Oregon faces Texas in Sweet-16

Oregon makes its first appearance in the Sweet-16 round of the NCAA Men's basketball tournament on Friday, March 22,2002 in Madison, Wisconsin. The Ducks earned the right to play in round three of the tournament with a 92-87 win over Wake Forest last Saturday. The last time Oregon was in the Sweet-16 was in 1960 and Oregon beat New Mexico 68-60 in that contest.

The Ducks will face the Longhorns of Texas on Friday. Texas beat Mississippi State 68-64 in the second round and in the first round game, Texas beat Boston College, 70-57. Oregon defeated Montana, 81-62 in the first round of the tourney. This is the third time in the two schools history that they will meet in NCAA Tournament competition. The first time Oregon and Texas played was in 1939 and Oregon won that contest 56-41. Oregon would eventually win the NCAA Tournament in 1939 and become the first NCAA champion in men's basketball. However the most prestigious tournament in 1939 was the National Invitational Tournament held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Texas defeated Oregon in the 1995 Men's Tourney, 90-73 in the only other tourney meeting.

Duck and Longhorn fans have some familiarity with each other recently in football. The gridiron version of the Ducks defeated Texas in the 2000 Holiday Bowl in San Diego, 35-30.

Texas is led by in scoring by sophomore guard Brandon Mouton, 6-5, 14.3 points per game (ppg) and 4.3 rebounds per game (rpg.) However a key player for the Longhorns is 5-11 freshman guard, T.J. Ford. Ford is averaging 10.6 ppg this season and an impressive 8.5 assists per game (apg.) Sophomore James Thomas, 6-8, 10.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg will have the task of matching up with Oregon's 7-2 senior center Chris Christoffersen, 5.5 rpg. Oregon's scoring punch has come from three players, 6-4 senior guard Frederick Jones, 18.5 ppg, sophomore forward Luke Jackson, 6-7, 16.2 ppg, and sophomore guard Luke Ridnour, 6-2, 15.1 ppg. Ridnour also leads the Ducks in assists with 5.5 apg. The combination of Jones, Jackson and Ridnour accounted for 81 of the 92 points scored against Wake Forest. Jackson led the scoring against Wake Forest with 29 points while Ridnour had 28 points including shooting seven-for-11 from the 3-point line and Jones had 24 points.

If the Ducks beat Texas and advance on to the Elite-8, this will mark the first time since 1960 that the Ducks have gone so deep the NCAA Tourney. The 1960 Ducks lost to California in the Regional finals 70-49.

While the Duck men flourish in NCAA tourney play, the Oregon women continue their quest in the WNIT post season play. The Oregon women will play the Washington Huskies in quarterfinals on Wednesday, in Seattle with tipoff scheduled for 7:00 PM. The Oregon women enter the game with a 19-13 record and have beaten the Huskies (19-11) four out of the last five times the two teams have met. A win for the Duck women will give them 20 wins for the season. If the women win it will mean that it would be the first time in the history of Oregon athletics that in the same season, Oregon's football team would have a 10 plus wins, the men's basketball 20 plus and the women's basketball team, 20 plus wins.

Information was gathered from espn.com and www.goducks.com for this article.

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