Athletic departments like nothing more than being able to promote well-rounded success across sports. So far in 2021, the school that may be able to do that best is Oregon.
Oregon football had an up-and-down year, finishing just 4-3 on the season, with a 3-2 Pac-12 record. It lucked into the Pac-12 Championship, due to rival Washington’s inability to play, and made the most of it, beating USC 31-24 at the Coliseum.
As a result, the Ducks got to represent the Pac-12 in the New Year’s Six bowl slate, falling to Iowa State at the Fiesta Bowl 34-17. Overall, it probably wasn’t exactly the year that Oregon hoped to have, but that goes for most schools not named Alabama. Now, the Ducks’ basketball teams are making the most of their trips to Indianapolis and San Antonio, respectively.
With both Ducks basketball teams advancing to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament, Oregon has a pretty special claim this year: it is the only school with a football team in the New Year’s Six, and both men’s and women’s basketball teams in the Sweet 16.
Schools to appear in New Year’s Six bowl, men’s basketball Sweet 16, women’s basketball Sweet 16:
— James Crepea (@JamesCrepea) March 24, 2021
The men’s team wound up getting a bye in the first round, as opponent VCU had to drop out of the NCAA Tournament due to COVID-19 concerns. They showed no rust in the Round of 32, blowing out 2-seed Iowa 95-80. They have a battle with fellow Pac-12 power USC for the right to play in the Elite Eight.
The Oregon women didn’t have a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament last year with superstar Sabrina Ionescu, but are a factor this March. After a comfortable 67-47 win over 11-seed South Dakota, the 6-seed Ducks upset 3-seed Georgia today, 57-50. They will now face the winner of 2 Louisville vs. 7 Northwestern, which is currently on ESPN2.
Taking football out of the equation, only a few schools outside of Oregon are alive in both basketball tournaments. The Baylor women’s team faces Michigan in a 2-6 matchup in the Sweet 16 on Saturday. The Bears and Wolverines men’s teams are both No. 1 seeds, and have advanced to that round as well, with Baylor set to face Villanova and Michigan playing Florida State. Finally, the 3-seed UCLA women face 6 Texas in the Round of 32 tonight, while on the men’s side, the 11-seed Bruins take on Alabama in the Sweet 16.
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