Part 2: The Civil War
As I begin the yin article, to my previous yang (link to OSU article), I must keep telling myself I’m a Beaver fan and all will be okay.
What I’m embarking on here for my readers is to give you five reasons why Duck fans should tune in to the Civil War basketball match-up this Sunday.
As both teams prepare for the PAC-12 tournament, starting on March 7th, the Civil War game carries a bit more weight than usual. Oregon finds themselves sitting fourth in the conference, at 10-5, just a game back of Arizona. A win Sunday could put them in the top three and improve their seeding chances come tournament time.
In what is just the fourth match-up between head coaches Dana Altman and Craig Robinson, this rivalry has been taken to another level, and it shows on game day when you see these two.
Altman, in just his first year leading the Ducks last season, was able to record the season sweep of the Beavers. Not bad for a first year guy stepping in to one of the more intense rivalries in the country.
This year Altman faces a completely different situation, lose Sunday and he will have seen his Duck team get swept at the hands of the Beavers in this years conference play.
So why should you Duck fans watch this weekend?
Let’s find out.
1. The revenge factor is looming
Last month, OSU and Oregon clashed at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, and despite a hot start by the Oregon Ducks, the Beavers prevailed.
Oregon certainly hasn’t forgotten about the sting of defeat, and will be playing the revenge card this weekend as they travel to Corvallis to take on the Beavers.
2. A win would boost Oregon’s record and build momentum for PAC-12 tournament
Obviously Oregon wants to beat OSU any time they face them, but this weekends match-up has tournament implications tied to it. With a win Oregon not only improves their chances for a better tournament seed, but continues to build confidence, and momentum, and the right time in the season.
Losing a game like this to Oregon State is debilitating and could spill over in to their play when they travel to Los Angeles on March 7th, vying for an NCAA tournament bid.
More than just a pride win for Oregon, they need this win to solidify themselves as contenders in the PAC-12.
3. The last chance for seniors to get a win against OSU
For some of the Duck players, this marks the last time they will be playing the Oregon State Beavers in this basketball version of the rivalry. The last thing they will want to end this rivalry with is a loss, which would also amount to a sweep, to the Beavers.
Garrett Sim, for one, has a bit more riding on this game than just wanting to beat OSU during his senior year; Sim grew up a Beaver fan. Snubbed by Oregon State coming out of high school, Sim has seemingly had a personal vendetta against the Beavers and would love nothing more than to see them lose on their home court this weekend.
4. No Duck (player, coach or fan) wants to see the brooms come out for a sweep
You’d have to imagine there will be a group of people packed in to the student section, that decided to bring brooms to Gill. It’s the Civil War, I’d be upset if they didn’t.
A sweep, at the hands of your bitter rival, is quite possibly the most foul-tasting outcome in all of sports. You hear about the outcome in the papers, online, on television, and even worse, from your friends. They will never let you live it down if your team gets swept by theirs in this rivalry, trust me, as a Beaver fan I’ve lived that a lot this year.
5. Corvallis and Eugene are so close, there should be a TON of traveling Duck fans
To round out the five reasons to tune in I ponder the question of how many Duck fans will make the journey to Gill Coliseum to root on their team. All I know is that at last years Civil War game in Corvallis, the loudest fans seemed to be Duck fans at times.
They always travel well, and seeing a section or two (or three) of yellow and green, poisoning the sea of Orange and Black, has to make Duck fans smile.
It pays off in myriad ways for the actual Duck basketball team as well. Not only does it build confidence to see your home crowd in attendance, but once things start going your way, and the fans are screaming their heads off, you begin to play with a little bit more of an edge.
And there it is, however hard it was for me to actually write this, it is done; five reasons why you should tune in to the 337th clash between the Ducks and Beavers men’s basketball teams.
Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30pm (PST) this Sunday, and since NFL is over, and no one actually watches bowling on Sunday’s, what better way do you have to spend the lazy day?
I know I’ll be planted on my couch, head to toe in orange and black, rooting for a Beaver victory.