With a 74-61 win over the Arizona Wildcats (6-23, 2-16) the Oregon Ducks have proven that they are Conference Champions by earning a school best 27-4 record with 12 wins and only 2 losses in conference. Kelly Graves now has the task of refocusing his team towards the upcoming PAC-12 Tournament in Seattle Washington at Key Arena.
The game opened with a Sabrina Ionescu thee pointer and from then on the Ducks never trailed, or even tied. Oregon rarely fell under a double digit lead after the first half due to outstanding yet typical performances by Ruthy Hebard (24 Pts, 9 Reb), Maite Cazorla (13 Pts, 5 Reb), Lexi Bando (15 Pts) and Ionescu (16 Pts, 8 Ast).
Freshman Phenom Satou Sabally played well below her potential, scoring only one point, but Senior Lexi Bando seemed to find her sharpshooting touch after a bit of a slump following her injury earlier in the season. Bando went 5-7 from deep and could give Oregon a familiar weapon for the upcoming PAC-12 Tournament. Ruthy and Hebard have already shown how consistent they can be in the paint and with the mid-range jumper, but if Bando can get her groove back the Ducks could be ready for the best teams in the country, let alone the PAC-12.
As far as seeding is concerned, #1 Oregon, #2 Stanford, #3 Oregon State and #4 UCLA have all earned a bye while the lower eight teams begin the Tournament of Champions on Wednesday. Oregon will face the winner of the matchup between #8 Utah (17-12, 8-10) and #9 Colorado (14-15, 5-13) on Friday, 11:30 AM on the PAC-12 Network. Utah and Colorado will have their game the day before at 11:30.
If Oregon beats their Mountain School opponent, the Ducks will face either UCLA (23-6, 14-4), Washington (7-22, 1-17) or California (20-9, 11-7) on Saturday at 6pm. And if Hebard and crew play at their usual level of excellence then they will most likely get a shot at the Championship game on Sunday at 6pm.