Oregon Ducks Men's Basketball
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Oregon Ducks Men's Basketball
Oregon Ducks
Oregon Ducks logo.svg
UniversityUniversity of Oregon
Athletic directorRob Mullens
Head coachDana Altman (11th season)
LocationEugene, OR
ArenaMatthew Knight Arena
(Capacity: 12,364)
Student sectionOregon Pit Crew
ColorsGreen and Yellow[1]
Kit body greensides.png
Home jersey
Kit shorts greensides.png
Team colours
Kit body yellowsides.png
Away jersey
Kit shorts yellowsides.png
Team colours
Kit body greensides.png
Alternate jersey
Kit shorts greensides.png
Team colours
NCAA Tournament Champions
NCAA Tournament Final Four
1939, 2017
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1939, 1945, 1960, 2002, 2007, 2016, 2017
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1960, 2002, 2007, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
2002, 2007, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1939, 1945, 1960, 1961, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019
Conference Tournament Champions
2003, 2007, 2013, 2016, 2019
Conference Regular Season Champions
1919, 1939, 1945, 2002, 2016, 2017, 2020

The Oregon Ducks men's basketball team is an intercollegiate basketball program that competes in the NCAA Division I and is a member of the Pac-12 Conference, representing the University of Oregon. The Ducks play their home games at Matthew Knight Arena, which has a capacity of 12,364. Then coached by Howard Hobson, Oregon won the first NCAA men's basketball national championship in 1939.[2] They again reached the Final Four in 2017 under head coach Dana Altman, marking the longest span between appearances in NCAA history (78 years). The Ducks have made the NCAA tournament 17 times, and have won seven conference championships.


Early years

The University of Oregon men's basketball team played its first season in 1902-03 with Charles Burden as the head coach. Only two games were played that season with Oregon losing both games.[3] Oregon did not record a win until its fourth season in 1907 against Roseburg. The season ended with a winning record of 4-3, under Hugo Bezdek, who also coached the football team.[3] Bezdek left after that season to coach at Arkansas until 1913 when he went back to Oregon to coach until 1917.[4]

1919 Oregon Ducks men's basketball team

During Bezdek's absence, the basketball team was coached largely by William Hayward, Oregon's track coach.[3] In 1923, William Reinhart took over as the head coach and remained through the erection of McArthur Court until 1935. Coach Reinhart suffered only one losing season at Oregon.[3]

The Tall Firs

Howard Hobson, an alumnus of the university, became the head coach in 1935, following Reinhart's departure.[3] His ideas were considered cutting edge during his years at Oregon and he was well ahead of his time. He ran a fast break offense little used by anyone else in the country at the time and his defenses were an unorthodox hybrid defense. He lobbied for the installment of a shot clock and three-point field goal years before they were first introduced.[5] In 1939, the Oregon Ducks became the first team to win the NCAA Basketball Championship. Sports editor L. H. Gregory coined the phrase "Tall Firs" to describe the Oregon players due to their taller stature compared to other teams in the country.[5] The season started with a long trip to the east coast for a series of games, ending with a loss to Stanford back west in San Francisco. The Ducks went 6-3 during that trip but gained valuable experience for the remainder of the season.[6] Oregon went 14-2 to claim the North Division title in the Pacific Coast Conference, which set off a best-of-three playoff against the California Golden Bears. The Ducks won two games straight to claim the conference title.[7]

The Ducks returned to San Francisco for the NCAA regional series where they defeated the Texas Longhorns in the first game 56-41 then the Oklahoma Sooners 55-37.[6] The Ohio State Buckeyes had defeated Wake Forest and Villanova in their regional series to earn their right in the championship game.[5] On March 27, Oregon and Ohio State squared off to claim the national title. Oregon emerged victorious to claim the first NCAA national championship trophy, defeating Ohio State 46-33.[6]

Howard Hobson remained as the head coach until 1947 except for a one-year hiatus during the 1944-45 season, coached by John Warren.[3]

Kamikaze Kids

The six decades following the Tall Firs consisted of an eclectic mix of up and down years, with more down than up. From Hobson's departure in 1947 until 1970, Oregon made only two NCAA Tournament appearances, in 1960 and 1961 under head coach Steve Belko. Those were the days when only one team per conference (usually the conference champion) was guaranteed a bid to the NCAA Tournament. One of Belko's stars was Stan Love, a gifted shooter and rebounder, who led the Pac-8 in scoring for two straight seasons. He is the father of current NBA star Kevin Love. In 1971, head coach Dick Harter arrived at Oregon and achieved some consistency with the program.[3][8] Harter's teams were dubbed the Kamikaze Kids and featured hard play, diving for loose balls, and swarming defense. They were also credited for inspiring the intimidating atmosphere at McArthur Court. While they never earned any conference titles due to UCLA's dominance of the Pac-8 (their best finish was second in 1976-77), they were not without accomplishments. They assembled two 20 win seasons, appeared in three straight NITs, and upset #1 ranked UCLA in 1974.[8][9]

