Oregon’s NCAA Tournament resume moves up, Pac-12 seed projections, and Oregon’s up and down play


Oregon’s loss at Arizona still helps Oregon’s NCAA Tournament chances

The Oregon Ducks lost by three at Arizona on Saturday night and normally you’d think a loss would hurt a team’s NCAA Tournament chances. For Oregon, the NET ranking actually went up for the Ducks because the NET factors in other results around the country, strength of schedule, margin of victory, and other areas from the game. The way Oregon played, the Ducks saw their ranking take a solid jump up. Oregon went from No. 72 in the NET to No. 63. This is good news for the Ducks. They still face a situation where they will likely need to win out and even win a game in Las Vegas next month, but the task isn’t as hard as maybe expected.

Pac-12 Seeding with two weeks to go

The seed-line for the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 Tournament could help shape the chances of Oregon making the NCAA Tournament. Oregon lost on Saturday at Arizona but remained in fourth-place of the Pac-12’s standings. More importantly, the Ducks still have a chance to move up a line and enter the discussion for the No. 2 or No. 3 spots. USC and UCLA are currently tied for second and are 1.5 games up on the Ducks.

To get there the Ducks need to likely win their remaining four games: vs UCLA, vs USC, at Washington, at Washington State. Win out and the Ducks are 14-6 in league play.

From there the Ducks will need a little help but nothing that’s not realistic.

USC’s remaining schedule: vs Washington State, at Oregon State, at Oregon, vs Arizona, at UCLA. It’s very possible the Trojans go 2-3 down the stretch and finish 13-7.

UCLA’s remaining schedule: vs Arizona State, at Oregon, at Oregon State, at Washington, vs USC. If we project Oregon to win at home vs UCLA, good chance that’s UCLA’s only loss. UCLA would finish 15-5.

Now if Oregon drops a game or even two, there is a real likely chance the Ducks fall out of the top four. Oregon holds a one-game lead over Colorado. The Buffs have three games left: vs Arizona State, vs Arizona, and at Utah. Good chance they go 2-1 in that stretch to finish 12-8 in league.

This scenario would set up a seeding for Vegas:

1. Arizona 19-1
2. UCLA 15-5
3. Oregon 14-6
4. USC 13-7
5. Colorado 12-8

This would be the ideal path for Oregon to get help in Vegas to pad their resume. They’d face most likely UCLA and then more than likely face Arizona a second time or USC a third time should Oregon reach the title game. Even a potential quarterfinal game against potentially Washington, Washington State, or Stanford would give the Ducks a slight NET boost.

Play up, play down

Saturday night inside the McKale Center at Arizona, Dana Altman admitted what most fans and people who’ve watched Oregon play this season.

“Our effort was good. We played hard. They are a talented basketball team. I told our guys the only thing I am upset about is we don’t play this hard all the time,” Altman said. “Our fans have to be frustrated. We play to the level of competition.”

We’ve seen this play up to its expectations at times this season and even though Saturday night was a loss, the Ducks played like a preseason Top 15 that they were. If Oregon can somehow bottle that attention to detail, that fight, that energy, that drive for its remaining four games of the regular season and then the Pac-12 Tournament, they’ll have a really good chance to get back into the field of 68 for the NCAA Tournament.

“The guys, we play to the level of competition,” said Altman. “It’s been a pain in the rear for us. Our fans are frustrated with it, our team is frustrated, our coaching staff obviously is. We played hard, gave ourselves a chance, just didn’t make the plays at the end to get it done.”

Oregon’s remaining schedule in the NET rankings? No. 13 UCLA on Thursday, No. 25 USC on Saturday, at No. 131 Washington March 3rd, and then to close out the year at No. 48 Washington State on March 5th.

Three teams ranked above Oregon in the NET rankings, and one game against your rival.

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