The Ducks and the Beavers renew acquaintances this weekend, as they get ready for round two of one of the nations most played rivalry games: the Civil War. This is a big game for Oregon (19-8, 10-5) with a lot at stake.
First for the Ducks is revenge. The last time these two teams played, Oregon State went into Matthew Knight Arena, and stole a victory from the Ducks, so winning on the Beavers home court has to be a significant motivator for the team.
"It means a lot," said EJ Singler, of the Ducks, who - like his fellow teammates - were confused by the Beavers 1-3-1 zone defense, and admitted that may have been part of the reason why they lost. But now they have experience, having seen that defense before, they know what to prepare for.
"The players who haven't played against a zone like that have gotten the experience, so I think we're more prepared this time around," Singler noted.
Also at stake for the Ducks is a chance for them to keep pace in the NCAA tourney race. If the Ducks want to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008, they have to win these final three games.
Coach Dana Altman has brought excitement back to Oregon basketball for me. I'm starting to get that tense feeling I get for football before each game. Not quite on that level, but getting there. With so much at stake, I'll be watching from the edge of my couch, hoping for a victory.