Last year's Pac-12 Tournament champion looks to repeat this year as the No. 1 seed in the event: The Oregon Ducks are ready to take on all those that want to dethrone them in this year's Pac-12 tourney. As the top seed, the Ducks kick off Thursday's quarterfinal parade at 12 p.m. Pacific Time in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Center. Oregon will face the winner of the Wednesday afternoon matchup between Arizona State and Stanford. The Ducks currently are ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press poll.
Regular season stats: 79.2 points per game scoring (50th of 351 NCAA Division I schools), 64.7 points per game allowed (32nd of 351)
Conference record: 16-2 (T1st place)
Overall record: 27-4, .871 winning percentage (7th of 351)
Home record: 17-0
Road record: 7-3
Best win: Oregon knocked off then-No. 2 UCLA on December 28 at home in Eugene, 89-87, and since then, the Ducks have only lost two road games. In the big win over the Bruins, Oregon nailed 11 three-point shots and turned the ball over only nine times. The Ducks also went to the free-throw line twice as much as UCLA did, and while that is always a head scratcher, Oregon took advantage and won a huge game that empowered the rest of the season.
Worst loss: It was early in the season, but the Ducks' inexplicable 65-61 loss to sub-.500 Georgetown still makes us scratch our heads. The Hoyas of today are not the Hoyas of the 1980s. But on November 21, Georgetown dropped Oregon like a bad habit. The game was played in Hawaii, and that's the only thing that explains the Ducks' 39-percent shooting effort in the loss. Clearly, the Oregon players were just too relaxed in the sun.
Best Player: Senior forward Chris Boucher earns this nod because of his shot blocking ability. With 2.6 blocks per game, he single handedly alters the other team's offensive game plans. Toss in Boucher's scoring (12.1 points) and rebounding (6.2 rebounds), and it's clear he's a threat on both end of the court. Other teammates may have more style, but Boucher's substance is what makes the Ducks so good. Did we mention he also hits 62.7 percent of his shots from two-point range?
Pac-12 Tournament outlook: As the top seed and the defending champion, the Ducks have a target on their backs. However, they've played the whole season that way, and after the ugly loss in Hawaii, Oregon has posted a 25-2 record. That's clutch. Expect the Ducks to reach the Pac-12 Tournament Final on Saturday night, and at that point, it's a coin flip since the opponent is all but guaranteed to be another Top 10 team.
Tickets to Session 3, featuring the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes on Thursday afternoon, can be purchased here.