For the first time all season, Oregon men’s basketball achieved a weekend sweep by knocking off Colorado on Thursday and Utah on Saturday. It was also the first sweep of an individual school as Oregon took care of the season series with the Utes 2-0.
This came as little surprise considering the way Oregon has absolutely owned Utah basketball for the last eight years, but it was a welcome sight to see winning consistency. The Ducks have now won four of their last five.
Jermaine Couisnard led Oregon with 18 points, Will Richardson added 12, and N’Faly Dante and Quincy Guerrier tallied 9 apiece.
Despite all the ups and downs, despite all the injuries, and despite an apparent lack of focus and determination on seemingly a game-to-game basis, Oregon could still be able to notch another 20-win season, something Altman has never failed to do as coach of Oregon.
The Ducks have nine games remaining in the regular season, and would need to go 7-2 to win 20. With an actual consistency to their grit and determination, that’s not out of the realm of possibility.
As far as being part of the dance, it gets a lot more dicy. Oregon has two more matchups with Top 10 opponents; Arizona on Thursday and UCLA on February 11. The Ducks MUST win at least one of those games to have any prayer for a tourney berth. Win one, and lose another in a non-blowout, they may have a shot. Win both, along with maybe one more conference loss, and I think the Ducks get in.
Oregon already pummeled Arizona once this season and played UCLA tight down in Los Angeles. Winning these games is not out of reach. Oregon also takes on USC and Arizona State, both of which are solid squads, and the revenge factor comes into play considering the embarrassment the Sun Devils handed Oregon in Eugene.
This is what makes college basketball so fun, and if anyone can put together a season-ending hot streak, it’s Dana Altman.
Keep your fingers crossed and strap in.