A spot in the NCAA Tournament appears over for the Oregon Ducks after losing to the USC Trojans, 74-54, in a Pac-12 Tournament Semifinal game. The Trojans face Arizona in the championship game while Oregon heads home, awaiting their fate.
No late-game heroics this time around for Kenny Wooten, as the Trojans took advantage of a Ducks team playing on a third-straight night. Fatigue was undoubtedly going to be a factor after the grind Oregon went through in the wins over Washington State and Utah.
Bad turnovers and scoring droughts plagued the Ducks throughout the evening as the Trojans took full advantage. Despite trailing 37-23 at halftime, Oregon appeared to be in another position to make a comeback.
Instead, the shots would not fall for Oregon, as USC grew their lead to start the second half. The Ducks got within 14 but could not come any closer.
MiKyle McIntosh led the Ducks with 21 points, and Elijah Brown finished with 16 points, going 4-9 from three-point range. After a strong start to the tournament, Payton Pritchard scored only four points, struggling to find any rhythm.
Jonah Mathews made his presence known throughout the contest against the Ducks, finishing the night with 27 points to pace the Trojans. Elijah Stewart and Chimezie Metu scored 15 points and ten points, respectively.
For the Ducks, this loss stings. In both contests during the regular season, Oregon and USC went down to the wire. The Trojans came out on top in both matchups. In a game to earn the right to play for the Pac-12 Tournament Championship title, Oregon was looking to win the game mattered. Unfortunately, playing three-straight contests took a toll.
Oregon awaits their fate on Sunday as the Ducks entered the contest on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. Had the Ducks made the championship game and lost, the selection committee would likely not grant a berth. Inconsistent play by Oregon this season will be the likely culprit in not making the big dance.
The NIT Tournament is the likely destination for the Ducks.