The PAC-12 isn’t one of the premier college basketball conferences in the country. They aren’t going to have five or six tournament bids like conferences like the Big 10 and Big 12; they might only end up with three. The lack of probable tournament bids means that only one or two tournament spots are left for six teams capable of sneaking in, so a game between a fellow PAC-12 team in the top 100 RPI like the Washington Huskies is crucial for a bubble team like the Oregon Ducks.
The Ducks were aided by an off-night shooting by one of the best players in the PAC-12, Washington’s C.J. Wilcox. He went 2-8 and had to force a lot of his shots due to Oregon’s stout defense. Mike Moser scored 20 points, Joseph Young scored 18, and Damyean Dotson scored 17 en route to a 78-71 Oregon victory that keeps their 2014 NCAA tournament hopes alive.
Oregon started out the season with an extremely weak non-conference schedule, and all that is going to do is hurt them down the stretch. Their best win came against the Ole Miss Rebels, who aren’t even on the bubble anymore. At 5-8 in the PAC-12, the Ducks must win four of their final five games, which would include a marquee win over the No. 23 UCLA Bruins or the No. 4 Arizona Wildcats. On top of that, they would have to win a couple games in the PAC-12 tournament.
Oregon’s chances to make the tournament don’t look too great at the moment, but the win over Washington keeps them alive for at least another game. The Ducks have to get it together, now.