Arizona should have received their first loss of the season last week versus Colorado. The Ducks wanted to make sure this game wasn’t a should-have-been they could look back on for the rest of the season like the Buffaloes will. Drowned in a sea of yellow, green and black, the Ducks men’s basketball team beat the fourth-ranked Arizona Wildcats 70-66, and Oregon athletics has now beaten two Wildcats in one week (the Ducks football team beat Kansas State 35-17 in the Fiesta Bowl last Thursday).
After going down 11-0 to the Wildcats in the first three minutes of the game, the Ducks battled back and entered halftime with a 41-30 lead. The start of the second half looked much like the first, with Arizona coming out strong, but the Ducks never let the Wildcats get within five points until ‘Zona guard Nick Johnson did what he does best: make clutch three-pointers. Fortunately, it was too little too late as Ducks guard Jonathon Loyd made one of two free throws with less than fifteen seconds remaining in the game to extend the lead by four. Singler, who tallied 14 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals, snatched up the ball and ran to midcourt where he was soon met by hundreds of more than pleased Oregon students.
Oregon is more than the football school they are believed to be. The Ducks cross country team won a national title this year, the acrobatics and tumbling team won last year (their first year as a program), and the track and field squad has numerous championships to its name. Now the Ducks men’s basketball team is making a name for itself after missing out on March Madness the last four years.
The ‘Fighting Ducks’, as their uniforms read are now 12-0 at home this season and 2-1 against ranked opponents. They are also 2-0 against ranked teams in Matthew Knight arena’s short-lived two-and-a-half seasons. The University of Oregon is quickly rebranding itself from a football school to one of the best sports schools in the country. Thanks to the Fighting Ducks, we now have another team in the athletic department with a bright future.