People suffer from nightmares all the time, but the Oregon Ducks have been living their biggest nightmare for the last week.
Many scoffed at the idea of Oregon’s matchup with Colorado being a ‘must win’, partly because of the Ducks’ No. 19 national ranking, partly because the Buffaloes had lost 36 of 37 road games against ranked opponents.
Sometimes you have to take a moment and say, I told you so. With :08 remaining in the second half following an Oregon timeout, E.J. Singler missed a jumper that led to a 48-47 Colorado victory.
The Ducks (18-5, 7-3 PAC-12) have now lost three straight games to conference opponents, each of which have been without star point guard Dominic Artis, who has missed the last four games with a foot injury. Oregon is now a full game behind No. 1 seed Arizona, and tied with Arizona State and UCLA for the No. 2 seed. Last week, the Ducks were 7-0 in the PAC-12 and were in sole possession of first place in the conference. If the Devils win against Stanford on Feb. 9, the Ducks will fall into third place, .5 game behind Arizona State.
Oregon’s demise isn’t completely surprising, s since the loss of Artis; the Ducks committed 65 turnovers in three games preceding their matchup with Colorado. However, the Ducks only gave away the ball 12 times against the Buffaloes, the lowest total in four games. Backup point guard Johnathon Loyd was questionable going into the game, but played because of the lack of other options on the bench.
At this point, its hard to predict a sure win for the Ducks. Their next game is a home matchup against the depressing excuse for a basketball team that is the Utah Utes, who are 2-8 in conference play. The Ducks have turned into their own worst enemy, and the rest of the PAC-12 is capitalizing on their short comings.
Artis is predicted to return on Feb. 13 against Washington in Seattle, which should help Oregon stop the bleeding. With this current string of losses, the Ducks could matchup with a challenging Stanford team in the PAC-12 Conference tournament.
From here on out, the Oregon Ducks will rely on someone, or something, to wake them up from this nightmare of a week.
Follow John Engel on Twitter: @engelsportsguy