Oregon Virginia Preview

The 12th seeded Oregon Ducks and No.1 seeded Virginia Cavaliers have had opposite seasons up to this point as they will meet in the Sweet 16 Thursday night in Louisville, Kentucky.
Oregon started the year ranked inside the top 15 but injuries started to derail its potential. The Ducks had a great recruiting class starting with 5 star 7’2 Center Bol Bol. Not far behind him in the recruiting ranks was another 5 star forward, Louis King, who missed the first quarter of the season rehabbing a torn meniscus that he suffered during his senior year of high school. When King was slowly returning from injury, down went Bol. Bol was ruled out for the season with a foot injury. Later during the season Sophomore Kenny Wooten broke his jaw and was out a month.
In order to reach the NCAA tournament, the Ducks needed to win the PAC12 tournament. The Ducks finished the regular season on an 8 game win streak and knocked off PAC12 regular season champion’s, Washington, in the Pac12 tournament championship game. Now riding a 10 game win streak the Ducks have flipped a switch. since the start of the win streak. When asked about what contributed to the stunning turnaround, Coach Dana Altman said “: Well, I think two things. Communication, first of all. Guys are really doing a better job there. And then we are healthy now. We’ve got everybody, and the guys have really gelled together. The nine guys that we’re playing now really feel comfortable, I think, with their roles. And, you know, they’re really playing unselfishly now on the offensive end and on the defensive end.” Kenny Wooten sure looks like he knows his role. That role his protecting the rim. Wooten had 7 blocks vs UC Irvine in the round of 32.
The 12th seeded Ducks are eager to play the 1 seeded Cavaliers. “It’s exactly what we want, to go against supposedly one of the best teams in college and go against the best. We’ve got 40 minutes, so give them everything we got.” Said Ducks Point Guard Payton Pritchard, who has plenty of NCAA tournament experience including starting for the Ducks as a freshman in their final four appearance in 2017.
In order to keep this “Cinderella” story going the Ducks will have to run Virginia’s sharpshooters off the 3 point line to have a chance. Virginia is shooting the deep ball at over 40%.

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