No. 2 Oregon Meets No. 15 Montana in NCAA First Round
March 11, 2002
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . The Pac-10 Champions head to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region. Oregon will face former Pacific Coast Conference rival Montana, the No. 15 seed, in the opening round on Thursday, March 14. The winner of the Oregon-Montana game will face the winner of the Wake Forest-Pepperdine game on Saturday, March 16. CBS will televise all tournament games live.
PAC-10 CHAMPIONS . . . This year, Oregon clinched its first outright conference championship since the 1938-39 Tall Firs, who went on to win the first NCAA Championship, won the Pacific Coast Conference -- that's a span of 63 years. Overall, it's the Ducks' first league crown since 1944-45, when Oregon tied Washington State for the Pacific Coast Conference Northern Division crown, and then defeated the Cougars in a playoff to gain entry into the NCAA Tournament.
PAC-10 CHAMPIONS PART II . . . In a season where six Pac-10 teams were invited to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in league history, Oregon not only won the conference title, but won it by TWO GAMES. Not bad for a team picked to finish sixth in the Pac-10 preseason media poll.
PAC-10 CHAMPIONS PART III . . . For the first time in school history, the University of Oregon has a Pac-10 championship in men's basketball and football in the same academic year. In fact, having one school win the outright championship in both football and men's basketball has happened only eight times in conference history: UCLA in 1955-56, 1961-62 and 1982-83, California in 1923-24 and 1958-59, USC in 1929-30 and 1939-40 and Oregon in 2000-01. Oregon is the first Northwest school to win outright Pac-10 titles in football and men's basketball in the same year.
TENTATIVE OREGON STARTERS
F 3 Robert Johnson 6-8 235 Jr. 7.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg, .533 FG Pct.F 33 Luke Jackson 6-7 215 So. 16.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.0 apgC 25 Chris Christoffersen 7-2 300 Sr. 8.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, .547 FG Pct.G 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 165 So. 15.01ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.1 apgG 20 Frederick Jones 6-4 209 Sr. 18.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.1 apg
WASHINGTON PREP RIVALS REUNITE . . . Oregon's Luke Ridnour and Montana's Brett Cummings squared off in the 1999 Washington State AA title game when Ridnour led Blaine High over Cumming's Pullman High, it was the first of two straight state championships for the Borderites.
NCAA NOTES . . . The Ducks are making their second trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last three years and their third appearance in the last eight seasons. In 2000, the seventh-seeded Ducks lost to No. 10 Seton Hall, 72-71, in overtime in Buffalo. In 1995, The No. 6 Ducks were upset by No. 11 Texas, 90-73, in Salt Lake City. Oregon's last tournament win came on March 11, 1960, when the Ducks defeated Utah, 65-64, in the Regional semifinal in Seattle. This is the seventh appearance all-time in the NCAA Tournament for the Ducks. Oregon won the very first NCAA Championship in 1939 (defeating Ohio State, 46-33), and the leading scorer in that game (13 points) Ret. Navy Admr. John Dick, a UO season ticket holder who attends nearly every home game, is expected to accompany the team to Sacramento.