Yesterday, Chris Dobbertean of SB Nation’s Blogging the Bracket was kind enough to join me for a chat about the Oregon basketball season and their postseason aspirations. We attempted to do a live video chat, but technology failed us hardcore so we switched to the old fashioned Q&A.
ATQ: It's almost time for the Big Dance. Where do you have the Ducks in your bracket right now?
Chris Dobbertean: In my Friday update, the Ducks will be sixth overall and the two seed in the West Region, where Gonzaga will be the one.
ATQ: Do you see any scenario playing out where the Ducks can be a No. 1 seed in the tournament for the second straight year?
CD: It's going to be a bit more difficult for the Ducks to jump to the one line because the competition is a bit fiercer than last season. It would take a collapse by Gonzaga and North Carolina to get Oregon there — that's possible but a lot to ask with the way both of those teams are playing right now. Plus, the fact the Pac-12's second division teams are weaker than last season hurts. This goes beyond Oregon State and Washington State being putrid. It's the fact there aren't eight legitimate NCAA/NIT contenders this time around. That limits the Ducks' quality win opportunities.
ATQ: Before the Ducks begin their NCAA tournament run, they need to survive two more Pac-12 road games, plus the Pac-12 tournament in Vegas. What team do you think provides the biggest road block to the Ducks before the NCAA tournament?
CD: Even though Oregon State sets up as a classic trap game in the season finale, one that could provide a devastating loss since the Beavers are 291st (out of 351 teams) in the RPI, let's go with the Pac-12 Tournament. If the Ducks end up finishing second in the league, Colorado would be a possible quarterfinal opponent and you all know what the Buffaloes did to Oregon in Boulder.
ATQ: Who is your MVP of the Oregon basketball team to this point? Dillon Brooks, or someone else?
CD: Dillon Brooks, of course. I'm still surprised he didn't win the UCLA game at Pauley the way he did in Eugene (and how he broke Cal hearts in Berkeley last night).
ATQ: Prediction time: How far do you see the Ducks going in the tournament? If they don't win it all, who knocks them out and when?
If Oregon gets the two seed in the West, the Final Four is a legitimate possibility. In my Friday projection, that could set up an intriguing national semifinal meeting with Kansas — I'd probably take the Ducks to win that one but fall to either UNC or Villanova in the final.
Thanks again to Chris for taking the time to chat with us. You can check out his work over at Blogging the Bracket.