Friday, February 23, 2007

Duck Soup: Oregon downs Washington St.

#23 Oregon 64 #9 Washington St. 59 - The Ducks proved they weren't actually dead, just flying erratically. After losing 6 of their previous 8 games, Oregon came through with an important home win, one which will likely lead to an invitation to March Madness. With just two games remaining in the regular season, the 21-7 Ducks look like a lock to make the field of 65 despite their sub-par 9-7 PAC-10 record.

Loyola Chicago 75 #15 Butler 71 - With Wright St. losing, Butler had an opportunity to claim sole possession of first place in the Horizon League, but failed to seal the deal at home against a feisty Loyola squad which shot 53% to Butler's 44%. The 15th-ranked Bulldogs have just one conference game left - this Saturday against Detroit and trial Wright St. by 1/2 game. They will have to win the Horizon League tournament to be guaranteed a bid to the NCAA Tournament, though their selection as an at-large team is very likely considering their 25-5 record.

#4 UCLA 85 California 75 - Josh Shipp hit 9 of 12 shots and scored 22 points to lead the Bruins to their 19th straight home win and a 2-game lead in the PAC-10 standings. While the Bruins were winning, their closest pursuer, Washington St., was losing at Oregon. The Bruins are 13-2, the Cougars, 11-4.

#5 Memphis 99 Rice 63 - The Tigers shot 55% and clinched the Conference-USA title while extending the nation's longest winning streak to 16 games. Memphis is looking like a #2 seed for sure.

#11 Nevada 84 Idaho 68 - Nick Fazekas scored 21 points and hauled in 14 rebounds as Nevada won their 8th straight game. The visiting Wolf Pack shot 62% and hit all 16 of their free throws.

#18 Duke 71 Clemson 66 - This was a very important road game for the Blue Devils and they managed to come away with a win, though better shooting by Clemson could have easily altered the result. The Tigers shot 47% on their home court, but hit just 9-18 free throws while the Blue Devils were knocking down 16-22. Duke also hit 52% of their shots from the field, including 7-14 3-pointers.

Duke improved to 8-6 in the ACC, while Clemson fell to 5-8 and probably out of the NCAA Tournament field.

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