Oregon should make NCAA Tournament, says Stanford's Tara VanDerveer
Oregon went toe-to-toe with No. 1 seed Stanford in the second half of its Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal tilt on Thursday, but a 13-point halftime hole proved too large to dig out of.
Te-Hina Paopao set a new career-high with 28 points on a career-best seven made triples, but the Ducks fell 76-65. Oregon downed Washington on Wednesday and was hoping for a lengthy stay at the league tournament, but now it gets an excruciating wait to find out whether the NCAA Tournament selection committee thinks it has done enough to warrant an at-large bid.
Head coach Kelly Graves obviously thinks the Ducks have. But so, too, does Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer.
“I think they play in the No. 1 league in the country,” she said after the game, per DuckTerritory’s Erik Skopil. “I think they’re a great team and, I mean, I think they are deserving of playing in the NCAA tournament, yes. I think we should have eight teams in, including Oregon.”
Stanford's Tara VanDerveer on Oregon's at-large chances:
"I think they play in the No. 1 league in the country… I think they're a great team and, I mean, I think they are deserving of playing in the NCAA tournament, yes. I think we should have eight teams in, including Oregon."
— Erik Skopil (@Erik_Skopil) March 3, 2023
The Ducks went 17-14 this season, with a 7-11 record in conference play. They hold a strong ranking in the NET at 19th, but some have questioned the quality of Oregon’s wins.
A victory of then-No. 14 Arizona stands out as a significant point in the season. Not only did it give the Ducks a top-25 victory, but it also halted a seven-game losing streak.
“I think we can be a really dangerous team if we get into that field,” Graves said. “As a coach, I’ve been on teams that have won eight or nine games as a double-digit seed in the NCAA Tournament. If we can get in, I think we know how to win games as a low seed.”
"I think we can be a really dangerous team if we get into that field." @OregonWBB's head coach Kelly Graves knows a thing or two about winning in the NCAA Tournament. 👀 pic.twitter.com/Fo9gK49pUX
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) March 3, 2023
The NCAA Tournament bracket will be officially unveiled on Sunday, March 12 at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN.