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MBB: A Sense of Urgency

Oregon loses for the fourth time in six games

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at UCLA Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t always pretty, but Oregon found a way to overcome an 18-point first half deficit on Saturday and ended up taking the lead at Pauly Pavilion...only to lose the game anyhow.

The 63-71 defeat to the Bruins was the fourth loss in the last six games for Oregon, who started out 5-0 and was firmly number one in the Pac-12.

Now, heading into the stretch run of the season, the Ducks most certainly have some issues to figure out. The game itself was delayed as Oregon had trouble making it to the arena in the first place, and their lack of preparation showed as they found themselves in a very large early hole.

They fought all the way back out of it by the end of the first half though, and it seemed as if the stronger team had finally asserted itself.

Wrong.

With the lead, and momentum, seesawing all second half, Oregon allowed a late run by the Bruins to put them ahead for good and close out a game the Ducks should have won.

Unlike in a loss to Arizona the week before, the Ducks were defeated by a very mediocre team, raising the question of how apt they are to actually make a run at the NCAA Tournament.

Historically, this is when Altman teams begin to put it together and begin late-season runs that result in them finding their way to the big dance.

Except for the last two seasons, were the Ducks faltered down the stretch.

Another sputter across the finish line this year, and Oregon will have missed out on the tournament for the third straight year, something that has never happened before since Altman took over the helm.

The Washington schools visit Eugene this coming week, and for the Ducks it’s already becoming do or die time.