The Oregon Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams are entering the home stretch of the 2014-15 regular season and it looks like both teams are on the outside looking in on the NCAA Tournament. Of course, both teams have a chance to make a run for March Madness, but the men are in better shape going into the final stretch of the regular season.
Dana Altman’s team has had one or two identify defining games this season, most recently at Matthew Knight Arena a few weeks ago against UCLA. As a team in the first half the Oregon Ducks shot close to eighty percent in the first half. They did not lean on any one player for scoring and had five players in double figures after the first twenty minutes of play. The issue with the Men’s team is finding and maintaining an identity on the road. Entering this past week Oregon took apart USC but almost gave away the game in the end and fell apart to lose the second half and the game against UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.
The Men have been streaky this season winning three of their last five games that include losses to UCLA and Arizona. Oregon has lost twice to the Wildcats but had a strong performance in their non-conference schedule that included a win at Illinois but a loss at home to Ole Miss. The Ducks must have strong performances this week at home against Colorado and a top fifteen team in Utah next weekend to improve their numbers and RPI entering the final stretch. This week will be the final series of home games for the men this season and they will have to become road warriors in the win column and have a strong performance in the Pac-12 Tournament in order to make the NCAA Tournament.
On the other side, the Oregon Women led by first year Head Coach Kelly Graves have been somewhat a breath of fresh air to this point. The team is currently at 12-13 following a loss to twelfth ranked Arizona State on Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena. The game against the Sun Devils was not one specifically to be remembered. Oregon won the game of shooting percentage by seven percent 45 to 39, but lost the game by twenty points. The team attempted and made just one three point shot for the game. One. At one point in the second half Oregon pulled within five points of the lead before ASU went on a run that put the game out of reach.
The Oregon Women have the benefit of having their schedule finish the season at home which could be to their benefit, but first to games on the road at Utah and Colorado. From what I have seen the season has been successful for the Oregon Women. If they can put together some wins the NCAA Tournament is certainly within reach.
I see both teams right now as being in the NIT. The Oregon Men could get pretty far if they end up there. If they get into the NCAA Tournament I can see them getting an unlucky pick with a two, three or four seed and being knocked out in the first round. As for the Women the road is similar. The key to extra games is always building for the future. It means not only extra games, but also extra practices and chances to continue to build that ever important team chemistry.
Dana Altman has his team at home this week against Colorado on Wednesday and Utah on Sunday. The Oregon Women are on the road against Utah and Colorado respectively.
For a different take on the Oregon Ducks, visit AutzenZoo.com