Pac-12 Tournament: Oregon shocks Arizona in Las Vegas

Mar 15, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oregon Ducks guard Jackson Shelstad (3) celebrates after making a
Mar 15, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oregon Ducks guard Jackson Shelstad (3) celebrates after making a / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon has had their struggles against the better teams in the Pac-12 Conference this season. Their record against Arizona in the regular season was 0-2.

As the conference semifinal got started with the Wildcats, the Ducks looked disheveled in the opening minutes.

N’Faly Dante went down hard after an attempted stop landing on his tailbone and wincing in pain for several minutes on the floor. It was a pivotal look for the season at that point.

Dana Altman and the Ducks could have taken that as a sign of their season, ending in injury. Dante was carried off the floor and quickly worked to get his feet back walking up and down the tunnel that entered the arena.

Oregon went back to work on the floor committing four quick turnovers giving the Wildcats a double-digit lead. Midway through the first half, Dante would return but it was clear there was work to be done. The Ducks were down double digits at halftime.

The second half was a different story.

Altman for the entire season has talked about playing better on defense, getting rebounds being a key to victory. On Friday night, Oregon came through. The Ducks had 21 rebounds just in the second half while holding Caleb Love to just three points for the game.

The Wildcats had 11 rebounds in the closing 20 minutes as Oregon pulled away for a 67-59 win over Arizona.

Oregon saw points from players who have pulled them to wins before. N’Faly Dante had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Jermaine Couisnard finished with 20 points and Jackson Shelstad found his shot in the second half with 21 points in the win.

The victory may be enough to get the Ducks into the NCAA Tournament, but they can guarantee the spot on Saturday. Oregon will face Colorado for the Pac-12 Championship.

Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. PT on FOX.