Oregon fell to as low as no. 24 in the AP poll early in December. Since then, the team has nearly clawed its way back into the top 10, coming in at no. 11 in Monday’s poll. The Ducks’ latest victory was an 85-43 blowout over the Oregon State Beavers, a basketball team that currently holds the same number of wins as its football team in six more games. After blowing the dam, Oregon looks to break the school record of 15 for longest winning streak with a couple of victories this week.
The Ducks began Saturday’s match-up against the Beavers about as well as they possibly could, starting the game on a 21-0 run. The Ducks did not allow Oregon State to score for almost the first ten minutes of the game, and it never got much better than that for the Beavers. At halftime, the score of 41-13 looked like the final score of a one-sided football game. Matthew Knight Arena was roaring for the first 20 minutes, but failed to reach the same energy in the second half until Charlie Noebel checked in for the final two minutes and hit a three. Seeing the reserve get on the board sent Oregon’s bench and the crowd into a frenzy. This moment was easily the loudest the crowd was, the noise could’ve been contended on two separate dunks by Jordan Bell that didn’t count.
The other was a windmill dunk on a fast break, during which Bell was called for a travel. While I’m all for basketball being played by the rules, I couldn’t help but think of this tweet from Rob Perez after the dunk was called back.
any1 who says TRAVEL after a dope bball play is as bad as the snitch who reminds the teacher she forgot to give homework before Spring Break— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) January 14, 2017
Refereeing is obviously a tough and thankless job, especially when they usually make the right call (and in that situation it was the right call), but in a game in which the home team was up by over 30, just let it go. No one was there to watch the referee blow a whistle. However, those two disappointing calls did not keep Oregon fans from enjoying the total destruction of their in-state rival. Even after the fun of that blowout, Oregon has to keep focus in the following weeks, as its schedule is about to get tough.
Oregon has been impressive during its 14 game winning streak, but before it can break the long-standing school record against Stanford on Saturday, the team will have to take on Ivan Rabb and California on Thursday. Rabb is currently leading the Golden Bears in both points per game and rebounds per game. He is projected to be a late lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, and will look to prove his worth in a hostile arena. Cal hasn’t been an elite Pac-12 team, they haven’t beaten any major programs and have also lost a couple they should have won, but they are not a team Oregon wants to sleep on. Oregon will follow up the Cal game with a Saturday match-up with a Stanford team that is starting to get a little bit of momentum after two straight victories over the Washington schools. If Oregon can come out of each game with a victory, the team will break the school record for longest winning streak set in 1913 and potentially crack the AP top 10 for the first time in almost two months.