Oregon men show progress, but can't complete upset of No. 1 Baylor
UO lost again, but it was a close one against the best team in the country. For Dana Altman's Ducks, that's progress.
(Photo of Jacob Young by Eric Evans/GoDucks.com)
EUGENE — Dana Altman has won far too many games and is paid too much money to really consider any sort of moral victory. And at the end of the night, Oregon’s 78-70 loss to No. 1 Baylor Saturday at Matthew Knight Arena was just that: a loss. It was Oregon’s third in four games, one that dropped the Ducks back to .500 overall, continued to ratchet up the importance of the upcoming Pac-12 season and left Oregon’s 12th-year head coach lamenting a seven-minute stretch in the second half that saw a 49-46 Oregon lead evaporate in a 17-2 Baylor run.
“Our execution was really bad and they got out in transition,” Altman said. “The game really flipped.”
But, consider this: Four weeks ago, Oregon lost 81-49 to BYU. Three weeks ago, Houston embarrassed the Ducks 78-49. And while the Ducks have picked up a few stat-padding victories against the likes of Montana, UC Riverside and Portland, the Ducks’ best win of the season through 12 games remains its second game of the year against Southern Methodist.
And this Baylor team? The Bears came into Eugene undefeated with a top five offense and defense (KenPom). They’re the first No. 1 team in the country to play at Matthew Knight Arena, and the first to visit Eugene since UCLA in 2007.
This Baylor team is a legitimate national title contender. This Oregon team, right now, is far from that.