Utes Have Ugly Tournament History With Ducks
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Utah Utes will face the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.
They hope history doesn’t repeat itself.
The Utes are 0-4 in the conference tournament vs. their friends from Eugene, Oregon, and all four losses were memorable.
2013 – Utah’s Cinderella Run Comes To An End
The Utes entered the 2013 tournament as the #10 seed, after a disappointing 5-13 run in conference play. However, they won their last two regular season games, against Oregon State and Oregon, respectively, giving them a boost of confidence going into the conference tournament.
The Utes took advantage of a shorthanded USC team in their opening round game, beating the Trojans 69-66. The next day, they upset No. 2-seed California 79-69 in overtime, thanks to a game-tying 3-pointer from Jared DuBois, and a big overtime period from Jordan Loveridge.
Friday brought the Ducks, where the Utes’ postseason magic ran out. They only scored 15 first half points en route to a 64-45 loss. The paltry first-half scoring total still stands as a Pac-12 Tournament record for fewest points in a half.
2015 – Joseph Young, Utah Killer
The Utes went into the Pac-12 tournament as the No. 17 team in the entire country. After an 80-57 thrashing of Stanford in the quarterfinals, the Utes found themselves with a chance to avenge their loss two years earlier in the semifinals against the Ducks.
The game was close, going back and forth, and the two teams were tied 64-64 after Delon Wright hit two free throws with 7 seconds left. Pac-12 Player of the Year Joseph Young got the in-bounds pass, walked up the floor, and connected on a deep 3 with just over 1 second remaining to put Oregon ahead for good. The result, a 67-64 Utah loss, their second in three years to the Ducks.
2016 – A Championship Game To Forget
The two teams entered the conference tournament in 2016 with the best regular season records. Oregon earned the No. 1-seed, the Utes right behind them at No. 2.
Utah slogged through their semifinal game with Cal, beating the Bears in overtime, 82-78, before meeting the Ducks once again, this time for the Pac-12 championship. Utah committed 13 turnovers in the first half, and it was a blowout early on, ending with an 88-57 win for Oregon.
2018 – Utes Get Upset
In a reversal from their previous meetings, the 2018 game between the Utes and Ducks featured Utah as the favorites as the No. 3-seed in the Pac-12 tournament, while Oregon was seeded sixth. After escaping Washington State in overtime in their opening round game, the Ducks advanced to face the Utes, who had a bye into the quarterfinals.
The Utes didn’t score in the final 4:05, and Sedrick Barefield had his lay up blocked in the final seconds, and Oregon upset Utah 68-66.
Utah and Oregon play for the fifth time in the last 7 years Thursday night at 9:30 P.M. The game can be seen on ESPN.