Womens Pac-12 Tournament Breakdown: Can No. 1 Oregon go back-to-back? originally appeared on nbcsportsnorthwest.com
Rewind the clock to this time last year… The No. 1 seeded Oregon Ducks head into the post-season Pac-12 Tournament as the favorites to win it all. And they did not disappoint. A strong semifinals showing against the UCLA Bruins and then capped off with a 36-point performance from Sabrina Ionescu as the Ducks claimed their first ever Pac-12 Championship.
Now, the question remains, can the Ducks do it all again? Will it be deja vu with Oregon landed the No. 1 seed once again after a 16-2 regular season record?
It starts Friday at 2 PM (PT) with the No. 1 Ducks against the No. 8 Arizona Wildcats in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats defeated the No. 9 USC Trojans today 76-48 to advance to the quarterfinals.
On a good note for the Ducks, Oregon took both regular season games this year against Arizona: 93-60 win at home on Jan. 20th; and 83-54 win in the desert last weekend.
This is the first game for Oregon, a neutral site, and under the bright lights of Las Vegas. A lot will be riding on the Ducks to get off to a good start with a solid win over the Wildcats tomorrow afternoon.
Let's play the hypothetical game shall we, and if you are superstitious at all, read no further. Taking a look at the road ahead to the Pac-12 title game, Oregon will have to first beat Arizona and then potentially face No. 4 UCLA or No. 5 Arizona State, both opponents bringing their best against the Ducks this season. UCLA was one of those two Oregon losses, and yes the Ducks were without their star forward Ruthy Hebard in that one, but Oregon also gave up a huge 20-point plus lead, meaning UCLA can catch fire at any moment. Arizona State on the other hand, while Oregon won both of those game this season, the margin of victory for Oregon was just six points in the first meeting and then seven in the second. Think Arizona State will be hungry for some revenge? Youbetcha.
Only time will tell if Oregon can repeat as Pac-12 conference champions.