Oregon basketball has won seven of the past eight games but what’s a realistic win total for the Ducks to make the NCAA Tournament?
After starting the season 6-6, it looked like Oregon basketball was going to have to scratch and crawl its way to the NIT. The Ducks, who began the year ranked in the top 15, were struggling and we should have seen it coming with the amount of departing talent.
Gone were Chris Duarte, Eugene Omoruyi, and LG Figueroa which accounted for most of the production that helped lead the Ducks to the Sweet 16 in 2020-21.
Dana Altman did bring in some talent in the form of transfers Rivaldo Soares, De’Vion Harmon, Jacob Young, and Quincy Guerrier but there was just not enough gelling early on. There just wasn’t enough chemistry to build a winning team and it took about two months before things started to really click.
The Ducks figured something out in a home loss to then-No. 1 Baylor.
Following that loss to the top-ranked Bears, the Ducks pieced together six straight wins before losing a heartbreaker to Colorado in Eugene. They beat USC and UCLA on the road in that stretch which was good enough to get them consideration in the AP Top 25. But the Colorado loss changed that before a win over Oregon State to complete a season sweep.
Sitting at 13-7 with 10 regular-season games left, what’s a realistic win total for Oregon if they want to shock everyone and make the NCAA tournament after a nightmare start?
I’m going to say a 7-3 finish should get Oregon in the tourney. Seven more regular-season wins along with one or two wins in the Pac-12 Tournament should get the Ducks in. Win seven more games and beat two out of three of Arizona, UCLA, and USC and the Ducks should be comfortably in. That’s a solid resume.
If Oregon finishes the season 22-11 or 21-11, the Ducks should make the Big Dance and when that happens as a No. 8-11 seed, anything is possible.