Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 8/24/14
A Disgusting Loss The Oregon Ducks had the opportunity, on Thursday night, to accomplish something they hadn’t done since 2002: win the Pac-12 regular season title. Rejuvenated under third-year head coach Dana Altman and new stars Arsalan Kazemi, Damyean Dotson, and Dominic Artis, the Ducks have been quite the nice surprise in 2012-2013. Picked to finish seventh during Pac-12 Media Day, Oregon took advantage of a competitive Pac-12 en route to becoming one of the best teams in the conference. And with just two games left on their schedule (at Colorado, at Utah), Oregon was leading the conference after a surprise victory by Washington State over UCLA to give the Ducks a one-game advantage. Though they will still have a shot to win the Pac-12 on Saturday against Utah, Oregon’s more than humiliating loss to the Colorado Buffaloes on Thursday meant that they could very well end up sharing the Pac-12 Title with UCLA. Oregon would still claim the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament with a win on Saturday. However, based on their performance against Colorado, who knows how well the Ducks will do in the tournament even with a No. 1 seed. Not meaning to take anything away from a good Colorado squad, but the Ducks simply didn’t show up last night. They looked as if they were affected by the thin air, the road crowd, and played like they already had won the Pac-12 outright. That isn’t what the team needed last night. With Dominic Artis still finding his way back into the lineup and trying to establish a rhythm heading into postseason play, the Ducks did not play their style of game and could not get anything going, as the Buffaloes vastly outmatched Oregon throughout the entire game. Continuing to bring you the debacle that were the Oregon Ducks last night, here’s a recap, love ‘em and hate ‘em style. Love ‘Em Ben Carter’s Play The only bright spot on the night for the Ducks was the play of freshman Ben Carter. Carter recorded a team-high 10 points while collecting six rebounds and two steals. Coming in to play towards the latter part of the game, Carter’s shot looked very fluid and he managed to convert five of the six shots that he took on the night. Oregon fell flat against the Buffaloes. (CUIndependent) If he continues to develop into a well-rounded player that can score when called upon, he will serve Oregon very well in the postseason and coming years. Utah Still on the Schedule With the way the Ducks played against Colorado, their game against Utah is anything but an easy win. That being said, Oregon is still lucky enough to have somebody else on the schedule that they could potentially beat to secure the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Hate ‘Em Where’s E.J.? E.J. Singler scored the first two points of the game but was a ghost the rest of the game. Though he did tie for a team-leading 29 minutes played last night, Singler scored just two points on the night while attempting just five shots. Oregon should expect a little more than two points from a senior player such as Singler, especially in a big game like the Ducks’ against Colorado. Cheap Shots While it was in the heat of battle and there was probably a lot of Oregon frustration on the court, there was no excuse for Waverly Austin to take a cheap shot to Shane Harris-Tunks when he threw his fist into Harris-Tunks’ groin. Austin received a flagrant one for the foul and was likely reprimanded fairly well by Altman. Not Their Style Oregon did not play their style of game. They forced shots, didn’t create opportunities, and played too fast at times. The Ducks rely on driving to the post and getting the ball in the paint rather than shooting from distance, which they tried to do on Thursday. Oregon needs to remember their style of basketball and play like they are trying to finish this surprising season strong. CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE DUCKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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