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said of Oregon’s recent surge. “And how quickly it changed.”

Once again, Oregon’s defensive prowess disrupted the opponent’s best player. The Ducks crowded, trapped and double-teamed Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, making it extremely difficult for the Badgers to get the ball to the four-year starting All-American. Oregon held Happ, maybe one of the best players in the entire tournament, to only four points on 1-of-3 shooting in the first half and 12 total points, eight rebounds, zero assists and five turnovers.

“I thought our guys really were aware of (Happ),” Altman said. “And then Kenny (Wooten) got a couple of his shots, and I think that helped us, put a thought in his mind.”

The first 20 minutes of Oregon’s first round NCAA Tournament game versus Wisconsin was as advertised; a tenacious defensive war, resulting in a 25-25 tie going into halftime.

Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player Payton Pritchard brought his hot streak into the NCAA Tournament. The junior put on a show and etched his name into Oregon history books; rising to fourth in UO career assists and in the Top 20 for career scoring.

Pritchard took command, impacting both sides of the floor; fearlessly driving to the basket, sinking three-pointers while also forcing turnovers and fighting for 50-50 balls. He led all scorers with 19 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds.

Pritchard and freshman Louis King had 19 of the team's 25 first half points.

Enter perfect Paul White and X-factor Kenny Wooten.

After hurting his shoulder in a collision in the first half, Wooten started the second half in a big way; a vicious put-back dunk followed by another nasty dunk. It was only the beginning for the 6-foot-9 sophomore’s first NCAA Tournament game; his alley-oops and posturizing blocks changed the game.  Wooten finished with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, six rebounds and four recorded blocks (but I think it was five).

"I better see him on SportsCenter," senior White said of Wooten’s performance.

White had an uncharacteristic zero point first half before heating up in the second to score 14 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting.

King finished with 17 points and provided huge bursts of momentum with his 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc.

Oregon executed its game plan, forcing 13 Wisconsin turnovers (entered the game averaging 9.5) and scoring 12 points off those turnovers. Not to be overlooked, the Badgers shot an atrocious 20 percent from beyond the arc, going 6-of-30 for the game.

Oregon will get a shot at its seventh trip to the Sweet 16. The 13-seeded UC Irvine Anteaters are the only thing that stand in the Ducks way. UC Irvine is also fresh off an upset victory (over No. 4 seed Kansas State) and on its own winning streak (17 games).

“We really jump on people,” Pritchard said. “I know (UC Irvine) is hot…We are going to be ready to play.“

What you need to know: Oregon Ducks basketball vs. Wisconsin Badgers

What you need to know: Oregon Ducks basketball vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Oregon is about as tough a 12-seed as you can draw in the NCAA Tournament. Pac-12 Tournament champions and on an 8-game winning streak, the Ducks’ defensive prowess has become highly entertaining to watch.

Fun fact: Oregon is the most bet on team AND the matchup has the lowest over-under line in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Defensive surge: In the last eight games, Oregon is holding opponents to shooting 34.6 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from three. Also, the Ducks have held opponents to 62 points or less during the winning streak, except the overtime win against Arizona State in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.

Records: Oregon (23-12), Wisconsin (23-10)

History: Friday will mark the third time in the last six years that Oregon and Wisconsin have met on March 22 in the NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin won the first two NCAA meetings and is 5-2 all-time versus the Ducks.

The Badgers have won 10 of their last 11 opening-round NCAA tournament games, holding teams to 55.9 points per game in the initial game.

All Hail Dana Altman: With four wins in the 2019 Pac-12 Tournament, Dana Altman became the winningest coach in Tournament history (19), surpassing Arizona’s Sean Miller. Oregon and Altman have finalized a contract extension through the 2025-26 season.

High Flying Ducks

When Payton Pritchard goes, the Ducks go: He is averaging 15.8 points per game with 39 assists, 22 steals and just 11 turnovers during Oregon’s eight-game winning streak.

This will be a particularly important game for the junior guard to stay hot; during the Pac-12 Tournament he had 22 assists with only four turnovers. Pritchard’s final bucket in the tournament was a nasty dunk and a smile that solidified him as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Louis King is coming off of a great Pac-12 Tournament; scoring in double figures in all four games and named to the Pac-12 all-tournament team.

