Just in case you haven’t heard…Oregon is moving to the Big 10!!!
Okay, perhaps there was a hint of sarcasm there, but give me a break, it’s still the summer doldrums here at ATQ.
Understandably, the primary focus has been on football and how that will look, but if you’ve ever read my content, you know I’ll never shut up about basketball.
For the 2024 season, the Ducks look like a solid contender for the final season of the Pac 12, but beyond that, what are we looking at?
Well, recruits will sign where they will, transfers will find their place in the portal, so it’s hard to tell what kind of rosters we’ll be subject to. All we can really do is look back and guess. So here goes.
Purdue was the class of the conference in 2023 (Boil UP!) and has been a mainstay in the Top 25 over the past decade or so. They may well be the new Arizona for Oregon to deal with. Unfortunately, Arizona will be heading to the Big 12, meaning the epic rivalry between the Ducks and Wildcats on the hardwood will see its final run in 2024.
UCLA, one of the most historic basketball schools in the country and always a target for the Ducks on the hardwood, will be in the Big 10, so there you have a second elite team around.
Third you have Indiana, another basketball behemoth over the decades who is so dominant at home Oregon will have to brace themselves entering the Hoosier State.
Beyond that you have Michigan State, who always seems to be somewhere in the mix no matter what. That, particularly, could end up being a great rivalry for Oregon, as it already has been in football. Michigan and Ohio State, who were ho-hum in 2023, can sometimes be dominant teams, but don’t have the consistency of their gridiron programs. Oregon has actually had a couple of great games against the Wolverines in recent years, and are set to host them this coming season in what will be their last nonconference matchup.
Maryland, Illinois, and Penn State were all sort of sneaky 20-win teams, who pose a bigger threat than the likes of Cal, Stanford, and Washington State.
Then you have Wisconsin, who Oregon has developed a grudge toward since the Badgers have been an issue for the Ducks in postseason play. In 2014 and 2015, they sent Oregon home in the NCAA Tournament. The Ducks exacted revenge in 2019 by knocking them off as a 12 seed but last year Wisconsin again ended the Ducks campaign in the NIT.
Oregon will continue to play Washington and USC, who have both given the Ducks some great games in recent years. The big question is, will Oregon continue its basketball Civil War with Oregon State? Although generally overshadowed by the women’s matchup, the men have treated us to some exciting stuff as well. Where the Beavs end up and whether they can work it out with the Ducks to continue an annual matchup remains to be seen. Considering the schools are a mere 40 minutes away from each other, there appears to be room for optimism.