Just eight short days ago, the Ducks basketball team held a perfect 7-0 record in conference, were 20-2 overall, and had climbed to as high as #10 in the AP poll. Unprecedented times were upon us in Eugene for Ducks basketball. Fast forward eight days and you might as well be watching a different team in a different season.
The Ducks have now lost three in a row in conference — all to subpar competition. Losses at Stanford and at Cal stung, but kept us in first due to the tiebreaker with Arizona. Last night’s brutal loss at home to Colorado was a heartbreaker – and to be frank quite, a headscratcher.
The Ducks led almost wire to wire until Andre Roberson’s put-back layup with less than thirty seconds gave Colorado its only lead of the game and the only one they needed. A scrappy Buffalo squad scratched and clawed to keep the game close throughout. Every time it looked like Oregon was getting ready to open it up and take control, the Buffs had a response. Unfortunately, in the waning moments, with Colorado making a push, our lack of a point guard was exposed. We struggled to score all night long, but in those final three minutes it was painfully obvious how much we needed Dominic Artis.
The Ducks have now lost three in a row and are a game behind the Wildcats of Arizona for the top spot in the conference. While it’s no longer Oregon’s conference to lose, they still have what is considered to be a soft schedule. A return sometime soon from Artis could really give this team the boost required to make a run at the regular season title.
Saturday evening’s matchup against the Utes from Utah is now the most important game of the year and is a clear must win. Utah currently resides in the cellar of the Pac-12, but if you catch them on the wrong night you can easily be beaten. Just ask Washington – they lost to Utah at home. Our season rests on our ability to break out of our funk and beat a porous Utah squad. If we lose for a fourth straight time Saturday night, we may as well throw in the proverbial towel in our quest for the regular season championship.