The 6-foot-9 forward scored in double figures in all but two Pac-12 games to become the No. 2 freshman scorer in conference play, averaging 14.5 points per game.

Kenny Wooten swatted his way to four blocked shots in the Pac-12 Tournament title game. He finished the tournament with 10, a new Pac-12 record and the Ducks set the Pac-12 Tournament record for blocks with 23.

Badgers to keep an eye on

Wisconsin has one of the best players in the entire tournament in Ethan Happ. The four-year starter averages 17.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, which makes him the nation's only player averaging at least 16.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg and 4.0 apg. He’s on constant double-double watch; he ranks 5th in the NCAA with 21 double-doubles, tying the Wisconsin school record that has stood for 50 years. 

Wisconsin led the Big Ten, allowing just 60.3 points per game during conference play. Overall, the Badgers are 9th in the NCAA allowing 61.4 points per game.

The Badgers like to control the inside. They outscored opponents in the paint every game except two in conference play.

Prediction: Oregon and Wisconsin have similarities in slow offensive pace and a stingy defense. I think this game will come down to turnovers and points off turnovers. The Ducks have excelled at forcing turnovers and average 7.8 steals per game. If Pritchard stays hot and Ducks can come up with a plan to slow down Happ, I predict Oregon will win its first round matchup.

How and where to watch

Time: Friday, March 22, 1:35 p.m

Where: SAP Center, San Jose, California

TV: TBS

More Ducks:

Ducks most bet on NCAA Tournament team: Should you take the gamble?

Leaked NCAA women’s tournament bracket reveals Ducks as No. 2 seed

Dillon Mitchell gets real about his decision to go pro, which NFL teams he met with at the Combine, chemistry Herbert

NBC Sports Northwest experts cast their NCAA Tournament predictions

Oregon most bet on team in the NCAA Tournament: Should you take the gamble?

Oregon most bet on team in the NCAA Tournament: Should you take the gamble?

The NCAA Tournament announcement comes with the excitement of filling out your bracket and maybe placing some bets.

Every year, March is a little mad, which causes fans to study and search for their Cinderella(s) and sure bets. Will Saint Mary’s pull the upset over Villanova? Are you picking UC Irvine to be the next UMBC? What about the Ducks?

No. 12 seed Oregon will play No. 5 seed Wisconsin in the first round of the South Region. The latest line has Wisconsin as a 1-point favorite and a 118 total point over/under (lowest of any first-round game in the NCAA Tournament). Turns out, the matchup has become the most bet on game in the NCAA Tournament. 

What should you do?  A look at recent history shows that putting money down for the Ducks has paid out. Oregon has made a drastic change in the last three weeks and are riding an eight-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament, including four victories to become Pac-12 Tournament champions. Oregon won six of those eight games by double-digits.

Most importantly (for your wallet) in each of those wins, Oregon has covered the spread.

3/16/19 Oregon vs. UW: The Ducks were 1.5-point favorites and beat the Huskies by 20 points.

3/15/19 Oregon vs. ASU: The Ducks were 2-point favorites and beat the Sun Devils by 4 points.

3/14/19 Oregon vs. Utah: The Ducks were 4.5-point favorites and beat the Utes by 12 points.

3/13/19 Oregon vs. WSU: The Ducks were 11.5-point favorites and beat the Cougars by 33 points.

3/9/19 Oregon at UW: The Ducks were 6-point under dogs and beat the Huskies by 8 points.

3/6/19 Oregon at WSU: The Ducks were 7-point favorites and beat the Cougars by 11 points.

3/2/19 Oregon vs. Arizona: The Ducks were 4.5-point favorites and beat the Wildcats by 26 points.

2/28/19 Oregon vs. ASU: The Ducks were 1.5-point favorites and beat the Sun Devils by 28 points.

 

Another note (for your wallet)… Every game has gone under, except the overtime win against Arizona State in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.

3/16/19 Oregon vs. UW over/under 119.5 total points: Result: 116 points, under

3/15/19 Oregon vs. ASU over/under 134 total points: Result: 154 points, over

3/14/19 Oregon vs. Utah over/under 137 total points: Result: 120 points, under

3/13/19 Oregon vs. WSU over/under 137 total points: Result: 135 points, under

3/9/19 Oregon at UW over/under 124.5 total points: Result: 102 points, under

3/6/19 Oregon at WSU over/under 142.5 total points: Result: 133 points, under

3/2/19 Oregon vs. Arizona over/under 130 total points: Result: 120 points, under

2/28/19 Oregon vs. ASU over/under 138 total points: Result: 130 points, under

(All odds via Bovada)

Oregon’s defensive prowess has become highly entertaining to watch. But can the Ducks slow down Wisconsin’s top offensive player and four-year starter, Ethan Happ? Don’t come pounding on my door if Oregon loses or it goes over, but I had to point out the trend. If you’ve been betting the Ducks and the under, you’ve been making some major money.

Let the dance begin: Oregon Ducks named No.12 seed in south region

Let the dance begin: Oregon Ducks named No.12 seed in south region

Are you itching to get your March Madness bracket started? Just announced, the Oregon Ducks get an extra day and play close to home.

After crushing the Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies to take the Pac-12 Tournament crown and the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, Oregon (23-12) is the No. 12 seed in the South Region and will open the tournament against No. 5 seed Wisconsin (23-10).  The first round of the NCAA Tournament will be played on Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif..

"The way this team has fought, it’s been special," junior guard Payton Pritchard said. "We’re just ready to make something happen". 

The Ducks have caught fire and are riding on a dangerous eight-game winning streak. Oregon reached the big dance for the sixth time in seven years after becoming the first team in Pac-12 Tournament history to defeat the top three seeds on the way to winning the title. 

During the CBS Selection Sunaday broadcast, Seth Davis called Oregon "maybe the hottest team in the country right now" and picked the Ducks to beat the Badgers. 

If Oregon wins, it will face the winner of the No. 4 seed Kansas State and No. 13 seed UC-Irvine on Sunday. 

Three Pac-12 teams landed in the NCAA Tournament; Oregon, Washington and Arizona State. Washington is the No. 9 seed in the midwest region playing No. 8 seed Utah State (26-8) in Columbus, Ohio on Friday. The winner will play No. 1 seed North Carolina or No. 16 seed Iona. Arizona State will play a First Four game vs. St. John's in the West region.

Oregon’s sweep more significant than just two wins

Oregon’s sweep more significant than just two wins

The Oregon men’s basketball program recorded its first sweep of a two-game set in Pac-12 conference play last weekend. The pair of home wins over Stanford and California improves the Ducks to a record of 15-9 overall and 6-5 in Pac-12 play, but most importantly it gives UO a chance to earn a top-four seed in the Pac-12 Tournament next month.

The Ducks’ shot to reach the NCAA Tournament likely depends on winning the Pac-12 Tournament, which provides an automatic bid to the big dance. However, CBS’ latest bracket hasn’t killed the idea of an at-large bid. Oregon’s likelihood of success in the conference tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada would improve greatly by securing one of the top four seedings.

The top four seeds automatically advance to the quarterfinal round. The other eight teams play an extra first-round game and must win four games in as many days. Since 2014, the Pac-12 tournament winner has been the one or two seed. The only team to win four games to become champion was Colorado in 2012, as a six seed.

Oregon hasn’t won a stretch of four games since December when Bol Bol was still active, and the Ducks beat the non-conference lineup of Omaha, San Diego, Boise State and Florida A&M.

Fortunately, for Oregon fans, the Pac-12 standings are a cluttered mess and the Ducks are only one game out of second place. After earning the only home sweep of the week, UO moved to a tie for fifth place with UCLA, Arizona and Stanford.

There are four weeks to go in the regular season and five of Oregon’s last seven Pac-12 games will be played on the road. Although the schedule takes a turn for the worst, UO’s roster is the healthiest it has been.

"We're going to find out how together of a team we have," Ducks coach Dana Altman said.

Next up, the Civil War in Corvallis, Ore. vs. Oregon State. The Beavers (15-8, 7-4) won the first meeting 77-72 on Jan. 5 at Matthew Knight Arena.