Oregon continues to climb back in the Pac-12 standings after a sluggish start in league play as the Ducks picked up an 85-78 win on Tuesday night against Arizona State.
After starting 3-8 in the Pac-12, Oregon has now won six consecutive games and it looks like the Ducks are in good position for the NCAA Tournament.
Oregon started the season 13-0, but fell on hard times during the early portion of the conference slate. Over the course of the last six games, however, things have really turned around for Dana Altman’s team.
The Ducks were always talented enough to compete for a Pac-12 title — and they’ll be a dangerous team to face in the NCAA Tournament — but now they’re finally starting to put things together like they were early in the year.
Joseph Young and Mike Moser are a talented duo that leads the offensive charge and Moser, in particular, was assertive and aggressive in the win over Arizona State going for 22 points and 17 rebounds in one of his best games of the season.
The senior forward has been on a tear during the six-game winning streak as Moser has averaged 16.6 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest, well above his season averages of 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds.
If Oregon can rely on Young or Moser for go-to baskets then the Ducks can spread the floor around them and rely on its deep rotation to make plays.
When you factor in that Oregon can also get points from Johnathan Loyd, Jason Calliste and Damyean Dotson, you start to realize that the Ducks can be a scary opponent if role guys are clicking as well.
With six straight wins and its last three losses coming by a combined total of six points, the Ducks look like they’re poised for another potential run in the NCAA Tournament despite sneaking into the field a tad under-the-radar yet again.
Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.
“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”
McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.
“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.
Like the Coaches Poll, Villanova found themselves No. 1 in the AP Poll during the regular season for the first time in the history of the program.
And like the Coaches Poll, there isn’t much in the way of a consensus when it comes to who is the No. 1 team, as there are six teams that received No. 1 votes in the poll this week.
The biggest shock to me?
The No. 1 team in the NBC Sports Top 25, Iowa, received just 11 first place votes and is ranked fourth in the AP Poll.
They were ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll.
Can we get Fran McCaffery the love they deserve?
Here is the rest of the AP Poll:
1. Villanova (20-3, 32 first-place votes)
2. Maryland (21-3, 13)
3. Oklahoma (19-3, 7)
4. Iowa (19-4, 11)
5. Xavier (21-2)
6. Kansas (19-4, 1)
7. Virginia (19-4, 1)
8. Michigan State (20-4)
9. North Carolina (19-4)
10. West Virginia (19-4)
11. Oregon (18-4)
12. Miami (FL) (18-4)
13. Louisville (19-4)
14. Iowa State (17-6)
15. Texas A&M (18-5)
16. SMU (20-2)
17. Arizona (19-5)
18. Purdue (19-5)
19. Dayton (19-3)
20. Providence (18-6)
21. Baylor (17-6)
22. Kentucky (17-6)
23. USC (18-5)
24. Texas (16-7)
25. Wichita State (17-6)
DROPPED OUT: No. 22 Indiana, No. 25 South Carolina
NEW ADDITIONS: No. 23 USC, No. 24 Texas