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Better Know a Regional Opponent: The Oregon Mighty Ducks

Let’s take a look at the team who lives on the campus where Animal House was filmed.

Oregon is the #2 seed in our Region, so though it is quite likely we’ll play them (and possibly even more than once), there is a chance we might not even see them. Still, my job is to teach you things that may prove to be useful in the future whether you think you need to know them or not. Also, I occasionally write for Anchor of Gold.

The School: The University of Oregon. Formerly known as Oregon State University from being founded in 1876 until they changed the name to its current form in 1877, presumably because they were tired with having a rivalry with themselves. Latin Motto: Mens agitat molem—literally translated “Mind moves the mass.” They’re telekinetic in the Pacific Northwest, we can only assume.

Location: Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is small Pacific Northwestern city/college town on the Willamette River of about 175,000 people, best summed up in this clip:

If you Google the city, it tells you this:

Eugene is a city in Oregon, on the Willamette River. The University of Oregon is home to the Northwest-focused Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, known for its Asian collections.

Why the city of Eugene is collecting Asians, and for what nefarious purpose, we cannot say.

The Mascot: The Oregon Duck. Let’s just say the person who came up with that name likely had a GPA similar to Flounder’s. Worse yet, they just basically bought him from Disney:

The Oregon Duck is the mascot of the University of Oregon Ducks athletic program, based on Disney’s Donald Duck character through a special license agreement. The mascot wears a green and yellow costume, and a green and yellow beanie cap with the word “Oregon” written on it.

Of course, I much prefer the succinct Google description of it as:

Description: Anthropomorphic duck. First seen: 1940.

‘23 Record: 37-20 (16-14 Pac 12).

How’d they get here? Like every team in this Regional, Vanderbilt included, Oregon won their conference tournament, sweeping through Cal, Stansbury, Washington, and Arizona to take the Pac 12 Crown. However, Oregon is the only team in our Regional who would likely have gotten an at large bid (though probably as a #3 seed), as they have an RPI of 34.

Best win: Besides beating Stansbury in the Pac 12 Tourney, they also took 2 of 3 from Stansbury in early April. Going 3-4 against your conference’s only #1 seed is pretty good (and would be even better if their conference didn’t suck this year). Outside of the Pac 12, the only NCAA Tourney team Oregon played was... Xavier.

Worst loss: They were swept by the UC Santa Barbara Fightin’ Hats in late February. UCSB would have likely made the tourney if they scheduled any OOC opponents who were not in the Pac 12, by the way. It’s not exactly a bad loss... but it’s a pretty bad look for the NCAA Selection committee, as The Hats are, you know, likely a better team that many of those Pac 12 squads who did get in. They were also swept by the Washington Husky Boys in mid-May, and lost one mid-week to what appears to be a beer league softball team from Portland. Sorry, it’s Portland. They were an adult Hide and Seek squad.

Player to Watch: #21 Jr. 3B Sabin “Cedric” Ceballos (.342/.439/.637 with 9 2B, 1 3B, 15 HR, and 61 RBI), though with a .300 team average, there aren’t a lot of holes in the Mighty Ducks’ Lineup.

Anchor of Gold Tiger Beat Hottest Pitcher: #9 Jr. RHP Jace “The Pride of Umpqua Community College” Stoffal (6-2; 2.83 ERA; .184b/avg). Of course, he last pitched in late April, as he has some sort of finger injury. No clue whether he will be available for this Regional, but he is their best pitcher.

Best NCAA Tournament result: Oregon both hosted and won the Eugene Regional in 2012, but did not advance to Omaha.

Should Vanderbilt be scared? Not scared, no. Even if the Pac 12’s best, Stansbury, was our #2 seed, we shouldn’t be scared. We should respect our opponent, though.