Oregon Ducks coach Altman yells out to his team against Louisville during their Midwest Regional NCAA men's basketball game in Indianapolis

Oregon’s Dana Altman receives contract extension through 2019-20 season

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Dana Altman’s enjoyed a nice run of success during his three-plus seasons at Oregon, leading the Ducks to their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2007 last season and getting off to a 4-0 start in 2013-14. During his time in Eugene Altman’s racked up a record of 77-37, and for that he’s been rewarded with a three-year contract extension through the 2019-20 campaign.

“Dana has been masterful at elevating Oregon basketball and generating renewed excitement for our program,” athletic director Rob Mullens said in the release. “We have high expectations at Oregon to regularly compete for PAC-12 championships coupled with deep NCAA tournament runs and Dana is the right coach to lead us there. He and his family are a great fit at Oregon and we are pleased to extend our commitment to them.”

Oregon, currently ranked 14th nationally, has done a good job of incorporating transfers into the program during Altman’s tenure. First there was Olu Ashaolu and Arsalan Kazemi was a key member of last season’s team. This season Oregon has three three talented transfers from four-year schools on the roster (forward Mike Moser and guards Jason Calliste and Joseph Young), and they also have three junior college transfers who have also contributed in the early going.

After beating Georgetown in their season opener the Ducks have won three straight in Eugene, and they haven’t missed a beat with starting point guard Dominic Artis serving a nine-game suspension for a violation of NCAA rules (sophomore forward Ben Carter was also suspended nine games).

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Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
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Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.