Is that one of most improbable, surprising and stunning men’s basketball games in your memory? It should be, because by defeating one of the blue-bloods of college basketball in Kansas, (74-60) our beloved Ducks will play in the Final Four next Saturday for the first time in the modern era. I am still stunned, because even as a devoted Ducks fan — I felt we could not beat the Jayhawk-juggernaut without Chris Boucher. I was anticipating a double-digit loss, and hoped it would not be the butt-kicking like the last time we faced them in the Elite-Eight.
Could you believe how quiet 18,000 people could be? Oregon was at a massive disadvantage as this was a home game for Kansas playing just 40 miles from their campus, yet the only time they came substantially alive is when Kansas cut the lead to six with a little over three minutes left. But the experience, determination and guts of this team pulled the end out again in this tournament, as I could not comprehend Dillon Brooks, and Tyler Dorsey bombing threes with the accuracy not seen in earlier NCAA games.
Not only did I not anticipate this victory, but I was prepared to pivot big-time to football entirely this next week. Wrong. My football editorial written and prepared for publication for today will be held until next Sunday or later. In fact, for the first time in the history of this site? We will go a week without football, because if there was ever a time to do it — a Final Four week is it!
I am not the basketball expert that professional writer and basketball analyst Bob Rickert is, (see his articles of the last three weeks on the front page of the site) and even with his many commitments — he is graciously contributing three articles this week that will be eye candy for you in preparation for the Final Four. It starts on Monday, and as fans we should drink of this rare cup of Oregon basketball history made before our eyes. Make this site part of your week, as you and I both will relish reading and learning about this very, very special Oregon team.
Did you notice how the telecast for the game against Michigan was primarily reported through Wolverine eyes? It felt like a homer-Michigan telecast, with the Ducks spoken of as simply a barrier for the Cinderella team to defeat. While this time you had two of three sportscasters predicting a Jayhawk victory — you heard extraordinary words from them later in the game, and I decided to save the analysis for Bob tomorrow, and treat you to the enjoyment of those quotes along with some wonderful screenshots captured from the game.
“Who else?” “He (Jordan Bell) has been fantastic … no, better than that – spectacular.”
“Jordan Bell is my MVP for them to move on. This young man has been unbelievable on both ends of the floor. He has controlled the paint area defensively!”
“For a guy to dominate the game that he did with another double-double … and if you get two or three offensive rebounds in a game? That’s a great night. You get seven? That’s another planet.”
“Kansas came into this averaging 96 points per NCAA Tournament game and Oregon held them to 60?”
Sportscaster Greg Gumbel at halftime: “In the second halves of all Kansas games in the NCAA tournament so far — Kansas has scored 50 points and shot 59% from the floor.” “The Jayhawks scored only 27 points in the second half against the Ducks. There is a reason Kansas didn’t make enough shots — all credit to Oregon!”
Clark Kellogg at halftime: “What Oregon has done is about perfect for the first 20 minutes.”
Kellogg: “Oregon was superb tonight, not good … they were at their best when their best was needed.”
Kenny Smith: “The size on the perimeter (of Oregon guards) and the ability to make a good shot when the shot clock is running down — that’s what NCAA basketball has been about. Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks can create and make shots because of their size.”
“The issue is — is there ever going to be a team they play moving forward that has the size on the perimeter to shut that down?”
“… If there is no size (of opponent’s guards) on the perimeter? We will see the Oregon Ducks cutting down the National Championship nets.”
“He lets it rip!” “That’s the ball game guys!” “Mr. March … Tyler Dorsey, the ‘Pride of Pasadena’, is getting it done.”
“And here are words that have not been said in 78 years … the Oregon Ducks are going to the Final Four and playing for the National Championship!”
So the Women of Oregon win a stunner to advance the Elite-Eight in the NCAA basketball tournament, the men upset Kansas to advance to the Final Four, and the Baseball team beat those bastard Huskies 1-0 to clinch the series to make it a perfect Duck Day!
“Oh how we love to learn about our beloved Ducks!”
Charles Fischer (FishDuck)
College Football Analyst for CFF Network/FishDuck.com
Top Photo from Video