[tps_header]The Oregon Ducks finished the season as strong as anyone in the country and under the radar a bit. They are riding an eight-game winning streak and flat out steamrolled Utah in their conference championship game last week.
It was a key component to the Ducks getting that last No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, conveniently positioned in the West Region.
Despite claiming the top spot, the selection committee did not give the Ducks many favors after that. Also heading West include a trio of Big XII powers in (2) Oklahoma, (5) Baylor, and (6) Texas, perennial power Duke getting a 4-seed, the SEC regular season champion Texas A&M slotted at No. 3, and a handful of mid-majors with reputations for doing damage in the tournament.
Can the Ducks fly high and validate their impressive but equally as quite run?[/tps_header]
[tps_title]TOP 4 SEED WITH THE EASIEST PATH?[/tps_title]
The Ducks may have claimed the top spot, but by no means do they have the easiest path the Houston. That belongs to the second-seeded Oklahoma Sooners.
In addition to playing in arguably the toughest conference in college basketball and possibly having the nation’s best player in Buddy Hield, the Sooners, who went 8-5 against ranked opponents this season, on paper have a favorable draw to the Final Four.
After presumably dispatching (15) Cal. State Bakersfield in the first round, they would face either a dangerous mid-major in (10) Virginia Commonwealth or a surprise yet pesky at-large 7-seed Oregon State bunch. A Sweet 16 game could see them facing arch-rival Texas or former conference rival Texas A&M.
The West Region is more wide open than people would think, given the unknown about some teams. When Oklahoma is on their game, they’re virtually unstoppable.