Dana Altman looks back on two of the toughest losses during his Oregon tenure as he scouts Wisconsin this week.
The 12th-seeded Ducks (23-12) will face the fifth-seeded Badgers (23-10) for the third time in the NCAA Tournament during a first-round game on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in San Jose. Wisconsin won the first two postseason match-ups against the Ducks and the Badgers are once again ahead of Oregon on the seed line.
The Ducks were the No. 7 seed playing what amounted to a road game in the second round against second-seeded Wisconsin in Milwaukee on March 22, 2013 when they built a 49-37 lead that lasted until the final 70 seconds when the Badgers rallied for a 85-77 victory.
“We had a good halftime lead and they got rolling in the first four minutes of the second half and I didn’t take a time out, I was waiting for the damn TV time out,” Altman recalled on Sunday. “I should have taken one. We let the crowd into the game and then it went back and forth the rest of the night.”
Wisconsin, powered by future NBA first-round pick Frank Kaminsky, went on to lose to Kentucky in the Final Four.
The Badgers earned a No. 1 seed the following year in the NCAA Tournament and once again matched up with the eighth-seeded Ducks in Omaha, Neb. during the second round. Oregon tied the game 52-52 on a 3-pointer by Dwayne Benjamin with 5:54 left to play before Wisconsin won 72-65 en route to another Final Four that ended with a loss to Duke in the championship game.
“I remember we tied it up late and I think Sam Dekker hit a big shot for them,” Altman said. “We were not able to hold on down the stretch. We had two big games against them in the round of 32 and came up short both times. I guess we are hoping the third time is a charm.”
Oregon guard Joe Young scored 29 points in the first meeting with the Badgers and 30 the following year.
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard was an assistant to Bo Ryan for both meetings against the Ducks before being promoted when Ryan retired in the middle of the 2015-16 season.
“He is a really good coach,” Altman said. “I don’t know him all that well but we see each other on the road quite a bit.”