Bubble Watch: Oregon Basketball Gets Quality Home Win Against Arizona State
The Sun Devils did not help their case as a bubble team with the loss, but they showed they have what it takes to be a tournament team regardless of the outcome from tonight’s game. ASU is 21-8 on the season and 10-6 in conference play, good enough for sole possession of first place. It looks to be in the tournament despite its loss to the Ducks.
The Ducks extended their winning streak and broke the Sun Devils’ streak of two games with victorious numbers. Super senior Mike Moser has his team rolling at the perfect time to improve their resume and get into the tournament after a bad start. Moser has been a spark plug when the Ducks absolutely needed him. During the Ducks’ six-game win streak, Moser has averaged 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds per game, including a 22-point, 17-rebound performance vs. ASU.
It’s been his streak and Oregon’s depth that has given them a chance, a chance that no one saw coming after the 3-8 start in conference play.
With Oregon’s hot streak, they have gone from being one of the last “four” out in Joe Lunardi’s brackets, to one of the first “four” in. If you told me that there was a team that desperately needed a win more than the Ducks, I would have called you crazy because of who they play the next, the Arizona Wildcats, and their extremely hot ways.
Another reason for them starting a fire is their free throw shooting, where they have three of the top five in the Pac-12 in Joseph Young, Johnathan Loyd and Jason Calliste.
Oregon has finally gotten all the kinks out of their offense and are finally attacking the rim with a tenacity that was missing early on in Pac-12 play. It’s so hard to gauge where the Ducks will be heading come tournament time, but they can be a dangerous double-digit seed.
With Oregon’s hot play, the Pac-12 might get an unexpected five teams: the Wildcats, Sun Devils, Ducks, the UCLA Bruins and the Colorado Buffaloes. Now with just three wins over the top 50, the Ducks needed all the help they could get — a win against the Sun Devils was huge for the program that could seek back-to-back tournament nods.
John Lloyd is a Pac-12 Basketball Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII