Oregon's entire season was perfectly encapsulated in one game Saturday at Arizona State.
The Ducks were flat out awful at times and a pleasure to watch at others, the kind of maddening inconsistency that has left them with only one route to the NCAA tournament after a 74-72 loss to the Sun Devils. The Ducks are going to have to win the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas next month to get back to the NCAA tournament because they no longer have the resume for an at-large berth.
Oregon had slim hopes of clawing back to respectability going into Saturday's game, but it needed to beat the Sun Devils and then win most, if not all, of its remaining regular season games along with a deep run in the conference tournament to earn serious consideration.
Perhaps all of this finally hit home at halftime when Oregon found itself trailing by 20. Something definitely got into guard Joseph Young.
He scored all 29 of his points in the second half nearly single-handedly bringing his team all the way back, but his game-tying layup attempt was blocked by ASU center Jordan Bachynski at the buzzer.
As if the loss wasn't difficult enough for the Ducks, Andrew Greif, the Oregon beat writer for the Oregonian newspaper, reported that ASU police were needed when an unidentified Oregon assistant coach was allegedly spit on by an ASU student after the game.
The take away for Oregon fans is your team is clearly good enough when it is focused and playing its best, but those occasions have been too few and far between in Pac-12 play, which is evident in the Ducks' 3-8 Pac-12 record.
Meanwhile, Bachynski and the rest of the Sun Devils are gaining traction at just the right time and are quite capable of getting hot down the stretch of the regular season. Any team with a big man playing like Bachynski is going to be tough to handle. In two games this week against Oregon State and Oregon he scored 43 points with 24 rebounds and 16 blocks.
Bachynski came up just short of triple-double with 26 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks against the Ducks, including the game-saving play at the end.
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