Oregon basketball is projected to make NCAA Tournament in CBS Sports’ latest bracketology, according to Jerry Palm. Who would the Ducks play?
After a 6-6 start to the season, everyone just assumed that Oregon basketball would be playing for an NIT berth, and nothing more.
It was a disappointing development given the fact that Oregon was a Sweet 16 team just last season and the Ducks began the season ranked in the top 15.
It was clear early on, however, that there was just some sort of disconnect within this team full of transfers as the Ducks dropped their third game of the season to BYU by 32 points. Just two games later, they lost to Saint Mary’s by 12 and then to Houston by 29 the following game.
That 3-3 record with three double-digit losses wasn’t pretty and then losing to Arizona State and Stanford to begin conference play was even uglier.
Something clicked after a solid showing against No. 1 Baylor, however, as Oregon has won five straight games since losing to the Bears at home and dropping to 6-6. Two of those five wins have been on the road against top-five opponents in back-to-back games, making history.
Now at 11-6 and 4-2 in Pac-12 play with wins over USC and UCLA on the road, Oregon is compiling a decent resume and the Ducks are in contention for a conference title as well.
This has caught everyone’s attention but any NCAA Tournament talk seemed fairly premature because the Ducks would need to probably win at least 9-10 of their final 13 or 14 Pac-12 games to finish the regular season with 20-plus wins and around 10-11 losses.
But Jerry Palm’s latest bracketology projection has the Ducks in the NCAA Tournament field if the season ended today. He has the Ducks in as a 12-seed and one of the “First Four”, facing off against St. Bonaventure with a chance to play No. 5 seed UConn in the Round of 64.
This is what progress looks like and with a favorable upcoming schedule, the Ducks can build on that resume and improve to a 9-10 seed by the middle of February.
On the bubble after a 6-6 start to the season is a great thing. The only way to go from here is up for Dana Altman and Co.