Ducks Open NCAA Tournament with VCU
Pac-12 regular season champion Oregon is the #7 seed in the West Region and will open the NCAA Tournament against #10 seed VCU Saturday at 6:57 p.m. PT at Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Ind. (TNT).
THE STARTING 5
• 1 – This is Oregon's seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the last eight tournaments, and overall it is the Ducks' 10th straight postseason appearance (The NCAA Tournament was not contested in 2020).
• 2 – The 2021 Pac-12 regular season championship is the eighth league title in program history, joining 1919, 1939, 1945, 2002, 2016, 2017 and 2020. It is the Ducks' fourth league title in the last six years.
• 3 – Oregon has now won 20 games for the 11th consecutive season. Gonzaga, Kansas and Belmont are currently the only other three Division I programs nationally with 11 straight 20-win seasons.
• 4 – Combined, Oregon's four scholarship seniors - Chris Duarte, LJ Figueroa, Eugene Omoruyi and Amauri Hardy - are averaging 49.9 points per game.
• 5 – Chris Duarte is one of five national finalists for the Jerry West Point Guard of the Year Award. He is one of only two Division I players in the country averaging at least 16.7 points and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 50 percent from the field.
• BENCH – 2020-21 marks Dana Altman's 24th consecutive winning season as a head coach. He is one of five head coaches in Division I with an active streak of 24 or more consecutive winning seasons. That list includes Altman and four Hall of Famers: Jim Boeheim, Mike Krzyzewski, Bill Self and Tom Izzo.
• BENCH – Under Dana Altman, Oregon has won 90 percent of its games (190-21) when holding opponents below 70 points.
• BENCH – Oregon has won 277 games over the last 11 seasons, a program best.
• BENCH – Oregon leads the Pac-12 in steals (7.6 per game) and three-point field goals (8.1 per game).
THE FIRST NCAA CHAMPIONS
Oregon's 1939 basketball team earned a niche in sports history by winning the first NCAA championship basketball tournament ever held. With a first unit composed of four native Oregonians and one Washingtonian, coach Howard Hobson guided the "Tall Firs" to a 29-5 season record and Oregon's only NCAA basketball title. Oregon's title run began in the Western Playoffs at Treasure Island, Calif., by knocking off Texas, 56-41, and dropping Oklahoma, 55-37. On March 27, the Tall Firs faced Ohio State on the neutral Northwestern University court at Evanston, Ill., for the national title. John Dick scored 13 points and Laddie Gale and Bobby Anet contributed 10 apiece as the Ducks rolled to a 46-33 victory and the NCAA crown.
VERSUS THE WEST REGION OPPONENTS
Oregon and VCU have met just once. The two teams played in the 2014 Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Rams won that meeting 77-63. The winner of Saturday's game will play the winner between #2 Iowa and #15 Grand Canyon. The Ducks and Hawkeyes also last met in a New York City borough - Manhattan. Iowa defeated Oregon 77-69 in the 2018 2K Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden. The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series 6-1. Oregon has never played Grand Canyon.
LAST TIME IN INDIANA
Oregon last played in Indianapolis in a 2013 NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Sweet 16 loss to eventual national champion Louisville (77-69). Farmers Coliseum is the home court of the IUPUI Jaguars. It is also the only arena in the state of Indiana that hosted a concert by the Beatles (1964) and is the former home of the Indiana Pacers.
NCAA THREE DOT DATA
This is just the fifth time that both the UO men and women will play in the NCAA Tournament (1995, 2000, 2017, 2019) ... This is Oregon's 17th NCAA Tournament appearance overall and the seventh under Dana Altman.
OREGON IN THE NCAA UNDER ALTMAN
In the previous six appearances under Dana Altman, Oregon:
• - has won at least one game every tournament
• - has advanced to the Sweet 16 four times (2013, 2016, 2017, 2019)
• - has advanced to the Elite 8 twice (2016, 2017)
• - has advanced to the Final Four once (2017)
• - has lost to a lower-seeded team only one time (2016, falling as the No. 1 seed to No. 2 Oklahoma in the West Regional Final)
• - was eliminated all six times by teams that advanced to the Final Four
• - lost three times to the eventual national champion (2013 - Louisville, 2017 - North Carolina, 2019 - Virginia)
NCAA TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE
Four Ducks have previous NCAA Tournament experience. Will Richardson came off the bench in all three games during Oregon's 2019 NCAA Sweet 16 run. He had seven points and five rebounds in the first round game against Wisconsin. Walk-ons Luke Osborn and Will Johnson both saw the floor during the 2019 Ducks' second round win against UC Irvine. LJ Figueroa scored 19 points with 10 rebounds for St. John's in a 2019 First Four loss to Arizona State.
LAST TIME AS A #7 SEED
Oregon was last a #7 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. In the West Regional in Milwaukee, Wis. #7 Oregon defeated #10 BYU 87-68 in the opening round before falling to #2 Wisconsin 85-77 in the Round of 32.
11 STRAIGHT 20-WIN SEASONS
The Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal win against Arizona State was Oregon's 20th win of the season, making the Ducks one of just four programs nationally with an active streak of 11 consecutive seasons with 20 wins. The four schools on that list are Oregon, Belmont, Gonzaga and Kansas (Wichita State (16-5) could also still reach its 11th straight 20-win season in 2020-21).
LEADERS OF THE PAC
Oregon leads the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.472), three-point field goal percentage (.379), steals (7.5 per game) and three-pointers per game (8.4).
PROTECT THE ROCK
Oregon has committed 12 turnovers or less in 11 of its last 12 games. Four times in that span, the Ducks had less than 10 turnovers. In conference play Oregon averaged just 10.7 turnovers per game.
70 OVER UNDER
Under Dana Altman, Oregon is 191-21 when holding opponents under 70 points, including a 155-13 mark the last six seasons.
OREGON SETS SCHOOL MARK WITH 11TH STRAIGHT WINNING SEASON
Oregon has locked up its 11th consecutive winning season, a program first. The previous best was 10 winning seasons in a row over the decade between 1923-32, under coaches William Reinhart and George Bohler. Oregon now has a program-record 279 wins over the last 11 seasons.
FOUR 1,000 POINT SCORERS ON THE ROSTER
Feb. 13 at Arizona, Eugene Omoruyi became the fourth current Duck to have scored 1,000 points in college. Two other teammates reached that milestone this year - Eric Williams Jr. Dec. 31 against California and LJ Figueroa Dec. 19 versus Portland. Amauri Hardy came into the year with 1,000 points scored while playing for UNLV. Oregon and Ole Miss are the only two programs in the country with four active 1,000-point scorers.
ALTMAN RECORDS 24TH CONSECUTIVE WINNING SEASON
Dana Altman now has 24 consecutive winning seasons as a head coach. He is currently one of five active head coaches in NCAA Division I who have posted a winning record for 24 consecutive seasons (the other four are in the Hall of Fame). For Altman, that streak runs from the 1997-98 season through 2020-21, and covers his final 13 seasons at Creighton and his first 11 in Eugene.