When USC forward Chimezie Metu caught Jordan McLaughin’s alley-oop pass and gently laid the ball in against Oregon, that ball might as well have been stamped with the Ducks’ chances at an NCAA Tournament berth.
Insane pass by Jordan McLaughlin in crunch time that leads to a Chimezie Metu game-winning layup with 0.6 seconds left over Oregon. Huge victory for USC. pic.twitter.com/w4z6xcNtcI
— Max Meyer (@TheMaxMeyer) February 16, 2018
With five games left in the regular season, here’s a quick snapshot of what Oregon’s resume looks like on paper:
- Record: 17-9, 7-6 Pac-12
- RPI Ranking: 86
- Record vs. RPI Top 100: 5-7
- Best Wins: @ Arizona State, vs. Washington, vs. UCLA
- Bad Losses: Utah, UConn, Oregon State
Oregon’s remaining slate of games is as follows: @ UCLA, vs. Arizona State, vs. Arizona, @ Washington State, @ Washington.
The only game the Ducks can truly afford to lose in that bunch is Arizona, and yet a win over the Wildcats also seems like the perfect cure for Oregon’s dying March Madness dreams.
Last night’s loss to USC stung, as it put the Ducks two games below .500 against RPI top 100 teams.
“We needed that win, everyone in the locker room knows that,” Troy Brown said after the game, per Steve Mims of the Register-Guard.
Oregon is, in a way, blessed with a tough schedule that features four top 100 RPI teams over its last five games, including three RPI top 50 teams.
“We’ve just got to keep fighting,” Paul White said. “You fall down, you have to get up. We have to have that fight within us.”