Harter's only losing season in Oregon was his first. He left in 1978 and the Ducks slid, suffering five consecutive losing seasons.[3] Oregon made an appearance in the NCAA tournament in 1995 under head coach Jerry Green, but otherwise accrued largely mediocre records in the two decades after Harter's departure.[3]

Ernie Kent era

In 1997, Ernie Kent was hired to fill the vacancy at head coach left by Jerry Green.[10] Kent had been one of Harter's Kamikaze Kids, and his teams were known for a similarly up-tempo style of play.[11] In his third season as head coach, he took the Ducks back to the NCAA tournament where they fell in the first round. In 2002, Kent led the Ducks to their first conference championship since 1945, going through the regular season undefeated at home.[3][11] They earned a number 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament that year and advanced to the Elite Eight by defeating Montana, Wake Forest and Texas.[12] They were eliminated by Kansas and finished the season with a number 11 ranking in the AP Poll.[13][14] It was Oregon's deepest run in the tournament in 42 years.

Luke Ridnour was selected as the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2003 as the Ducks won the Pac-10 tournament, defeating the USC Trojans in the conference championship game 74-66.[15] The Ducks entered the NCAA Tournament as an 8 seed and lost to Utah in the first round 58-60.[16]

Oregon made a Final Four appearance in the NIT in 2004 but otherwise made little impact until 2007.[3] Oregon swept its 12 intersectional games to start 2007 and upset #1 ranked UCLA in the third Pac-10 game. The Ducks finished the regular season with a 23-7 record and defeated Arizona, California, and USC to win the 2007 Pac-10 Tournament.[17] The Ducks earned a #3 seed[18] in the NCAA tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight by defeating Miami (Ohio) 58-56, Winthrop 75-61 and University of Nevada, Las Vegas 76-72. On March 25, played and lost to the eventual NCAA National Champions, the Florida Gators, by a score of 77-85.[17]

Oregon was considered the favorite to land Class of 2007 high school stars Kevin Love and Kyle Singler, widely considered to be the greatest high school players to ever come out of Oregon. In the summer of 2005, Love and Singler dropped Oregon from their list because of the turmoil inside the Oregon team, centering on the moral allegations concerning coach Ernie Kent. Love eventually chose to attend UCLA and Singler chose Duke.

The Ducks were selected as a No. 9 seed in the 2008 NCAA Tournament in the Southern Region. They lost to No. 8 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs in first-round play on March 21, 2008, in Little Rock, Arkansas.[19]

On March 15, 2010, the university announced that the decision had been made to fire Ernie Kent as a result of poor performance in the previous two seasons, placing 9th and 10th in conference in the respective years. Kent departed as the longest tenured Pac-10 coach and winningest coach in school history with 235 wins.[20]

Dana Altman era

In April 2010, Dana Altman from Creighton University was hired to replace Ernie Kent after a monthlong search.[21][22] Altman led the Ducks to a CBI championship in his first year at Oregon and led the Ducks to the Sweet 16 during the 2012-13 season. Altman led the Ducks back to the NCAA Tournament in the 2013-14 season where they defeated BYU but fell to Wisconsin in the round of 32. It was their 12th NCAA tournament appearance and was the first time Oregon won tournament games in back to back seasons in program history. In 2014-15, Altman won his 2nd Pac-12 Coach of the Year in three seasons, as he had won the award in 2013. Altman also broke another school record as he became the first coach in Oregon history to go to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments (2013, 2014, 2015). Altman's success continued into the following season as Oregon won the 2015-16 regular season title, finishing 14-4 in league play. Altman also won the 2015-2016 Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the third time in four years. Lute Olson had been the only other coach in Pac-12 history to win the award three times in a four-year span.

The 2015-16 season was very noteworthy, with the Ducks emerging victorious in the 2015-16 Pac-12 Conference Tournament. This led to the Ducks being the top seed in the West Regional of the 2015-2016 NCAA tournament, its first ever top seeding in the NCAA tournament. The Ducks defeated Holy Cross and Saint Joseph's in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament to advance to the Sweet 16 in Anaheim, where they defeated the number four seed and defending national champion Duke Blue Devils, 82-68, to advance to the Elite 8. The following year, the Ducks would go on to be Pac-12 conference co-champions with Arizona, whom they lost to in the championship game of the Pac-12 Tournament. In that year's NCAA Tournament the Ducks would advance all the way to the Final Four, losing to North Carolina by one point.

