The Oregon Ducks have, for the last decade, been known as one of the top powers in college football. The team went to four straight BCS bowl games, including an appearance in the national championship game in 2010, under Chip Kelly from 2009-2012. Last season, the team went 13-2, but lost in the inaugural College Football Playoff national championship game.
It isn’t just football that the Ducks have had some success in, however. This year, the Oregon men’s basketball team plans to prove that they belong at the top with the big boys.
According to GoDucks.com, the team has released its non-conference schedule for the 2015-16 season and it impressively features four 2015 NCAA Tournament teams and one NIT participant. The Ducks, a 2015 tournament team themselves, hope to continue their recent success by running through their non-conference opponents before getting into Pac-12 play.
The season opens with Jackson State on November 13, before playing a huge match-up with a surprisingly early exit from the 2015 tournament, Baylor just three days later. They continue their homestead when they face Savannah State and Valparaiso, their second tournament opponent, on November 20 and 22 respectively.
The Ducks travel to Hawaii to play Navy on December 7 to take part in the Pearl Harbor Day ceremonies when they play a game in Bloch Arena, a building that withstood the attacks in 1941. They return home to face Boise State on the road just five days later.
The Ducks wrap up their non-conference schedule by facing UC Irvine, Long Beach State, Alabama, and an undetermined opponent on December 15, 18, 21, and 29 respectively.
Oregon has made the NCAA Tournament the last three years including a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in 2013 before they lost to eventual champion Louisville. Will they play well enough throughout the season to get away from the lower seeds? They haven’t been better than a seven seed since 2007 season when they were a three seed. Only time will tell.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports