When: 6:30pm PT
Where: Eugene, OR.
Earlier this season, the Ducks finally earned a signature win by defeating then-No. 3 UCLA in overtime 84-81. Following that upset, Oregon won five of their next six games to set themselves up for an NCAA Tournament berth.
Since then, however, the Ducks have nose-dived, losing three of four to bounce right back out of the bubble. At this point, winning the Pac-12 Tournament is likely the only way for Oregon to get a ticket to the Big Dance. To do that, earning a Top 4 spot will be important, as the Ducks would have to win three games in a row instead of four. Sweeping the Bruins, who are currently ranked No.12, would be a great start to achieving that position.
UCLA has still looked strong since the loss to Oregon. However, they did have a recent skid of their own in which they lost three of four. Leading up to today though, the Bruins have won three straight and will have revenge on their mind for the upset at Pauley Pavilion, their only home loss of the season.
In 2019 Oregon sat in a very similar position to where they are now, and the NCAA Tournament seemed like a pipe dream. The Ducks then went on an absolute tear, winning their last four games of the regular season, all four games in the Pac-12 Tournament, then two more in the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
Considering that, you can never really count out a Dana Altman-coached Oregon team. But if the Ducks want to have any chance of repeating that historic run, they absolutely have to lock down on defense, get an offensive rhythm flowing, and most importantly, stop with the mental lulls that seem to keep creeping up on them throughout this season.