Venues and facilities

Matthew Knight Arena

McArthur Court was constructed in 1926 and the first Oregon basketball game was played in the arena on January 14, 1927, defeating Willamette University 38-10. The arena is located across from Pioneer Cemetery and is named after Clifton McArthur, the first student body president.[23] Even during the Ducks' lean years, it was known as one of the most hostile arenas in the Pac-10. A group of students known as the "Pit Crew" has at times created environments so intimidating that the basket would shake as opponents attempted free throws.[24]

In early 2009, the university broke ground on a new $227 million basketball arena designed by TVA Architects to replace McArthur Court.[25][26] The new arena was named Matthew Knight Arena, after Phil Knight's son who drowned in a scuba diving accident in 2004.[24] The arena is considered to be the front door to the university due to its high-profile location from where the majority of vehicular traffic into the university stems. A primary goal was to create the best collegiate basketball venue in the country though many criticisms arose due to the funding and price tag associated with the design.[26][27] The hardwood court was named after Patrick Kilkenny, a booster for the university and the former interim athletic director. It had been the subject of much debate upon its opening, due to its unconventional and artistic design. Designer Tinker Hatfield's idea was to pay tribute to the 1939 national championship team, nicknamed "The Tall Firs", by creating silhouetted firs around the edges of the court.[28] Matthew Knight Arena opened its doors for the first time on January 13, 2011, with the Ducks defeating the University of Southern California 68-62.[24]

Pac-12 Player of the Year

Year Player Position Class
1975-76 Ron Lee PG/SG Senior
1990-91 Terrell Brandon PG Junior
2002-03 Luke Ridnour PG Junior
2014-15 Joseph Young PG Senior
2016-17 Dillon Brooks SF Junior
2019-20 Payton Pritchard PG Senior

Pac-12 Coach of the Year

Year Coach Record Postseason
1976-77 Dick Harter 19-10 NIT Quarterfinals
2001-02 Ernie Kent 26-9 NCAA Elite 8
2012-13 Dana Altman 28-9 NCAA Sweet 16
2014-15 Dana Altman 26-10 NCAA Round of 32
2015-16 Dana Altman 31-7 NCAA Elite 8


NCAA Tournament results

The Ducks have appeared in 16 NCAA Tournaments. They won the inaugural NCAA tournament in 1939, winning the National Championship vs. Ohio State. Their combined record is 25–15.

Year Seed Round Opponent Result
1939 Elite Eight
Final Four
Ohio State
W 56–41
W 55–37
W 46–33
1945 Elite Eight
Regional 3rd Place
L 76–79
W 69–66
1960 Round of 25
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
New Mexico State
W 68–60
W 65–54
L 49–70
1961 Round of 24 Southern California L 79–81
1995 6 W Round of 64 (11) Texas L 73–90
2000 7 E Round of 64 (10) Seton Hall L 71–72 OT
2002 2 M Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
(15) Montana
(7) Wake Forest
(6) Texas
(1) #2 Kansas
W 81–62
W 92–87
W 72–70
L 86–104
2003 8 M Round of 64 (9) Utah L 58–60
2007 3 M Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
(14) Miami (OH)
(11) Winthrop
(7) UNLV
(1) #1 Florida
W 58–56
W 75–61
W 76–72
L 77–85
2008 9 S Round of 64 (8) Mississippi State L 69–76
2013 12 M Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
(5) #17 Oklahoma State
(4) #13 Saint Louis
(1) #2 Louisville
W 68–55
W 74–57
L 69–77
2014 7 W Round of 64
Round of 32
(10) BYU
(2) #12 Wisconsin
W 87–68
L 77–85
2015 8 W Round of 64
Round of 32
(9) Oklahoma State
(1) #3 Wisconsin
W 79–73
L 65–72
2016 1 W Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
(16) Holy Cross
(8) Saint Joseph's
(4) #19 Duke
(2) #7 Oklahoma
W 91-52
W 69-64
W 82-68
L 68-80
2017 3 M Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
(14) Iona
(11) Rhode Island
(7) #23 Michigan
(1) #3 Kansas
(1) #5 North Carolina
W 93–77
W 75–72
W 69–68
W 74–60
L 76-77
2019 12 S Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
(5) #21 Wisconsin
(13) UC Irvine
(1) #2 Virginia
W 72–54
W 73–54
L 49-53
2020 N/A N/A N/A N/A

NCAA Tournament round history

Round Record Most Recent Appearance
National Championship 1-0 1939
Final Four 1-1 2017
Elite Eight 2-5 2017
Sweet Sixteen 5-2 2019
Round of 32 6-2 2019
Round of 64 8-4 2019
Regional Third Place 1-0 1945
Round of 24 1-1 1961

Historical NCAA Tournament Seeding

The NCAA began seeding the tournament with the 1979 edition.

Years -> '39 '45 '60 '61 '95 '00 '02 '03 '07 '08 '13 '14 '15 '16 '17 '19 '20
Seeds -> N/A N/A N/A N/A 6 7 2 8 3 9 12 7 8 1 3 12 N/A
  • Bold indicates national champion

Pac-10/12 Tournament Seeding

Years -> '87 '88 '89 '90 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11 '12 '13 '14 '15 '16 '17 '18 '19 '20
Seeds-> 7 5 9 5 1 5 5 N/A 7 4 6 10 8 7 3 3 7 2 1 1 6 6 1
  • Bold indicates tournament champion

NIT results

The Ducks have appeared in 11 National Invitation Tournaments. Their combined record is 14-12.

Year Round Opponent Result
1975 First Round
Third Place Game
Saint Peter's
Oral Roberts
St. John's
W 85–79
W 68–59
L 57–58
W 80–76
1976 Quarterfinals Charlotte L 72–79
1977 First Round
Oral Roberts
St. Bonaventure
W 90–89
L 73–76
1984 First Round Santa Clara L 53–66
1988 First Round
Second Round
Santa Clara
New Mexico
W 81–65
L 59–78
1990 First Round New Mexico L 78–89
1997 First Round Hawai'i L 61–71
1999 First Round
Second Round
Third Place Game
Georgia Tech
W 67–64
W 93–72
W 77–68
L 69–85
L 75–106
2004 First Round
Second Round
George Mason
Notre Dame
W 77–72
W 68–54
W 65–61
L 53–78
2012 First Round
Second Round
W 96–74
W 108–97
L 86–90
2018 First Round
Second Round
W 99-86
L 92-101

CBI results

The Ducks have appeared in one College Basketball Invitational. Their record is 5–1 and were the 2011 champions.

Year Round Opponent Result
2011 First Round
Finals Game 1
Finals Game 2
Finals Game 3
Weber State
Boise State
W 68–59
W 77–75
W 79-71
L 76-84
W 71-58
W 71-69

Record vs. Pac-12 opponents

All-time series includes non-conference matchups and Pac-12 Tournament results.[29]

Opponent Wins Losses Pct. Streak
Arizona 33 51 (.400) Oregon 5
Arizona St. 45 44 (.506) ASU 1
Cal 65 84 (.436) Oregon 8
Colorado 9 12 (.429) Oregon 1
Oregon St. 164 190 (.463) Oregon 1
Stanford 55 94 (.369) Oregon 2
UCLA 36 90 (.291) Oregon 1
USC 58 66 (.455) Oregon 2
Utah 24 10 (.706) Oregon 5
Washington 119 190 (.385) Oregon 4
Washington State 172 126 (.577) Washington State 1

