Stranger Things have happened in the Super Bowl, right? Tom Brady and the Patriots dropped 31 unanswered points on the Falcons to complete one of the greatest comebacks of all time in the first-ever Super Bowl overtime, 34-28. Now that Brady and Bill Belichick have their record-setting five rings, it’s time to turn our attention to March — March Madness, that is.
- Much like a certain halftime show, No. 13 Oregon (21-3, 10-1) made it rain, shooting 16-of-25 (.640) from downtown to embarrass No. 5 Arizona (21-3, 10-1) in front of a sellout crowd at Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday, 85-58. The 27-point margin of victory marks the largest ever against a top-10 opponent for the Ducks, who are now tied for first in the Pac-12 standings alongside the Wildcats. With the win, UO owns the longest home-game winning streak in the country at 40 — thanks, Kansas!
- A look at next week’s opponents: No. 11 UCLA (21-3, 8-3) and USC (20-4, 7-4) swept the Evergreen State, each picking up wins at Washington (9-14, 2-9) and Washington State (11-12, 4-7)… TJ Leaf averaged a double-double (26p on 74%, 12r) last week to lead the Bruins past the Cougars on Wednesday, 95-79, and the Huskies on Saturday, 107-66. Fellow freshman Lonzo Ball also dazzled across the board, setting a UCLA single-season freshman assists record in the process… For the Trojans, Bennie Boatright scored 23 points in his return from a knee injury to hand the Huskies an 82-74 loss on Wednesday before Chimezie Metu notched a career-high 29 points to give the Cougars an 86-77 setback on Saturday. WSU has dropped three of four, while UW has lost five straight.
The Ducks travel to the City of Angels, where they’ll face UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. PT and USC on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. PT.
- Around the rest of the Pac-12: Cal (17-6, 8-3) has won seven of eight after eclipsing Utah (15-8, 6-5) in double-overtime on Thursday, 77-75, and holding off Colorado (13-11, 3-8) on Sunday, 77-66. Jabari Bird scored a career-high 26 points, including the game-winning alley-oop dunk (*see below), against the Utes before adding 10 points against the Buffs, who saw their three-game winning streak snap… Colorado had beaten Stanford earlier in the week, 81-74, before the Cardinal (12-11, 4-7) bounced back with an 81-75 win over the Utes on Saturday… After falling to the desert schools by an average of 15 points, Oregon State (4-20, 0-11) is still one of seven teams without a win in conference play. The other six? South Florida, North Texas, Penn, North Carolina A&T and SIU-Edwardsville.
That Titanic music seems extra appropriate considering that last bit about the Beavers, eh?
- Across the country: In Wednesday’s marquee matchup between No. 2 Baylor and No. 3 Kansas, the Jayhawks held off the Bears, 73-68. Freshman Josh Jackson posted a game-best 23 points, including the go-ahead dunk, to give Kansas its nation-leading 51st win at Allen Fieldhouse.
- Baylor coach Scott Drew had more losses at The Phog (10) than Kansas coach Bill Self, but now they’re even after the Jayhawks became one of six top-10 teams to fall on Saturday: Iowa State drained 18 three-pointers to knock off Kansas in overtime, 92-89… No. 2 Baylor’s comeback bid fell short against Kansas State at home, 56-54… No. 7 West Virginia lost 82-75 to a surging Oklahoma State team, which has won a league-leading five games in a row… No. 8 Kentucky dropped its third in four games with a 88-66 setback at No. 24 Florida… and No. 9 Virginia was defeated 66-62 by Syracuse, a team that has been riding high of late.
In AP poll history, only FIVE days have seen this many top-10 teams fall (6):— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) February 5, 2017
Feb. 16, 1963
Feb. 19, 1977
Jan. 20, 1990
Mar. 12, 1994
- Last month, it was Marquette and Georgia Tech getting all the love for their upset victories. Those bandwagon trips were seemingly short-lived, and now, it might be time to hop on the Syracuse train. Over a span of eight days, the Orange have knocked off two ranked teams in No. 6 Florida State and No. 9 Virginia to go along with Wednesday’s 100-93 overtime win at NC State. Syracuse’s most recent win marked the 1,000th for head coach Jim Boeheim — even if the NCAA says otherwise. Unofficially, Boeheim is the second men’s coach to reach the marker, as Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski also has 1,000.
- Tara VanDerveer became the second NCAA women’s coach to earn 1,000 career wins, as No. 8 Stanford topped USC at home Friday, 58-42. She joins the late Pat Summit as the only other women’s coach to reach the milestone.
All Things Ducks
- Women’s basketball (15-9, 5-7) split last week, 1-1, to move to sixth in the Pac-12 standings. The Ducks took down Arizona on the road Friday, 79-65, behind Ruthy Hebard’s eight double-double (22p, 14r) of the season. Two nights later, they fell late at No. 23 Arizona State, 68-63, despite Maite Cazorla (17p), Sabrina Ionesco (16p) and Morgan Yaeger (11p) all reaching double figures in the scoring column. UO has now dropped three of four.
- Men’s golf finished third of 21 teams at the Amer Ari Intercollegiate in Waikoloa, Hawaii on Saturday with a 26-under 838 (285-276-277), 18 strokes behind first-place Texas Tech. Individually, freshman Norman Xiong posted the best numbers for the Ducks to tie for seventh (74-64-68—206, -10).
- Women’s lacrosse (1-0) trumped Michigan in its season-opener on Saturday, 11-8. It was a day of firsts for the Ducks: Julia Taylor notched her first-career hat trick, while Katrina Dowd earned her first-career with as a head coach.
- Men’s tennis (4-1) got back in the win column, blanking Cal Poly on Saturday, 7-0. Thomas Laurent, who ranks 33rd in the country in singles play, is now 8-0 on his career at the top of the lineup.
- Women’s tennis (3-4) dropped a pair of matches over the weekend, falling 4-3 to Baylor on Saturday and 4-1 to TCU on Sunday. Doubles duo Nia Rose and Daniela Nasser took down their BU opponents at two, 6-4, while Marlou Kluiving and Julia Eshet beat their Bear counterparts at three, 6-2. Nasser and Kluiving also prospered in singles play, beating their BU opponents at five and six, respectively. Kluiving also picked up the Ducks’ lone win against the Horned Frogs.
That’s all for now. Feel free to
rip my alma mater for not having a win in conference play yet tell me what I missed in the comments. Before I say goodbye, say hello to HI-LIGHTS!