Oregon made a major statement for the committee to mull over on Saturday night as the Ducks ran past No. 12 Utah for an 88-57 win in the Pac-12 tournament title game. The No. 8 Ducks make a solid case for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and it’s especially interesting now that Villanova lost to Seton Hall.
The win over Utah gives the Ducks (28-6) eight consecutive wins and they’ve racked up a very good 12 wins against top-50 opponents now.
Oregon was led by 23 points and nine rebounds from freshman guard Tyler Dorsey as he had plenty of help from a strong offensive attack. The Ducks shot 52 percent from the field (33-for-64) as they were 47 percent (11-for-23) from 3-point range. Dillon Brooks added 18 points, Chris Boucher had 15 points and Elgin Cook chipped in 11 points. The Ducks had 17 offensive rebounds against Utah and did a great job of controlling the glass.
Utah (26-8) had issues with turnovers all night and also seemed to have some issues with Oregon’s athleticism. Jakob Poeltl finished with 13 points, but he had five turnovers and seemed bothered by the length and athleticism the Ducks brought to the table. The Utes had 20 turnovers and could have been a little bit tired from the previous night’s overtime win in the Pac-12 semifinals, but it was still a sloppy and disappointing effort.
We’ll have to see how the committee responds to Oregon, but Villanova losing certainly helps their cause. If Michigan State beats Purdue for the Big Ten title, it could come down to Virginia and Oregon for the other No. 1 seed.
Coming off of a blowout loss in the Pac-12 tournament title game to Arizona last year, Oregon appears to be peaking at the right time, and with their unique matchups, they could be a tough out in the tournament.