Oregon men's basketball players in professional teams

Player Year Drafted Team Current Team Drafted
Payton Pritchard 2020 Boston Celtics Boston Celtics RD 1, 26th overall
Ehab Amin 2019 Undrafted Al Ahly (basketball) -
Louis King 2019 Undrafted Detroit Pistons -
Kenny Wooten 2019 Undrafted New York Knicks -
Bol Bol 2019 Miami Heat Denver Nuggets RD 2, 44th overall
Troy Brown Jr. 2018 Washington Wizards Washington Wizards RD 1, 15th overall
Chris Boucher 2017 Undrafted Toronto Raptors -
Dillon Brooks 2017 Houston Rockets Memphis Grizzlies RD 2, 45th overall
Tyler Dorsey 2017 Atlanta Hawks Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) RD 2, 41st overall
Jordan Bell 2017 Chicago Bulls Memphis Grizzlies RD 2, 38th overall
Elgin Cook 2016 Undrafted Cedevita Zagreb (Croatia) -
Joseph Young 2015 Indiana Pacers Nanjing Monkey King (China) RD 2, 43rd overall
E.J. Singler 2013 Undrafted Free Agent -
Arsalan Kazemi 2013 Washington Wizards Petrochimi Bandar Imam (Iran) RD 2, 54th overall
Tajuan Porter 2011 Undrafted Retired -
Malik Hairston 2008 Phoenix Suns Fos Provence Basket (France) RD 2, 48th overall
Maarty Leunen 2008 Houston Rockets Fortitudo Bologna (Italy) RD 2, 54th overall
Bryce Taylor 2008 Undrafted Brose Bamberg (Germany) -
Aaron Brooks 2007 Houston Rockets Free Agent RD 1, 26th overall
Luke Jackson 2004 Cleveland Cavaliers Retired RD 1, 10th overall
Luke Ridnour 2003 Seattle SuperSonics Retired RD 1, 14th overall
Fred Jones 2002 Indiana Pacers Retired RD 1, 14th overall
Chris Christoffersen 2002 Undrafted Bakken Bears (Denmark) -
Bryan Bracey 2001 San Antonio Spurs Retired RD 2, 58th overall
Terrell Brandon 1991 Cleveland Cavaliers Retired RD 1, 11th overall
Blair Rasmussen 1985 Denver Nuggets Retired RD 1, 15th overall
Greg Ballard[30] 1977 Washington Bullets Retired RD 1, 4th overall


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  2. ^ Russell, Michael (2008-04-07). "When Firs stood tall". The Oregonian. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k University of Oregon 2010-2011 Men's Basketball Media Guide Archived 2010-12-26 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "College Football Hall of Fame -- Famer Search". 5 June 2011. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Gergen, Joe. "The beginning: Oregon is king - 1939". Sporting News. Archived from the original on October 4, 2008. Retrieved 2011.
  6. ^ a b c Russell, Michael (April 7, 2008). "When Firs stood tall". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ "2009-2010 Oregon Ducks Basketball Media Guide" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-02. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b Moore, David (March 15, 2002). "Kent raises Ducks from forgotten decades". USA Today. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ Foster, Chris (January 29, 2010). "Bruins fall in the Pit". LA Times. Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ "Kent named basketball coach at Oregon". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 1997-04-11. Retrieved 2009.
  11. ^ a b Curtis, Jake (2000-02-10). "Kent Revives Oregon Program". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009.
  12. ^ "Oregon's success has been a steady climb". Lewiston Morning Tribune. March 24, 2002. Retrieved 2011.
  13. ^ "Ducks can't keep up with high-octane Jayhawks". ESPN. March 24, 2002. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ "2002 Final AP Men's Basketball Poll - College Poll Archive - Historical College Football and Basketball Polls and Rankings". www.collegepollarchive.com.
  15. ^ "PAC-10: Ducks win first Championship". St. Petersburg Times. March 16, 2003. Retrieved 2011.
  16. ^ "Utah 60, Oregon 58". Sun Journal. March 22, 2003. Retrieved 2011.
  17. ^ a b "Oregon Ducks Basketball 2006-07 Schedule - Ducks Home and Away - ESPN". ESPN.com.
  18. ^ "Red Hot Oregon Gets Midwest Region #3 Seed". Salem News. March 11, 2007. Retrieved 2011.
  19. ^ "Basketball - M - 2007-08 Schedule/Results". GoDucks.com. Retrieved 2009.
  20. ^ "Kent out as school's winningest coach". ESPN. March 17, 2010. Retrieved 2011.
  21. ^ "Reports: Creighton's Altman hired at Oregon". ESPN. April 24, 2010. Retrieved 2011.
  22. ^ "Confirmed: Oregon Ducks Hire Creighton's Dana Altman". Action 3 News, Omaha. April 24, 2010. Retrieved 2011.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "Where we play". Oregon Daily Emerald. September 20, 2004. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved .
  24. ^ a b c "Oregon opens new arena with win". ESPN. January 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  25. ^ "Oregon breaks ground on new basketball arena". KVAL. February 7, 2009. Retrieved 2011.
  26. ^ a b Manning, Jeff (January 12, 2011). "Matthew Knight Arena is latest collaborations of Nike's Phil Knight and architect Bob Thompson". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2011.
  27. ^ Knutson, Ryan (February 8, 2008). "Arena report shows early skepticism". Oregon Daily Emerald. Retrieved 2011.
  28. ^ Gardner, Tim (November 8, 2010). "Oregon's new basketball court isn't just wood, it's art". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2011.
  29. ^ "Oregon Official Record Book: Go Ducks" (PDF). goducks.com.
  30. ^ "Ballard, who played 11 NBA seasons, dies at 61". espn.com.

External links

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