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4 Reasons Why They Can Win: Oregon

The selection committee shocked pretty much everyone by pegging the Oregon Ducks as a No.1 seed heading into March Madness. Though unexpected, Oregon did win the Pac-12 decisively by dismantling a strong Utah team 88-57 in the conference finals. Though many could overlook them, here are four reasons why the Oregon Ducks can win the NCAA Tournament.

Lack Of Pressure

Let’s face it; nobody is expecting the Ducks to be cutting down the nets in Houston. Oregon opened at +1800 to win the whole thing according to Bet365 , which was tied for the eighth-best. Those odds put Oregon behind the likes of a struggling Oklahoma and tied with third seed West Virginia.

That could play into Oregon’s favor. There will be little to no pressure on the team as they head to Anaheim. They will get an easy first game against either Holy Cross or Southern, which should increase the young roster's confidence. With nothing to lose and a load of confidence, Oregon could easily get the ball rolling and ride momentum straight through to the end.

Coming In On A Winning Streak

Oregon has not lost a game since back-to-back defeats in mid-February. The Ducks will entire their 1 vs 16 matchup riding a streak of eight consecutive victories, a span that has seen the team post an average scoring margin of +12.4 points per game.

And though much has been made of Oregon’s defensive struggles, rightfully so as a top tier defense has almost been a requirement to win March Madness, they have been improving that aspect. During their eight-game winning streak, Oregon has held their opponents to 71.6 ppg despite their foes combining for an average of 77.6 ppg on the season as a whole.

The Maturation of Tyler Dorsey

Freshman guard Tyler Dorsey has been an integral piece of Oregon’s team this season with the LA-native playing in all but two games. There have been ups and downs, but Dorsey is easily the best freshman player Oregon has had in quite some time (maybe ever).

Since the start of March, Dorsey has averaged 19.6 points and 5.3 assists while shooting 63.2 percent from the floor. Dorsey’s maturation, which has been evident on both ends of the court, has also freed up Dillon Brooks and Elgin Cook to see more open looks.

Oregon Brings It In Big Games

Oregon has brought their A-game for big-time matchups this season. The Ducks have faced ranked opponents on five occasions, two of which were during the Pac-12 tournament, and they have won each of those contests. Oregon won each of those five games by six or more points, highlighted by their 31-point shellacking of Utah in the Pac-12 final.

The Ducks have also posted a stellar 11-3 SU record against teams that ultimately made the NCAA Tournament. Though most of those have come against other Pac-12 teams, it is clear that Oregon has relished their times under the spotlight this season. 

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