EUGENE, Ore. — The Ducks are going dancing. The Oregon Men’s Basketball Team is headed into March Madness, after winning this weekend’s Pac-12 tournament.
The Ducks will head down to San Jose for this Thursday’s opening round matchup against Oklahoma State. Students and staff agree it’s a pretty good time to be a Duck.
“We’re having an outstanding year, really an unparalleled year,” said Craig Pintens, Senior Associate Athletics Director.
The Ducks are dancing after they took home the Pac-12 crown. Students have final exams this week, but only one thing is on their minds.
“So excited to see the Ducks go to March Madness. It’s great to see the University of Oregon out there with sports and everything like that and spreading that Duck spirit,” said UO student Max Lehman.
There’s no denying the excitement on campus, but there are still some sour grapes. Many were hopeful that Oregon would take home a higher seed after winning the conference championship. The Ducks were surprised with a 12 seed.
“After the bracket came out yesterday, we were all pretty mad about how low of a seed we got after beating UCLA twice in a row,” said UO student Alex Price.
The athletics department doesn’t mind and still has all the confidence in Head Coach Dana Altman’s squad.
“Once you’re in the tournament, that seed doesn’t matter,” Pintens said.
So far 2013 has been a good year for Ducks athletics. Now duck fans are hoping that the momentum of this year’s success continues.
“We’ll get some better recruits now, definitely,” Price said.
“We hope that fans will fill the arena and cheer on the Ducks,” Pintens said.
The Ducks won the original NCAA basketball tournament back in 1939. The revival of Duck basketball has spirits soaring.
“That’s kind of why I came here. I wanted to be surrounded by people that were just as into school spirit as I am,” said UO student Mikaila McLane.
And while most people associate Ducks athletics with UO staples like football and track, the basketball team is the talk of the town again.
“It’s been a long time since our basketball program’s really kicked back up, so everybody’s really excited about it,” Price said.
Now everyone’s focus turns to Thursday’s matchup where hopefully for Duck fans the madness of March is just beginning.