Five weeks before Selection Sunday, Oregon's men's basketball team is listed as a No. 4 seed in the West Region by the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
The committee put out a midseason ranking of the top 16 seeds in the tournament Saturday with the Ducks grabbing one of the final four spots in that bracket. Oregon is the No. 14 overall seed.
“I don’t know where our guys are as far as thinking about that,” UO coach Dana Altman said on Thursday. “I try to keep them focused on one game, but I know they think about it. If you are in, you try to stay in and if you are not in, it is a little motivation to try and get in. I hope they are just worried about Oregon State.”
The Ducks (18-5) are ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the NET rankings used by the committee entering Saturday's game at Oregon State.
“Payton Pritchard is obviously a dynamic player, in many conversations for national player of the year,” said Mitch Barnhart, the Kentucky athletic director who serves as vice chair of the committee that met Tuesday through Thursday. “Oregon is in a league that made some progress this year. They are 18-5 with a really challenging schedule.
"They challenged themselves in nonconference and showcased themselves remarkably well. They beat Seton Hall on a neutral court, the Michigan win, all those things give the committee reason to place them where we did.”
Gonzaga was listed as the No. 1 seed in the West followed by West Virginia, Villanova and the Ducks. The regional semifinals and final will be played in Los Angeles.
Baylor, Kansas and San Diego State join Gonzaga as top seeds in the bracket. Louisville, Dayton, and Duke are all No. 2 seeds with Maryland, Florida State and Seton Hall as three seeds. Michigan State, Auburn and Butler join the Ducks as No. 4 seeds.
Oregon is the only Pac-12 team among the top 16 teams and is 1-1 against other teams in that bracket with a 71-69 win over Seton Hall in November followed with a 73-72 overtime loss to Gonzaga.