Oregon finished their season on a 4 game win streak. They finished third in the Pac 12 standings. They finished with the second best record overall, and our still voted among the first four out in the “Bubble Watch.”
After finishing up the conference play beating Stanford and Oregon State on the road, beating Colorado in a battle at home, and then routing Utah at home as well, you’d think some attention would be spread over to the Pac 12 teams. But no, the focus is still elsewhere.
Yes there is the argument that Oregon hasn’t beaten a team with a top 50 RPI. But why do analysts rely so heavily on the RPI and SOS anyways? Oregon did what they were supposed to do. They won, and actually won a lot more games than they usually do. Oregon finished with a 22-8 record. However, there are teams across the country that are closer to getting automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament than Oregon. The worst part of the story is that these teams aren’t better than Oregon.
It’s no secret that Oregon has improved from the start of the year, in fact I believe they are one of the most improved teams there our. But after watching the Oregon Ducks play basketball the last quarter of the season, it really seemed like this team knew who they were. What worked good for them, what doesn’t, how they can build and regain momentum, and etc. Dana Altman deserves a lot of credit for what he has done with this squad, and the fact that no one outside of the Pac 12 conference is considering it, makes me disappointed.
According to NCAA Bracketologist, teams such as Northwestern, Seton Hall, Drexel, and Xavier are the last four into the tournament. Sorry to bring out the numbers but first there is Xavier, whom after their fight against Cincinnati, they went on to finish the season 11-11, with losses to Hawaii (15-15), LaSalle (21-11), and Dayton (20-11), although they did beat Vanderbilt at the beginning of the year in overtime. Then there is Seton Hall (20-11), whom may have beat UCONN and Georgetown, but your bound to get a few shocking wins in a conference like the Big East, however Seton Hall did lose to Villanova (13-18), Rutgers (14-18), and lastly DePaul (12-19). Then there is Drexel (27-6) who although they did just have their 19 game win streak snapped, that’s not much to say when your playing in the Colonial conference and have some early losses to some teams that I’ve never even heard of. Lastly there is Northwestern (18-12). The Wildcats did beat Michigan State in a shocker at home and almost pulled off the upset against Ohio State, however the Cats can’t go under .500 in conference and be considered an automatic bid.
All of these teams do have major things to be proud of, however I believe that the Ducks finished their season better than any of these teams, they ultimately should be considered to receive a automatic bid to the March Madness tournament.
The Ducks do still have the Pac 12 Conference Tournament left, and with a good run in the tournament, I really believe the Ducks will win their right to go on and play in the NCAA March Madness Tournament.