The Oregon Ducks knock off number 4 Arizona Wildcats. The Ducks have 13 wins but none of significance until last night. Beating the Wildcats says the Ducks can play with anyone on any given night. Which is all you need in NCAA basketball, with a one and done tournament.
College basketball doesn’t have a dominant team, a team that makes you think how can they be beat. Yes you still have unbeaten Duke and Michigan. Duke was tested by a very young Kentucky team, Louisville and Ohio State stood toe to toe with them. Pittsburgh and North Carolina State took it to Michigan before failing to get a W. There is no Kentucky of last year, or Larry Johnson’s UNLV Running Rebels of the late 1980’s early 1990’s.
Oregon is a solid team, key word team. They don’t have that big star, the guy that carries the team. Their leading scorer averages 11.6 points per game, the next guy is averaging 10.6. Just a point difference, they spread the ball around and keep a defense guessing and chasing them.
Last night senior E.J. Singler led the way to the Ducks victory. He scored 14 points, had 7 assists and was the emotional leader last night. Singler said after the game, “I think we’ve been playing really well the whole season. I think we’re a really good team. This game really showed our team we can compete with a lot of different people.”
The Ducks dug themselves an 11-0 hole but found themselves in control for the last 27:32 of the game. The Ducks are 11-0 this season at home this season and have a 17 game home winning streak going back to last season.
Arizona entered the game as one of three remaining undefeated teams in the country.Mark Lyons scored 21 and Solomon Hill added 16 points to lead the Wildcats. Arizona was down 67-55 with 3 minutes and made a furious rally that ultimately came up short. Lyons hit two 3-pointers, with a Nick Johnson layup in between, this brought the Wildcats within 67-63 with 1:18 to go.
The Wildcats made it 69-66 with 50 seconds left after Johnson made a 3-pointer after Singler’s two free throws. That would be as close as the Wildcats would get as the final was 70-66.
This was Oregon’s second victory versus the top 25. They beat number 24 UNLV in November. They have lost to UTEP in triple overtime and number 21 Cincinnati. By Steve Kish