Dana Altman aligns Rubik's Cubes: Ducks to play for eternal Pac-12 Tournament title

The Oregon Ducks overcame a 14-point deficit to topple the No. 6 Arizona Wildcats in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal matchup.

Mar 15, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oregon Ducks guard Jackson Shelstad (3) shoots against the Arizona Wildcats.
Mar 15, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oregon Ducks guard Jackson Shelstad (3) shoots against the Arizona Wildcats. / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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The Ducks have done the impossible. Coming into the game as 11.5-point underdogs, Oregon took down the Arizona Wildcats.

After a first half filled with fear due to N’Faly Dante going down hard and a 14-point deficit, the Ducks stormed into the first half and took total control of the game.

While the Wildcats kept the game within reach throughout the entire 20 minutes before the final buzzer, Dana Altman’s halftime adjustments worked perfectly for the Ducks.

“Nobody believed in us," Jermaine Couisnard said after the game. "We just stayed together."

Oregon was held to just 23 points in the first half and shot an embarrassing 2-11 from beyond the arc. Minimizing their turnovers and increasing their shooting percentage, the Ducks were able to not only come back but entirely turn the game around.

With just over 35 seconds remaining in the game, Arizona guard Caleb Love bricked a three-point attempt to bring the score within one.

32.6 seconds remained. The Ducks had an inbound pass attempt. Kwame Evans Jr. held the ball on the sideline. 

The ball went straight to Jackson Shelstad and Arizona fouled to send him to the line. Shelstad went 2-2 for his free throws and Oregon led by 6 points.

At the end of 40 minutes, the Ducks defeated the Wildcats 67-59 and Oregon was heading back to the Pac-12 Championship for the first time since 2019. This time, for the eternal Pac-12 title.

The conference final is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT on March 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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