Feature Photo by Kevin Cline Photography
If you would have told me coming into this season that our basketball team would win the Pac-12 tournament and appear in a sweet sixteen, I couldn’t have believed it. I hadn’t seen Kazemi play, and youth in the backcourt and the loss of Devoe Joseph just seemed to be too much to overcome. Now, four months later, the Ducks have soared into the national basketball spotlight.
To top it all off, the Ducks lost to the eventual NCAA Tournament champion Louisville Cardinals. The Ducks played a heck of a game, losing by just eight points. And regardless of whether or not the Cards won the title they have a solid reputation as a basketball powerhouse. Louisville’s performance can only help the reputation of the Ducks, who were down as much as 18 points during the second half. A resilient Oregon team fought back and showed the country that UCLA and Zona aren’t the only players in the Pac.
Who knows how the Ducks will fare next season and if they can continue the momentum with young, hungry players like Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis, who both got a taste of tournament action. But a final ranking of 15 in the coaches poll, up from 24 prior to the tournament, indicates the Ducks are on the up and up.