Coming off a 26-8 season where they recently won the Pac-12 tournament championship, the Oregon Ducks were selected as a 12 seed in the NCAA tournament. Oregon was selected to the midwest region and will play #14 Oklahoma State Thursday in San Jose, California.
The NCAA tournament selection is the Ducks first since 2008, and the first for everyone on Oregon’s roster except Center Tony Woods.
According to the selection committee’s official rankings, the Ducks were slotted as the 43rd ranked team overall and the Oklahoma State Cowboys were the 17th ranked team.
It was a big surprise when the Ducks received the lowest seed out of all the Pac-12 teams, considering they lead in the Pac-12 standings for most of the season and won the Pac-12 tournament title.
Mike Labinski, the chair of selection committee, said Oregon was originally an 11 seed before being dropped a seed during the seeding process.
Head Coach Dana Altman said the Ducks aren’t concentrating on their seed and will just look to play the games.
“The numbers are just numbers. I told the guys before the selection we are going to play a good team. Don’t worry about the number.” Altman said.
Altman will be making his 12th NCAA tournament appearance, and his first as the Ducks coach. Altman said the Ducks will be looking to keep their momentum from the Pac-12 tournament.
“Any time you win games you get that edge back. Confidence is only one shot or one game away,” Altman said.
Senior E.J. Singler is also looking to continue their hot play and make some noise in the tournament.
“Hopefully we can keep the momentum going. We’ll be a scary team in the Tournament.” Singler said.
Altman said he was excited to watch film on Oklahoma State tonight and pointed out their athleticism as a strong point of their team.
Oklahoma State finished 24-8 on the season and finished third in the final Big-12 standings. The Cowboys are a young team with 5 of top 6 scorers being freshman or sophomores. The Cowboys are led by freshman standout Marcus Smart and junior Markel Brown, who both average more than 15 points per game.
If the Ducks can get past Oklahoma State on Thursday, they will play either 4 seed St. Louis or 13 seed New Mexico State Saturday.
And the way Singler said the Ducks are playing right now he wouldn’t put a limit on the Ducks success in the tournament.
“We feel like we can beat anyone in the country,” Singler said. “We have confidence in ourselves.”