PORTLAND, Ore. -- Ducks and Beavers fans will have something to root for Friday as teams from both schools compete in their respective NCAA Tournament on Friday.
Oregon's men's basketball is a No. 3 seed this year after winning the Pac-12 regular season title and losing in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game. The Ducks play 14-seed Iona in Sacramento at 11 a.m. on Friday. The game will be televised on TBS.
After losing in the Elite Eight last season as a No. 1 seed, the Ducks are looking to take the next step and get to the Final Four this year. If they do, it will be without center Chris Boucher, who suffered a torn ACL last week. Boucher averaged 11 points, 6 rebounds and two blocks off the bench for the Ducks.
“It hurt us, but we’re going to use it as motivation going forward into this tournament,” Oregon guard Tyler Dorsey said about Boucher’s injury.
But the Ducks do have Pac-12 Player of the Year Dillon Brooks who said on Thursday that the day before the tournament better than Christmas Eve.
If the Ducks win, they'll face the winner of No. 11 seed Rhode Island vs. No. 6 seed Creighton, the team Dana Altman coached before coming to Eugene.
Oregon State Beavers
While the Ducks men were one game shy of making the Final Four last season, the Oregon State women made it to the Final Four for the first time in school history. Now, they're looking to do it again.
Like last season, the Beavers are a No. 2 seed. They won the Pac-12 regular season title before losing the Pac-12 tournament championship game to Stanford, who is also a No. 2 seed.
Oregon State opens the tournament against No. 15 seed Long Beach State, the champions of the Big West Conference. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday in Corvallis. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
The Beavers are led by senior guard Sydney Wiese, who has made the Pac-12 all-conference team each year she's been at Oregon State. This season, Wiese is averaging more than 15 points a game and was named a second-team All-American by ESPNW.
If the Beavers do make a deep run again this year, they'll be fortunate in that they're on the complete opposite end of the bracket from powerhouse UConn, who eliminated Oregon State last year and has won an NCAA-record 107 consecutive games. If the Beavers play UConn again this year, it will be for the national championship.
But it all starts with Long Beach State on Friday. If the Beavers win, they'll play on Sunday against the winner of No. 7 seed Creighton vs. No. 10 seed Toledo.