Oregon Ducks Played Like Their Tournament Hopes Were at Stake

By Brian Kalchik
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon Ducks, in desperation mode, hung toe to toe with the second ranked Arizona Wildcats Thursday in Tucson, frustrating the Wildcats throughout the game.

The Ducks played like the team that started their season 13-0, rather than the team that went 2-6 in the Pac-12 prior to Thursday’s game.

Oregon’s big guns came out firing against a shorthanded Arizona team without key player Brandon Ashley. For the Ducks, Deymar Dotson, Dominic Ardis, Mike Moser and Joseph Young all made big shots that contributed to Oregon’s close call.

The Ducks did their most impressive work on defense, holding sensational freshman Aaron Gordon to six points and T.J. McConnell to six points as well.

This game was crucial for the Ducks’ postseason chances, as their only quality wins this season came against Georgetown in a neutral site game and a three-overtime home victory against BYU.

Oregon’s firepower on offense will get them in position to win every game from here on out, yet it all will be for nothing unless their defense can be more consistent.

For the Ducks to continue their shot at reaching the NCAA tournament, the Ducks will have to go on a big run to close out the season. The Ducks have three opportunities to get some resume building wins. The Ducks face both Washington and Arizona at home, with the Arizona game being the regular season finale, and a road contest against the UCLA Bruins as well as the Pac-12 tournament, where anything can happen.

Sometimes, a good loss on the road to a great team can be just as effective as a win come Selection Sunday.

Brian Kalchik is a writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and connect with him on Google.


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