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Living out west, I (unfortunately) am surrounded by Pac 12 fans...and therefore also see quite a bit of the Pac 12 teams play regularly. I have probably seen 7 or 8 Oregon games this year. I was not overly impressed with the conference as a whole, and definitely felt both UCLA and Arizona were overrated...but I always thought Oregon was really legit. They were IMO definitely the best team in their conference, and had it not been for their point guard going down for I think 8 or 9 games, they would probably have at least 2-3 fewer losses, and would have won the regular season as well as the tournament. This is a team that was pretty much rolling, ranked I think 10th or so in the country, then had their point guard go down, and lost several games it probably would easily win today. They have some real talent on their team, NBA-type talent, and are real athletic...they kind of remind me of Miami, although I don't think they are as good as Miami. That said, I think you are seeing the real Oregon right now...not the team that dropped three in a row earlier in the season. How they received a 12-seed while Arizona and UCLA got 5/6 is beyond comprehension. I had zero doubt that we would meet them in the Sweet 16 as soon as the brackets were announced.
That said, if we play with the kind of intensity that we've shown the last 4-6 games, I don't think it matters who we play. Oregon is very good, but they have two true freshmen starters--including that point guard I mentioned--who are about to get thrown right into the middle of something they have never seen before. Not only will it be the biggest stage they have ever played on, it will be against the best team they have ever played against, that brings the kind of pressure they will never want to see again. Oregon does not exactly take care of the ball--which is just the kiss of death against the kind of swarming defense we play. We literally have been like sharks the last few weeks--when our D smells blood, it is honestly like a frenzy. Turn the ball over, and we turn it into points so quickly, teams just don't have time to even understand what just happened. Close games turn to blowouts in literally a matter of minutes. Oregon has had most of their trouble on the road this year...and this is likely to be a very "pro-Louisville" crowd in Indy...which probably doesn't help Oregon.
Oregon will have an opportunity to win if they take care of the ball better than they have all year (unlikely against our pressure), hit a ridiculous number of 3's, and catch us maybe looking ahead to either Michigan State or Duke. No offense to the Oregon fan base, but the Ducks just don't have the same marquee name or tradition that Duke or Michigan State have in basketball--it would be easy for the average team to maybe look ahead. Unfortunately for the Ducks, I don't think this team will look ahead or give anything less than 100%. Pitino will drill into their heads that Oregon is the best team in the tournament, and we will lose if we don't get 25 steals...if nothing else he is a master of motivation, especially in the Sweet 16...a round in which he has NEVER lost (10-0). He will have a week to prepare for Oregon, and that spells trouble. We have already played Duke this year, and we have played Michigan State a few times the last 3-4 years (including beating them as a #1 seed last year)...we already have some experience scouting them, I imagine he will completely focus on Oregon all week.
In the end, I think Oregon is a very good team, that probably doesn't match up very well with Louisville. Most of their strengths are things we counter pretty well. Anybody can beat anybody at this stage. Oregon can beat Louisville no question. Don't get tricked into thinking Oregon is really a 12 seed. The team they have right now is easily the caliber of a 3-5 seed, and they will come in with a chip on their shoulder. They are better than Colorado State. I honestly just think we will come in focused too, and at the end of the day, I feel we are just better than them. I expect us to win this one, and look for an opening line around 7-9 points in favor of the Cards.
Thanks for the info. If UofL plays like it has been the last several games, I think we can win this one. However, it sounds like Oregon will be a strong opponent.
Looking forward to the matchup. If they shoot as well from 3 as they have recently, then it will be a much tougher challenge for us than many expect.
The honest side of me doesn't want to lose to a Pac 12 team, and even though they didn't deserve the 12 seed, to someone with a double digit seeding either - because all people will remember 20 years from now was that a loss came to a 12 seed from a west coast team - that would be pretty much on par with us losing to California in Jacksonville 3 years ago - a rather huge disappointment.
Being in Indy with the home crowd, and Luke and Ware playing better than we've seen all season, I'm thinking we're going to come out firing on all cylinders.
Wow, Hawaiicard. I'm a duck, and I agree with pretty much everything you said.
I have louisville beating oregon in my bracket. But there's certainly more than a decent chance we can pull it off. Especially if we go 10 of 13 from behind the arc.
I can guarantee you that Rick is going to try to take away the 3 from you guys. If you do get some opportunities, they're gonna have to come from transition. Oregon is definitely no 12 seed, but I figured that we'd should be playing a 4 seed anyways and that's about where Oregon should be. You guys are probably gonna have to shoot the lights out to beat us though! Not trying to be cocky, just being realistic.
I feel like our 3 point D is much better now than earlier in the season, but that is the one area that worries me. We have seen teams light it up from 3 in the first half, but rarely do we allow it in the 2nd half. However, if you guys just have one of those games where it just keeps going in? I think we'd be in a dogfight.
I really don't think UofL is going to overlook anyone in this tournament. Russ said after the CS game that he was scared of getting beat by CS, because they are a good team. He said he wanted to do everything he could to take them out of their game. I just feel like this team (UofL) is really focused. I didn't see them celebrating a lot after winning either game in the tournament, which to me says they are here for business. I think Oregon will be a tough game, there are no more easy games from this point on, but if UofL keeps playing like they have been the last few games, we are going to be very hard to beat by anyone.
I just said this in another thread but don't forget that we will be playing in a dome in Indy and that always causes probelms for teams coming in from the start who rely heavily on 3s and outside shooting. I just don't see the ducks figuring it out in time to make that a concern for us. Besides, Rick will definitely be putting in a game plan to eliminate the outside game of Oregon and make them beat us in other ways which I do not see any inside advantage for the ducks against us.
Don't forget who has the best defense in the nation...and it isn't Ohio State or Kansas if you're a Seth Davis disciple!
Cards win going away 86-69.
This post was edited by WesMantooth29 13 months ago
I'm hoping I'm right in this divining:
If the ducks win, it will be because of the (among other things) adaptations and basketball genius of Arsalan Kazemi.
That guy puts in some serious work on the boards for only being 6'7.
This post was edited by rkblock2 13 months ago
Pitino is the master of taking away what the opponent does well. If Oregon's plan is to beat us with the 3 then you can almost guarantee our guys locking down the perimeter and Oregon will have to find another way to beat us. I think they have to play their A game along with us playing a D game for them to get a W.
Maybe someone can enlighten me about Oregon's three point ability. From what I see, they shoot fewer than we do, which isn't really the major proponent of our offense, and Oregon hits virtually the same percentage. Has something changed with them? They are not an Iowa State type, right?
From talking to fans on their board, it seems like while their % has been around the same as ours over the course of the season, they've gotten hot recently. Granted, shooting in an arena built for basketball and shooting in a stadium built primarily for football is likely to make some good shooters look bad until they can adjust (if they can adjust).
They shot 8-11 3 pointers against SLU, 8-22 against Okla State and 7-14 against UCLA in the P12 title game, so they shot 23-47 (basically 50%) in the last 3 games. That's damn scary if they can maintain that level of shooting in the Luke.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Deep3Card 13 months ago
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