The Oregon Ducks men’s basketball team turned heads today when witnesses saw the team depart their team bus carrying hockey bags in front of Keybank Center in Buffalo, New York, the site of this year’s NCAA Men’s Hockey Championship known as the Frozen Four.
Upon questioning, Oregon head coach Dana Altman revealed that his team just couldn’t let their NCAA title hopes die yet, despite being knocked out of the March Madness Tournament last Thursday by UVA.
“We feel we’re a team that can absolutely win a title,” Altman said. “Obviously, winning the NCAA Basketball title was out of reach for us, but hockey? Definitely within our reach. The transition from basketball shoes on a wooden floor to thin razor blades on ice hitting other players at full speed should be a seamless one.”
It’s an experiment the nation will be watching with both great interest and great confusion. This kind of cross-sport transition in pursuit of a title has never before been attempted at the collegiate level.
Anaheim Ducks General Manager and Interim Head Coach Bob Murray, in an effort to beat more analytically-inclined executives like Toronto’s Kyle Dubas, sees scouting and drafting basketball players-turned hockey players as the newest undiscovered market inefficiency.
“The Ducks are in need of new and innovative approaches to finding talent,” said Murray. “With our core pieces aging, we need to push for diversity and new perspectives. I’m excited to watch the Oregon Ducks attempt history and see if any of them could help us in Anaheim in the near future.”
Not everyone is as thrilled about this attempt, however. When notified of Oregon’s plans, NCAA president Mark Emmert said, “What? That’s not even allowed. I don’t know what they think they’re doing but they’re not playing”.
These strong words from Emmert will undoubtedly make it more difficult for Altman’s team to realize their championship dreams.