oregon

Oregon trips up Arizona State to make it six straight wins

Leave a comment

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.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
Leave a comment

Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Leave a comment

Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: