This is the second meeting ever between the two programs. The winner moves on to a game on Sunday and for the loser, the end of the season. Oregon arrived at this point by being selected as the one seed in the west region and has a record of 30-6. The Ducks won the Pac-12 Conference regular season race outright and also won the Pac-12 Men’s Tournament in Las Vegas. The Ducks were the one seed in the Pac-12 Tournament and beat Washington 83-77, Arizona 95-89 (OT) and Utah 88-57 for the Pac-12 Crown.
The Blue Devils were 23-10 in the regular season and finished fifth in the ACC conference race at 11-7. Duke was illuminated in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament by Notre Dame, 84-79 after beating North Carolina State 92-89 in the second round (the first round was a play-in round was for the No. 11, 12, 13 and 14 seeds and Duke was the five seed in that tournament.)
The only game the two teams played in was on Nov. 27, 2010 at the Rose Garden Arena (now the Moda Center) in Portland. The game featured Medford, Oregon natives Kyle and E.J. Singler. Kyle now with the Oklahoma City Thunder, was one of the most decorated high school players in the history of Oregon high school and AAU basketball history. His younger brother E.J., (now with the Raptor 905 of the D-league) was a four-year player at Oregon and also played on the same high school (S. Medford and AAU teams as Kyle). Duke won the contest 98-71.
Duke was the West region one seed in that 2010-11 season and lost in the Sweet-16 to Arizona, 93-77, while Oregon, in Dana Altman’s first year as head coach, went 20-19 and won the CBI championship after sweeping three games from Creighton, the program Altman had coached before Oregon for 18 years.
Since then, Oregon has won at least 20 games each season, culminating in this year’s record of 30-6. Overall at Oregon, Altman has a record of 153-63 in his six years at Oregon and was named the John R. Wooden Coach of the Year for the Pac-12 Conference for the second straight year at the end of the 2015-16 regular season and third time since he has been the headman at Oregon.
Duke of course is coached by Mike Krzyzewski, who has the second most wins in NCAA history with a total of 1,043 wins to 320 losses. His record at Duke is 970-261. His Blue Devils have won five national championships during his career.
The trip to the Sweet 16 is the second one for Oregon in the last four years and is the fifth time over all (1960, 2002, 2007, 2013 and 2016).
Oregon is only one of five schools to have won a game in each of the last four NCAA Tournaments. The other four are Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina and Wichita State.
This season was the first time the Ducks won both the regular season title and the tournament championship in the same season. It was the fifth time to win the conference title (the other four titles were in 1919, 1939, 1945 and 2002). The Ducks won three other tournament championships in 2003, 2007 and 2013.
Oregon has won one NCAA championship, in 1939, the first year the NCAA held a championship tournament.
This season’s record is Oregon’s best in 77 years matching the 1945 team that won 30. Another notable for the Ducks is that this is the fourth straight time the Ducks have made an appearance in the NCAA tournament. Of course this is the first time the Ducks have ever been a one seed.
As for Duke, well, this isn’t the first time the Blue Devils have made the Sweet-16 but certainly is the first time they’ve been the underdog to Oregon. The Ducks are favored by two points by the Las Vegas odds makers.
Tipoff for the contest is 7:07 p.m. which is late for those fans in North Carolina but normal for those fans on the West Coast.