A 12 seed is usually reserved for a bubble team by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. Imagine everyone’s surprise when Greg Gumbel told a nation that the Oregon Ducks, a team who just won their conference tournament, was a 12 seed who had a tough tourney road ahead of them. Well, Oregon advanced and will now face a national treasure, the Saint Louis Billikens.
It is odd to think that a game played between Saint Louis and Oregon would have the latter being widely considered the underdog. Being a 12-seed was not only how the Selection Committee thought of Oregon — apparently the entire nation does not believe the Ducks could slow clap their way to the Sweet Sixteen.
For Oregon, this game won’t be about what player needs to get going or what strategy will work best to stop a red-hot Saint Louis team. It is far more simple than that, it is about changing the way people think about this team and the program as a whole. For far too long, Oregon basketball has been an afterthought on the west coast despite having some solid seasons.
Now, with only eight games on the docket, a nation will be waiting for the Ducks to falter to a Saint Louis team that no one can name a player on (but somehow became everyone’s sleeper pick. By the way, four-seeds are not sleepers).
Should they win? Well, there is a reason Saint Louis is the much higher seed. Can they win? The odds are definitely greater than folks are giving them a chance to do so.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone