Fans of Oregon Men’s Basketball are well aware of Altman’s tendency to get the most out of his team come tournament time. Last season’s Sweet Sixteen team made the tournament as a 12 seed after sweeping the PAC-12 tournament to earn an automatic bid. Will Payton Pritchard’s senior magic be enough to surpass last year’s success?
Oregon looked to be heading to the NIT late last season before making a miracle comeback. Coming off of three straight conference losses, the Ducks rallied to save what could have been a disappointing season by winning their final four regular season games, including a delicious upset of washington in Seattle, and then earned their ticket to the dance with a 20-point victory over 1 seed washington in the PAC-12 Tournament Title game.
Once again, Oregon appears to be peaking at the perfect time, pushing past a late-season loss to ASU by rattling off three straight wins to set up a Duck-Cardinal matchup that could hand Oregon the 1 seed for the PAC-12 Tournament. Oregon currently is ranked 20th in KENPOM and hold a 23-7, 12-5 record with a chance to earn sole possession of the PAC-12 regular season title with a win over Stanford and a UCLA loss to USC.
As of right now, there seems to be a consensus that the Ducks are a 4-seed in the Big Dance, though where and who they will play is still anyone’s guess, and a loss in the next couple of weeks would damage their stock.
- Joe Lunardi of ESPN has the Ducks as a 4 seed facing 13 seed Tulsa in the South.
- Jerry Palm of CBS thinks the Ducks will be a 4 seed in the West facing 13-seed New Mexico State.
- NBC Sports wrote that it will be 4-seed Oregon vs 13 seed New Mexico State in the West.
- USA Today also has the Ducks as a 4 seed and also has the Ducks in the West, playing 13-seed Yale.
But all of these experts don’t hold a candle to the brilliant minds of ATQ. As you can see in this week’s FanPulse Poll, much like the team itself, fans are gaining confidence as the tournaments approach.