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Profiling Oregon: NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch

Dana Altman

Dana Altman

Oregon began the season as one of the nation’s surprise teams. Dana Altman’s mishmash of transfers, including players from Houston, UNLV, Detroit and a few junior colleges.

After a 13-0 start, Oregon lost five in a row once the Ducks entered Pac-12 play. Oregon has become more consistent in February, but the Ducks haven’t been able to return to their early season form. With three games in the last four against NCAA-caliber competition, Oregon will look to grab a signature win in time for Selection Sunday.

Remaining schedule

By the numbers

Feb. 27: at UCLA
March 1: at USC
March 4: Arizona State
March 8: Arizona

Record: 18-8, 6-8 Pac-12
RPI: 41
Strength of schedule: 44
KenPom: 36
Best win: BYU at home
Worst loss: Oregon State on the road

How Oregon could be in the Tournament
The Ducks have a Tournament-worthy record, thanks to a 13-0 start to the season. Although Oregon lacks a true statement win, the Ducks have few bad losses, going 6-1 against RPI teams ranked between 51-100. With a high-paced offense led by Houston transfer Joseph Young, the Ducks' only loss outside of the top 100 is on the road to Oregon State.

How Oregon could be left out
The Ducks’ best wins are over teams like BYU, Georgetown, Washington, Illinois and Ole Miss — opponents that range between bubble teams and NIT-caliber at best. Oregon also is one of the worst defensive teams in the Pac-12, particularly on the interior where the Ducks rank 11th in the league in 2-point field goal percentage defense and defensive rebound rate.

Oregon needs to: Beat UCLA on the road
The Ducks have not won a road game since Jan. 26 against Washington State and have defeated an RPI top 75 opponent since December. A win over Arizona in the regular season finale also would bode well for the Ducks’ NCAA hopes. Oregon lost 67-65 to Arizona in Tucson on Feb. 6.

Oregon can’t afford: A loss to USC
The Ducks will face three likely NCAA Tournament teams in the final four games, the exception being a road trip to USC. Oregon could make up for such a bad loss by defeating UCLA and Arizona or with a run in the Pac-12 Tournament, but Dana Altman may not want to test that.