- The University of Oregon men got to celebrate their entry into the Final Four, while the women lost to the dominating UConn Huskies. Photo courtesy of U of O Athletics.
Ten years after the Great Depression, deep into FDR's second term, the University of Oregon Men's Basketball team, which ran the somewhat novel (for the times) fast-break offense, wound up in the first-ever Final Four. They would go on to win the national championship – beating Ohio State, 46-33, on March 27, 1939.
This was a long time ago. Like before ESPN. Anyone remember what their bracket looked like? Did they write it on parchment with one of those feather pens?
Either way, the Ducks' men's team hasn't returned to the Final Four since. Until now. Thanks to their upset win over Kansas on Saturday, Oregon will play mighty North Carolina in the second national semi-final game this Saturday. While the Ducks cruised to a 14-point victory to get there, the Tar Heels won a 75-73 thriller over Kentucky – the decisive hoop coming with 0.3 seconds left.
For a moment, it appeared that the Ducks' women's basketball team may have also been a Final Four contender, but the team lost, 90-52, to UConn Monday night.
The Pacific Northwest is well represented at the Final Four, which starts Saturday near Phoenix. The first semi-final pits Gonzaga against South Carolina. The winners will play for the national title April 3.
Eugene has waited 78 years for this, so dig out your Oregon green. The madness is not over yet.