Ducks Face Utah in NCAA First Round
March 18, 2003
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . Pac-10 Tournament champion Oregon makes back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in 42 years. The eighth-seeded Ducks will face No. 9 Utah, Friday, March 21 at approximately noon PST (2 p.m. CST) at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, Tenn. CBS will televise the game live regionally.
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE . . . Oregon will depart Eugene for Nashville via charter Wednesday afternoon. The Ducks are scheduled to practice at the Gaylord Entertainment Center from 3:10 until 4:00 p.m. (CST) on Thursday. Head coach Ernie Kent and selected student-athletes are scheduled to conduct press conferences beginning at 2:30 p.m. (CST) Thursday at the arena.
NCAA NOTES . . . Oregon is making back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for just the second time in school history. It last happened 42 years ago when the 1959-60 and 1960-61 teams went dancing. Overall, the Ducks are making their third trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last four years -- a first for the school -- and their fourth appearance in the last nine seasons. Last year as a No. 2 seed, the Pac-10 regular season champion Ducks advanced to the Elite Eight, defeating Montana, Wake Forest and Texas before falling to top-seeded Kansas. It was Oregon's first appearance in the Regional Final in 42 years. 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. Last year's first round win over Montana (81-62) was Oregon's first NCAA Tournament victory since defeating Utah in the 1960 opening round. This is the eighth 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 (16 points) Ret. Navy Admr. John Dick, a UO season ticket holder who attends nearly every home game, is expected to accompany the team to Nashville.
TENTATIVE OREGON STARTERS
F 3 Robert Johnson 6-8 250 Sr. 7.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, .584 FG Pct.F 33 Luke Jackson 6-7 215 Jr. 16.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.7 apgC 40 Brian Helquist 6-9 260 Sr. 3.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, .520 FG Pct.G 1 James Davis 5-10 175 Jr. 10.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 89 3 FGG 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 175 Jr. 19.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 6.7 apg
SISTER ACT . . . Duck freshman forward Ian Crosswhite is not the only member of his family in the 2003 NCAA Tournament; in fact he's not the only member of his family who will be in action in the State of Tennessee. His sister Anna is a junior forward with Virginia who is averaging 5.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game for the Cavaliers this season. Virginia, a No. 8 seed, plays No. 9 Illinois Saturday in Knoxville. The winner of that game advances to play the winner of the No. 1 Tennessee-Alabama State game Monday in Knoxville.