The Oregon Ducks dropped a 53-49 decision to the Virginia Cavaliers in the Sweet 16 last week, and that brings the Pacific-12 Conference men’s basketball season to an end. The Cavaliers are the only No. 1 seed to make it to the Final Four, and the Ducks came the closest to beating them in the first four rounds of March Madness.
Considering not many gave the Conference of (real NCAA) Champions a chance at anything in this year’s NCAA Tournament, the Sweet 16 achievement of the Oregon Ducks—the league’s conference tourney champ—was a nice end to an often-disappointing season for the the Pac-12.
Overall, the conference’s postseason teams—Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—posted a 6-4 record in invitational-tournament play. That’s pretty good for a league every “expert” threw under the bus in November and (sadly) never paid attention to again.
The Ducks will be preseason favorites to win the Pac-12 next year, as the team only loses senior Paul White. He notched ten points, six rebounds, and three steals in the loss to Virginia, so his presence will be missed. But Oregon is a young team with a great coach, and it would not surprise us to see another Sweet 16 run from this group in 2020.
Depending how coaching turnover impacts the bottom half of the conference next season, it should be an exciting year of basketball to watch. Perhaps the rest of the country might even pay attention, too.
Check back here frequently for new Pac-12 content … Baseball season is next!